‘Three Types’ Revisited – Shades of Grey that Matter

There is a flaw in my simplistic story of the Three IT Archetypes - if/when someone points it out, I will openly admit it, but would also insist on a follow-up conversation. Strictly peer-to-peer [regardless of title], one part technique and one part philosophy - and preferably over a suitable beverage. The problem is the oversimplification - although the diagram hints at it, you typically need to point out that there will always be some overlap. eCommerce is a classic…

Read More ...

When Asked a Simple Question, Give a Simple Answer

How much rigor does any decision really need? One clue might be to look at the number of significant digits you will be presenting. Say you are asked to present the cost impact of IT systems on a major acquisition or merger. Based on the context of the conversation - the macro-financials, the pay-back models, and the YOY growth plan for the next five years, you will probably be delivering a single slide that shows $20M in cost and/or benefits…

Read More ...

Managing IT: Three Archetypes

I'll tell you about this visualization from a recent internal conversation, but I may end up aggravating some career IT people out there. Yes, I have massively oversimplified things - but I'm trying to develop a broader understanding, and I think it's a good first step. The original question was "How do I manage IT?", but it quickly morphed into "how can I drive / derive value from IT?" (note the powerful difference that a single letter makes - derive sounds sustainable).…

Read More ...

ERP Reference Calls, and my Top 3 Points to Ponder

I still get pulled into conversations about ERP; there are plenty of businesses out there, of varying sizes, that can benefit from the structured process and transactional discipline. Reference calls on behalf of the vendor are great - I'm happy to take them, primarily because most vendors are OK with letting my team be frank. We'll talk about the software package you are buying, in whatever detail that can fit into the allotted time, warts and all. But more often…

Read More ...

How May I Help You? Four Ways IT Can Deliver Value

Classic lament of IT - I just want get involved, be part of the conversation - I want a seat at the table. Classic lament of everyone else - How can IT deliver value to the business? It sounds like two people reaching for each other - but in the dark. They want to connect, but they don't know how. The problem, of course, is that many - from IT and other areas of the business - default to the…

Read More ...

IT Budget Hacking (w$$t)

Some block-and-tackle IT management stuff for today - taking a long, hard look at the IT budget, a task that is less-than-pleasant for many. Most of my peers have already cut any and all low hanging fruit - it's time to start thinking aggressively. Software Maintenance for the Small Stuff Most have concentrated on their ERP and other large, strategic vendors - but what about all of those little invoices that come every year? I'm talking about development tools, management…

Read More ...

Bootstrap Market Research: Master Data Management (Results)

As previously noted, I've been doing a lot of discussion and data crunching around "Master Data Management" lately - so I've "bootstrapped" a little market research project. It's still a work in process - responses are trickling in - but I thought I might take some time to summarize what I am hearing to date. A document is available for download here ... the super summary follows below. Survey Methodology Please note: I am obviously not a professional market research…

Read More ...

Bootstrap Market Research: Master Data Management (What, Who, How)

I've been asked a lot of questions about "Master Data Management" over the past few weeks - what does it mean, who does it, and what are some tools and metrics that organizations are using to reign in this important aspect of ERP and analytics systems. I started reaching out to the folks in my professional network with some results, but I thought I might be able to leverage LinkedIn and Twitter to get input from far and wide. This…

Read More ...