Friday, December 11, 2009

Why I won’t ever buy a GPS unit again

I’m never buying a standalone GPS unit ever again, for the same reason I’ll never buy a pager, Peek, or PDA. Why? Because I recently upgraded to the Droid, which performs all of the tasks I mentioned above…eliminating the need for devices built for a specific purpose.

It’s a simple concept: I don’t want to purchase or carry around four different devices, so I bought one that does everything. This is a concept that should be carried over into enterprise software purchases, but seldom is.

For example, many companies purchase software for a specific purpose. They need to modernize their outdated systems, so they buy software specifically for that purpose. A year down the road, they need to improve their reporting, so they buy reporting software. Then they need executive dashboards, so they buy executive dashboard software.

In a few years, they have four different software products which may or may not integrate with each other. On top of that, they’ve spent money for the software, spent money training employees each time, and spent time learning each one.

Why not buy one software package that not only handles today’s projects, but also projects in the future? It makes perfect sense:

You will save money on training, maintenance, installation, etc… You won’t waste your time finding the appropriate software, or learning that new software. It’s a far more efficient and cost-effective way of doing business.

If you want to save time and money in your software purchases, use a little foresight. Make a list of all the projects planned for the next few years, then find software that covers as many of those projects as possible. It might take a little more work up front, but you’ll reap the rewards in the future.  Take this company for example.  They found a product to fit their current needs (reporting) as well as their future needs (executive dashboard and financial reports) all in one package.


CesarLA 10:17 AM  

The title for this article is a little misleading; perhaps you want to change it to something more related to the content.

Besides that, the article reflects the reality in most big companies. There is always a "manager" having a "good idea" and IT end up maintaining tens of applications or systems when having a package software is definitely the best option. Unfortunately, I don’t foresee this practice changing in the near future.

BP 4:53 PM  

Yep, those "managers" who alway have good "ideas" that stick IT with maintaining and supporting the "idea" sometimes occur due to weak IT leadership. No always but more times than not. It takes a special IT lead person who can balance the role of "service the customer - company users" and "maintain corporate sanity".

Joe Stangarone 5:22 PM  

I believe much of the problem lies in the fact that managers are incentivized to stay under a yearly budget, which doesn't foster long-term thinking. Instead, it leads to many low-cost software purchases over a few years which turns out to be more expensive than a software package in the long run.

I don't agree with it, but I understand why it happens.

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