Mechanizing the new Enterprise
In a traditional organization, the HR dept. could have been executing their tasks using spreadsheets or even paper-based processes. This was a system that had been “developed” by an old fashioned HR manager (who is now close to his/her retirement and who will probably not be substituted due to downsizing). If a non-HR specialist is given these tasks, he/she will probably have a hard time finding his way around paper-based processes and custom spreadsheets. Therefore, the procurement of a new HR system is now a “must”.
Another example is this of the Sales Force Automation: The crisis is here, sales are going down and the sales process becomes more and more difficult. Mobile sales representatives must cover more mileage each day and the ordering process must become more efficient. So, the Sales Dept. must now get a “mobile or web-enabled sales system”, which salespersons will be able to access from their smart phones or laptops. (So device procurement is also an issue, here!)
Another example is the Production Planning. Now, it has to be further optimized and streamlined. Probably, that good-old “do-it-all” ERP is not good enough anymore. I also happen to know some production units that – due to special conditions and processes – are doing their production planning and resource scheduling with custom-made systems or spreadsheets. Maybe, now is the time for the purchase of a new specialized “production planning” module…
There are more examples but I think I made my point: In this era of economic crisis and “violent” business transformation, the usage of Information Technology is once again becoming a “hot” issue. Just like it started in the 80’s for the big enterprise and in the 90’s for the medium/small ones. But now it is no longer an issue of buying a big Accounting System or a do-it-all ERP. It’s all about filling the gaps that these systems leave behind. We are talking about new and specialized pieces of software (and hardware) that will support the transformation. HRIS for the HR dept, Sales Force Automation for the Sales Dept. etc.
These systems could (or must!) have the following characteristics: