How to Build Your Enterprise System

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You have two choices:

  • Option A: Build a state-of-the-art, custom-built enterprise system that integrates the works (e.g. CRM, ERP, EAM, SCM, wiki, etc.).
  • Option B: Get something up quickly. Combine many smaller pieces of independent applications, and have them communicate with each other (e.g. through their APIs, etc.).

Mr. Techno-Wizzo tells you:

Option A:

  • takes frickin' long to build (years, if ever)
  • has a humongous chance for failure
  • its modules become obsolete quickly
  • you drain revenues fast while it's under development
  • painful to tweak things as your business changes
  • if you ever finish, you'll probably outgrow many of its features

Option B:

  • quick, and flexible -- can get something up freakishly soon
  • causes slight dents to your cashflow, as you get an application module up quickly to use
  • allows you to use best-of-class for every included application
  • interchangeable (e.g. a state-of-the-art applications can be integrated into the system easily and continuously)

Option B = winner! Yay! Yay! Yay!

Use Whatever You Can -- Quickly

Microsoft Excel?

  • You: "Oh no! I hate Microsoft! They-so-greedy! Bill Gates? More like BILLS Gates!"
  • Mr. Techno-Wizzo: "Look pimplebutt: No one cares. Use the sucker if it helps you get from Point A to Point B."
  • Mr. Techno-Wizzo: "If you outgrow it, then build an application to compensate for Excel's shortcomings."

You don't need fancy technology to stay on top of your game. Use what you can -- now. A startup that uses Excel to thrive with its customers will kick the ass of any aspirational startup that's building an entire state-of-the-art application to bring in business. While the latter is draining resources and time, the former is focusing on a plethora of other things to fatten its bottom line. Remember:

  1. Technology becomes obsolete quickly.
  2. You'll likely outgrow your technology in a few months.
  3. Taking too long to build something you needed months before = waste. BOO!

So, get something up quickly -- then revise, reconfigure, and deploy your application as necessary -- as you're moving toward your destination. Rule of thumb to tech-fabulous: "Hey! I don't even notice we're using state-of-the-art technology! WOW! KORUMBA!"

Deploy quickly.

 

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Posted on February 27

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