Not all of us remember the good old days of the '90s. Most assuredly we had computers. Competitive companies scrambled for the best software available even though most of it was boxed and generic. Custom software was slow to develop and thus costly.
The most immediate software customized to business needs was labelled “For Professionals” or “For Businesses.” Didn’t matter if you ran a hair salon or a fabricating shop.
Still, it all seemed very future-y, very innovative…then.
But a lot of limitations existed compared to today because of a lack of technological investment. Stamped snail-mail, typewriters, and push-button landlines—manual operations—remained on standby in case a breakdown occurred due to lack of integration and automation.
Which was very common.
It still is today.
The Future Past
The technology served individual departments but not the organization as a whole.
Today, from a custom CRM you can phone a client, send an email, forward relevant data, and browse financials without hopping from directory to database to inbox to accounting, or traipsing to the warehouse. Entire organizations are easily integrated, optimizing the way employees work and how organizations run.
But when Google was still a typo, numerous off-the-shelf software licenses were purchased (a considerable, but yield-void tech investment) to fill immediate departmental business needs. Nor was it unusual to have ancient and new operating systems running at the same time.
Software and systems operated independently of each other. An analog phone system was foreign to a CRM which couldn’t plug into accounting, that could not integrate with human resources because HR operated solely from the administrator's head.
We still see circumstances like this today where otherwise working software fills an immediate need but doesn't wholly serve the organization.
Back to the Future
Clouds were something you watched outside your window while waiting for a report requested from IT (in-house, direct hire, not outsourced) to print because it couldn’t be opened from your monitor. Only the cold room folks knew where essential data was stored or how to choose the correct program or operating system to access it.
If HQ was this disconnected, imagine the lack of integration with production, the warehouse, and those out in the field? Perversely, new technology which worked by making a single department functional could plunge other departments into chaos making them less cost effective due to lack of integration. There was little long-term value to be expected.
A liberal infusion of technological investment could have ended dis-organizations.
But where to invest was uncertain. IT advancements were exploding outward in all directions but what was novel or sustainable? What tech could optimally fulfill all business needs?
These are situations and questions that still exist for today’s enterprise companies.
While IT continues to innovate in leaps and bounds, it’s no longer exploding pell-mell off in multiple orientations only for exciting developments to fizzle away into redundancy.
While no investment is risk free, larger risks result in higher yields. However, proven avenues of innovation make certain technological investments less uncertain and create a base for future investment considerations:
- Industry-specific software customized to the needs of the entire organization won’t be obsolete until your company is.
- Easily accessible cloud-hosted storage. The internet is here to stay.
- So is mobile technology.
- IT investment boosts sale value.
And, innovative tech makes your company more attractive to investors. To learn more look into IT investment management risks and yields.
If you need a partner to help you invest in integrating your company’s operations, contact the Intellection Group. Or give a call at 678-283-4283 for all your software business needs.