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Friday, September 02, 2005

IT Technology & Investments – Barbies & Mickey Mouses

One day when the history of software application usage is written, once key theme that would find a prominent place would be the enormous underutilization/non-usage of substantial number of features developed in IT packages/solutions. This would also include reckless purchase of redundant /overlapping software and the propensity to buy new software every three years/ decide on a new platform with a new strategic IT plan or change platforms with a new IT honcho. Will Weider, CIO of Affinity Health System refers to this as shelfware. It is difficult to keep management focused on realizing the benefit of investments made and is akin to the “Barbie Syndrome”.
Just as kids always buy these toys despite having several back at home, organisations seem to think that the systems not owned are much more appealing than those owned. The example can’t be any more perfect – In countries like Sweden more barbies have been sold than the whole population. Too often we are lured to purchase new systems, somehow forgetting the closet of systems that we already own that are awaiting our attention. Unfortunately new systems are not ready to use out of the box. These systems require careful planning, analysis, design, change management and rollout plans – all these demand great deal of resources. If I may add to this, several types of organizations see their current investments in technologies/platforms as Mickey Mouse genre and obviously need more sophisticated technology. As Paul Strassmann points out, as entropy squanders even rising budgets to support the accummulation of chaotic systems less money becomes available to pay for the high transition cost that could deliver what is better suited in meeting the new challenges of distributed warfare. The problem here is that even if one could get agreement as to what needs to be done there is no money left to pay for the hugely expensive transition from the yesteryear to a threatening future

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Sadagopan's Weblog on Emerging Technologies, Trends,Thoughts, Ideas & Cyberworld
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