Customers tend to view IT systems as a cost rather than an investment according to Sami Saoudi operations director of software developer MMCC consultants.
Consequentially the initial cost of implementing a new IT system is often foremost in the customers mind rather than the long-term implications. Although an off the shelf software package can sometimes be the best option, their limited ability for enhancement to cope with changes in the customers business can make them more expensive in the long-term. Add to that the arms-length impersonal support offered by the suppliers, and the whole thing becomes far less attractive.
Another important aspect of getting a new system rolled out is making sure everyone involved is pulling in the right direction and understands whats going on, so having a good IT consultancy on hand to plan and project manage the operation can save hours of precious time spent running around in circles.
Its vitally important that a careful analysis is carried out of exactly what the business needs now and how things are likely to develop in the future, said Sami. In a few cases an off the shelf product is the right one to chose and we occasionally recommend them to our clients, but its being able to adapt a system to meet the challenges of the future thats important, otherwise you finish up running the business to match the IT system rather than the other way round.
Its 200 years since Charles Darwin was born, Sami continued, but theres something he said that as an IT man I always remember. It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.
Darwin may not have known anything about IT, but he certainly knew a thing or two about evolution.