Treat this list as a security blanket, not a wet blanket. You must aggressively explore emerging technologies such as virtualization, enterprise search, and smartphones. The following problems are no excuse to stick with the status quo. Just be prepared–then charge ahead.
The article goes on to discuss the risks associated with 9 technologies, 2 of which (Business Intelligence - BI and Software as a Service - SaaS), I’ve summarized below:
Beware BI For The Masses -
As business intelligence moves beyond the desks of analysts and financial specialists, beware “worst practices” in delivering BI to the masses.
If you let users generate reports from scratch using raw data, they can be misleading, with different teams coming to different conclusions. The initial report building is best left to specialists. But companies must offer a “curriculum” for those who want to learn more and dive deeper, says Jonathan Wu, senior principal with Hewlett-Packard’s information management practice. Otherwise, “you’re not fostering power users.”
IT teams also must be prepared for waves of requests to change the types of data and reports. Until employees start using a BI system, they won’t know all the things they want to do with it. “If they’re not asking, they’re probably not using it,” Wu says. And there’s no bigger blowup than a pricey project sitting unused.
SaaS’s Shortfalls -
Sure, you can deploy software-as-a-service applications quickly. They can even save your company money and your IT organization headaches. But do they fit funny?
Limits to customization have been the rap against SaaS apps almost from the beginning. Unlike many on-premises apps, you can’t modify the code.
On the other hand, a big advantage of SaaS apps is that vendors such as Salesforce.com add incremental functionality regularly that’s immediately available to users, says Eric Berridge, co-founder of Bluewolf, a services firm that specializes in supporting SaaS. With on-premises software, new functionality often comes bundled in big releases that customers sometimes skip.
Because new functionality is added so frequently in SaaS offerings, customers must be nimble. That may mean having to adapt processes to fit new functions, putting the onus on users instead of the IT department. For managers, though, it means staying on top of changes and communicating them to users so they’re willing and able to adapt, says Berridge.
Too much change isn’t good. If new functionality means you need to modify your processes or the app itself more than 20%, you might be better off with in-house software, he says.
Login to add comments on this post.