A few folks do take the time to listen to a consultant or vendor’s point of view and those are typically the ones that walk away with a new understanding of the value of consulting. The understanding that marketing hype doesn’t explain what technology really can do for you.
Unfortunately, a lot of companies buy technology based on a commodity-oriented model. The IBM commercial from a few years ago comes to mind wherein the executive reads the newspaper and states “It says here we need to be on the Internet…”. When asked by the employee for what reason, his answer is “… It doesn’t say that here.”
The point is that some companies tend to invest lots of money in technology without actually determining the reason or value for doing so. Over the years that has created a culture of “if it doesn’t work, throw more hardware at it” oriented IT structures. However, what many companies don’t spend enough time on is the analysis of the real problem – the process. This is very apparent in the examples of the reasons they give for avoiding investments in production management systems.
In addition, too many vendors have flooded the market with products that call themselves “modular”. Basically what this means is “You can’t use our software for a part of your business and another vendor’s software for a different part.” Essentially this deprives companies from the ability to utilize the products that best fit the needs for their environment and pushes them to re-invest in replacement products for their current systems rather than building on top of what they already have. As a result, companies that offer specialized products are often considered to offer “incomplete” solutions. The push for “all software from one vender” has lead to the perception that integration of multi-vendor environments is bad, when in fact it may promote an over all better solution through specialized products.
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