Legacy already

It used to be that I would expect the PCs being installed on desks would be one model behind the market – something would have been adjusted or replaced in the new model but it would not be so far ahead of our newly tested installation. In some suppliers the speed of innovation has increased and the availability of supply and services expands almost daily.

There is nothing more frustrating to me than towards the end of a project attending the launch of a product or service that you wished was available at project start. That is what happened to me today. We had the vision of focusing of the customer’s contact preference, being responsive, integrating backed systems with customer side service.

The organisation is close to the installation of the final part of the last phase of the 80% solution and I have just met a company that is launching proven technology that does exactly the unified Communications and CRM we wanted but wasn’t available in the UK. They have been in the USA and Europe for 4 years, today they launch in uk. The best solution available is legacy already – before the project managers have signed off the last work. While the return on investment will be realised, it won’t be the shiny new system we wanted on day one.

That is the frustration in business solutions – for most organisations, the solution is out there but finding it is harder.

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Software Testing: QA or QC

In every other field the testing of products is called Quality Control (QC) but in IT (software especially, it is called QA (Quality Assurance).    This is a historic anomaly.

In the early years of computing, computer time was so precious that programmers had to submit their code for a review to prove they had followed all the coding standards and local rules before it would be typed in to the system, compiled and (hopefully) run. This process check was quality assurance (QA).  Often those doing the checking were not skilled programmers so could not actually test the code (QC) to see if it would work.

Eventually, programmers got used to typing their own code into PCs and the QA team became mainly system testers.

IT Project failure: can we blame the techies?

The business commentators have noticed: IT is not giving most businesses the benefits they claim IT should.   The projects themselves bring change that the businesses and their people aren’t handling properly.  IT projects lock wasteful practices into new systems. The dream and the promises have been broken.

It is so easy to throw stones at IT people. Read more of this post

True Cost of Change

The Sales Manager rang me to arrange our regular review. The meeting was pleasant and the new software looked really good. It would give the business some benefits for the projects we have planned over the next year.

Will I take the upgrade earlier?  He’d find a way round the service contract : it will be free to me.  He had a hard time believing that even if there were no cost for the products and services he was ready to deliver, that the upgrade would still add costs to the business. Right now we can’t carry that cost and I will wait for the next upgrade. Read more of this post

Speed of Change in Business Systems

Business systems are the systems that help an organisation run: software like ERP (Enterprise Resource Management) to do the accounting and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) to support contact with customer.  Like every other technology, they change surprisingly quickly. Most suppliers of these systems launch major updates every 9 to 18 months. Read more of this post