Improvisation in information technologies has limits, and consequences

News in the world of IT

28 May 2012

Improvisation in information technologies has limits, and consequences

Today's business, regardless of the domain, uses different software applications to process computer data about daily activities. It is therefore essential that the company has confidence in its software applications, as well as the computer equipment which support them. On the other hand, human ressources often encourage creativity, initiative and improvisation in the IT domain, but consequences must be observed closely.

Over time, companies evolve in one way or another. In return, the most frequently used applications are not always able to effectively monitor trends as one would like. For example, an application may well meet all the needs of an organization for some time, but there comes a day when you need it to go further, possibly for more specific reports to better analyze the angles of an important situation. But in many cases, the“home made” application cannot produce the required information. In such situations, the decision maker must consider opportunities that will be effective and not too expensive , often with very short notice.

These organizational changes thus create new expectations of your information resources, including software applications in place. To avoid reprogramming applications which may result in projects that are too tedious, third-party applications are often born out of creativity and improvisation of human resources available, through third party tools (software). For example, in the case of a manufacturing company, you can use Excel or Access to compile data extracted from the system in place to calculate new strategic data that the system is not able to produce.

Over time, many companies end up with a significant number of new incidental operational initiatives, in order to fill in gaps in the information system database. We have already seen situations where a manager had no clue of all the Excel files that one of its employees had created to meet the many new administrative procedures. Too often, these mitigation options add additional time per resource to maintain, this means additional wages to pay or extended operations time. By improvising to create third-party applications, you may end up in the opposite the direction that the company wants to take, which means loss of productivity. The main cause of that loss of productivity, despite appearances of the benefits from the initiatives, is the lack of knowledge in architecture, analysis and development of computer applications. This often leads to entering unstructured data, sometimes redundant from a file to another. IT structure defects also cause greater risk of error and dependencies towards employees. In addition, an employee is often found to be the only one with the knowledge of its own activities, as these have become too complex to be mastered quickly by another resource.

It is therefore important that the management of a company take a little time to review the tasks and business processes of the organization's resources to detect these phenomena that ends up being very expensive and therefore, not profitable.

The positive is that these initiatives often help the organization better understand their application needs, as well as to better define their needs for new internal processes. But we need to understand that these initiatives or these improvisations, if they are not properly identified and structured in the business, should not become permanent solutions.

One should therefore never hesitate to question workarounds in place. It is important to verify if there is not a better global solution that would simplify tasks and help achieve the expected results, or perhaps exceed them. Often, this type of review process generates greater efficiency in the company and also have a very fast return on investment.

NeoSynergix can help you in the analysis, development and integration of effective solutions for software or hardware applications. The solutions we propose will benefit your various IT processes related to administrative or operational activities. If you wonder what can be done, call us and we will help you make the right decisions for your business.