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Size matters when choosing software for your company

Organisations often use software that is completely inappropriate for the size of their organisation. Frequently there is a belief within organisations that they need one of the big players (SAP, Oracle, etc) to deliver their solution because “that’s what everyone else is doing”.

There are many factors that determine what solutions you should be using to solve your business processing issues, which include sophistication of requirements, data volumes, number of concurrent users, etc.

It’s interesting to meet organisations on a regular basis and discuss their requirements and how they view themselves in the big picture. Even more fascinating is the fear organisations have of getting the decision wrong.

This fear can lead them to just copy what their peers are doing in their sector so then, at the very least, they believe their peers won’t have the edge! Even worse is when another organisation has made a bad choice and still promotes a product that does not even remotely meet the requirements for their organisation or their sector.

Instead they seem to lead some other poor organisations to the edge of disaster in the hope that the more people they get on their side the better things may become!

I attend many events as a speaker and have the privilege of listening to many industry specialists and over the last 12 months I have heard several saying the same thing. The software selected is just completely inappropriate for the size or needs of the organisation.

What this means to the organisation is that they spend horrific amounts of money to achieve their implementations and have high ongoing costs for support and maintenance that are best described as absurd. Of course the big players in the software industry are appropriate for many of Australia’s larger organisations but medium-sized organisations in industry, government and the not-for-profit sector are using a sledge hammer to crack a nut.

This results in unnecessary cost, complication and often leads to failed projects.

There are many commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) solutions out there that will meet the needs of the majority of organisations in Australia. Indeed Sir Peter Greshon recommended the use of COTS solutions to the Australian Federal Government back in 2008 in his Review of the Australian government’s use of information and communication technology.

Now many of you may be sceptical because my organisation sells such products. But the truth is I genuinely care about the state of the market place and some of the decisions being made when consideration is given to purchasing new software. So whether you are in industry, public sector or the not-for-profit sector make sure you give careful consideration to your choice of software application and its appropriateness to YOUR organisation.