As the paradigms shift...
Stages and development of IT with companies are changing - of course constantly changing - but I've noticed the strategic thinking has moved significantly with a significant sector of my customers.
To briefly capture the shift, it's like the stages of companies:
Startup - departments develop technologies, buy programs and a company grows in complexity with each department addressing the technology that helps them grow and succeed.
Phase Two - IT starts to take over and realizes the difficulty of maintaining all these different systems, (sometimes they're just elaborate spreadsheets and access db's). So the effort is to standardize the company on a single ERP package that puts everyone on a single package.
Phase Three - the company realizes they do everything....but nothing particularly well (from a technology standpoint). So they start identifying additional technology that can be added to the core ERP - and now we're morphing back to the Startup IT strategy, only with someone in IT in charge, growth will hopefully be a bit more controlled, a bit more connected....or at least that's the plan.
I realized a couple of years ago that companies wanting to replace or upgrade ERP were few and far between - it's just such a big job and the payback is measured in risk and vapordollars.
So this brings me to my new dayjob.
I've taken a position for a software company to help their installed base customers - people already running all or parts of the software. And this company, is moving the goalposts - instead of a monster, single ERP to replace everyone's everything....they've adopted a modular approach - acquiring best of breed companies and developing a killer middleware approach to pull it all together.
So it doesn't matter what ERP a particular food company is running, they can add the Business Intelligence tool from my new company - or just the Warehouse Management - just the EDI - etc and so on - dozens of software, all developed as best of breed, without having to change core software.
It's an exciting group, an emerging company, backed by well-known investment bankers - and there's something really fun about joining a smaller organization when you can still work with the core group that made the companies' 40% growth rate possible.
Beats the heck out of working for global behemoths where pronouncements from Portugal scuttle the plans in Peoria or word on high from Hong Kong hammers a deal in Houston.
But that's my day job - this blog and website in no way are authorized, designed or intended to speak for the corporate interests of my new group - what you get here is only the personal, professional opinions of Gene Hammons - thus I won't be mentioning the new company by name, or representing it's products, software or solutions to anyone from this location.
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