IT types often think that minimising the number of vendors is a smart way to operate, because it reduces risk and integration issues. But what if your competitors are doing more in their businesses because they’re making the most of newer technologies and services?
Carter Lusher, an analyst at Ovum, reckons that many IT executives do need to change their approach, or risk giving their competitors an edge. He discusses the concept in today's podcast and in a new report, Enterprise Applications Ecosystem: A Manifesto.
In the ecosystem that he advocates, core applications like ERP and CRM still form the centre of the IT structure, but their boundaries are less rigid. Additional functions and services are then provided by complementary and disruptive technologies that come along. IT professionals should consider these alternatives as a way of driving productivity improvements now, rather than waiting for enhancements in their core systems.
It's a philosophy that's at odds with the approach advocated by major vendors (of course), who will promise the world, if you're prepared to wait for it. It also goes against the idea that IT teams will shrink as managed services lead to more outsourcing. Instead, the IT department is essential to ensuring that the organisation stays ahead of the game, making the best of what's available today.