I’ve been thinking a lot about Big Data and ERP lately. I wrote a post about why it is important to start nurturing data analysts. And I’ve been working with a new client who are already benefitting from Big Data tools in their operations.
What I’ve concluded might be a little controversial, so indulge me while I drop a little disclaimer on you.
Big Data is a huge buzzword right now and for good reason. There are some phenomenal success stories particularly in sales and marketing.
But despite these successes, many companies are struggling to extract value from Big Data including companies like Google. Companies that embark upon a big data project without the right expectations, resources or planning, sink a lot of money into these projects for no reasonable gain. Business leaders are justifiably weary of the risks of Big Data projects.
There is something to be said for taking your own medicine. As a SYSPRO distributor, K3 Syspro uses SYSPRO internally. 18 months ago we started on a journey to update our own internal systems. We didn’t want to be “one of those builders with their own house falling down.
Despite the best of plans, ERP implementations often go wrong because customers have unique requirements that are always evolving and vendors will haul out the sledgehammers to force their solutions to fit - even if they weren't designed to deliver what the client wanted in the first place.
It's like trying to squeeze a watermelon into a small cup. Keep forcing it in and you'll end up with nothing but a messy pulp.
Every company is different. They compete in different markets, have a different target audience, and need solutions that support the different verticals they play in. No one solution can ever fit all.
For some people there is nothing more satisfying than the prospect of going it alone, making a point, doing things differently, pushing boundaries and achieving independent success. The heart often drives this, because we are after-all single entities, with limited time to make an impact or difference in the world. Some would say it’s simply our nature.
The Safe Food for Canadians Act comes in to effect on January 1, 2015 and it is going to have an effect on every business involved in Canada’s food chain.
The Act puts all food inspection responsibilities under the umbrella of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency bringing together a number of disparate laws, like the Fish Inspection Act, The Canada Agricultural Products Act and the Meat Inspection Act, and their inspection authorities. It also sets out standards for all businesses involved in the food chain.
In previous blogs, I have discussed issues relating the concept of Conscious Capitalism. From the perspective of Conscious Capitalism, business is not a zero-sum game with a winner and loser. It is a win-win game. Conscious Capitalism’s intellectual challenge is to create as much value as possible for all of its stakeholders. Less evolved forms of capitalism often treat stakeholders, other than investors, as little more than a means to achieving profit maximization.
In my previous blog on Technical Debt, I explained the concept of technical debt using software architecture as an example, and described the saw-tooth pattern of well-run businesses that consciously accrue technical debt for a period before investing time in paying off the worst of it.
The technical debt metaphor also describes the challenges of businesses maturing from the inception stage to one can make a good business case for ERP and beyond.
In the dim distant past of ERP, 10 years ago and more, the way you learnt about the software was by referring to the training manuals relating to various modules – Accounts Payable, Bill of Materials, etc. It was a very product-oriented and narrow view of learning. Times have changed, fortunately, and learning materials are turning towards how people work – their roles – and the business processes involved.
Technical debt is a term coined by Ward Cunningham in 1992 to describe the software engineering phenomena of how expedient, short-term decisions can have negative, long term consequences that make it difficult to maintain and update the software. The concept does not just apply to technology companies, any company that uses technology also has technical debt and understanding the concept will help you manage it and run your business.