I was perusing BPM Strategies magazine and came across the term “applistructure “. Applistructure has to do with the convention of combining enterprise infrastructure and enterprise business applications. Service-oriented architecture (SOA) refers to a web centric / web focused approach to technology. According to the “SOA and Application Infrastructure” article by Mike Rosen, this applistructure trend was hot a couple of years ago. Can you relax? Or, as Mr. Rosen suggests, can you take comfort in knowing that solving management and business process issues are more critical to enterprise success than the actual technology?
I attended the Atlanta AFCEA (Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association) February 2008 meeting. The speaker, Mr. Joe Capps talked about the subject of moving to enterprise level systems and procurement processes. Instead of haphazardly developing technology in an “after the fact” manner, he advocated a more proactive approach – as in developing a strategy to move toward enterprise infrastructure, enterprise business applications and enterprise technology in general.
Additionally, a key imperative of the Department of Defense (DoD) is to change and accelerate the requirement to solution process. What’s known as Moore’s Law (based on Gordon Moore’s predictions about semiconductors), says that technology is rapidly changing. Probably about every 18 months. Where there is a need for the latest technology, Moore’s Law has financial, logistical and feasibility implications. The government and the DoD are known for red tape and cumbersome processes. But our country’s ability to respond to immediate threats requires current, accurate information delivered to those needing it in a timely fashion. He suggested the criticality of providing our war fighters with decision making data on how to even respond to five guys running down a street in Iraq. Wow!
Moore’s Law has implications in the private sector as well. Large scale technology projects often take 18 months or more to implement. That time is in addition to the time required to budget for, select and procure the software, hardware, and implementation partners. While ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), CRM (Customer Relationship Management), MES (Manufacturing Execution Systems) and the like, may not be obsolete, there are sure to be upgrades, patches (corrections and fixes to software problems) and new feature by the time the system is finally rolled out.
So, what can be done? Knowledgeable consultants with system expertise can help companies and public sector entities develop a strategy and select the right software in the first place. Then, the right implementation partners can accelerate and provide Independent Verification and Validations (IV&V), project management and governance throughout the implementation process. If none of these things were in place or addressed during the course of the technology project, then you’ll probably need the cure for the “Post Implementation Distress” that is sure to occur.
You’re spending millions of dollars for enterprise initiatives. Wouldn’t it be worth spending a small percentage on ensuring that you get what you paid for? Perhaps you need a technical advocate to help you navigate through the planning and implementation process.
NOBLE & ASSOCIATES CONSULTING, INC
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