Don’t let the Tail (Technology) Wag the Dog (Business Objectives)

“It’s a bit of a cliché, but we all know that one of the worst things you can do is to “let the tail wag the dog”. Unfortunately, it happens all too often in business and its often technology-related.”

More than one company has been seduced by the promises of a software vendor or made a massive investment in their products only to find it has taken its eye off the ball in meeting business objectives. Decisions are made to prop up the commitment to technology rather than to grow the business. Workflows or processes are amended to fit technology, instead of the other way around.

An Example: ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) Software

A prominent technology-related example of the tail wagging the dog was the introduction of ERP Software. ERP software was so successfully hyped and so many companies jumped onto the bandwagon, that many companies essentially broke the bank to implement SAP or Sage or an industry-specific ERP application.

These applications promised to provide a solution that could manage and drive virtually all aspects of a company’s operations, efficiently and profitably. It’s a tantalizing vision, so perhaps it’s not entirely surprising that implementations of these applications drove the strategy of many companies for some time. While the promise was certainly compelling, the reality for many companies was less than ideal.

Costs often were much higher than anticipated as licensing fees often strained company budgets. Implementation costs could often equal licensing fees and enterprise implementions almost always exceeded estimates and required an “all-hands-on deck” approach that could drag on for months (or even years). It was not uncommon to find that existing workflows or processes simply didn’t work and had to be replaced with new ones that were compatible with the new ERP–even if they did not work as well for the business.

Typically, these ERPs were governed by multi-year contracts that influenced company policies and decisions well into the future. In addition, their architectures and licensing were highly proprietary, thereby limiting the control a company had over its data and technology infrastructure.

Less Wagging, More Control

While perhaps an extreme example, ERPs and other legacy applications are not the only instance of the tail wagging the dog.  One way to take back a measure of control is through custom software development.

Expert custom software developers reduce wagging and deliver more control over your technology infrastructure both through new custom apps and well as integration and/or migration initiatives that can leverage ERP and other legacy applications and the data they contain.

A few examples of tools and techniques used to deliver more control would include:

  • Data Synchronizations
  • ETLs (Extract-Transform-Load)
  • Complementary Applications and Middleware
  • API or SQL integrations with Legacy applications
  • Data Migrations

Custom applications are more functional, less expensive and more flexible than ever before. New tools and technologies enable more functional custom applications to be developed faster and with higher reliability.

Development starts with specifications mapped to very specific business objectives and armed with the tools and technologies available today, expert developers can accommodate and often exceed business objectives. When business conditions change, so can the applications, without waiting for a software vendor to get around to it.

Pell Software brings expertise in all aspects of custom software development.  We’ve worked with companies that have used or are using a variety of ERP and other applications in a range of industries. So we know how to develop custom software that will help you take back control and make sure your focus is on meeting your business objectives. We can help you leverage and enhance your existing technology resources while adding new capabilities to enable you to take back control, while driving growth and increasing profitability.

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