What is Progressive Digitisation?
By David Mullins, Founding Partner
Making small changes with the aim of making a large difference. Large changes take time and uncertainty increases with time. Small, progressive changes allow for shorter time frames between milestones, a tighter cycle of assessment and potentially changes of direction or early termination. Making progress is key.
When looking at the technology issues facing all enterprises, very often and for the sake of expediency, these enterprises employ specific technology to solve particular problems. All too often these targeted solutions are not able to easily interact with each other and the result is what we call a technology burden. With each isolated system that is added the work required to maintain consistency across the organisation increases to the point where whole new jobs are created merely to manage the burden imposed by the administration of the very systems that were employed to improve productivity.
Many big software providers promise to deliver one system that will address all the company’s technology requirements, these systems often, in all but the very simplest of enterprises, don’t even live up to their ‘one solution solves all’ claim.
What happens with a "solve all" technology solution is that the development and roll out can take so long that by the time the company starts using the delivered system, their business needs and therefore software requirements have changed. It’s rare that you find a growing company whose business processes remain unchanged over time. It’s not impossible to get this right, but it’s quite a risky process which can be expensive and often unsatisfactory.
An additional issue is that large inflexible software systems once deployed can stifle creativity, as the system now dictates the process.
Sometimes people use the system in a way that it wasn't designed to be used or they start working in parallel, effectively creating the multiple system problem all over again.If a company makes the move from multiple small flexible systems to one unified system, they also face the problem of a very large leap, which is both restrictive and expensive.
These large systems can also require extensive customisation at a very high cost or fall short in some areas which means that an additional system is purchased which once again causes an administration burden.
You’re back to where you started, now with a really expensive system and additional ad hoc systems that do not collaborate.
There has to be a better way, technology is supposed to enhance productivity not detract from it! Our approach and the fundamental design principle of our Blueport Platform is to enable different systems performing different tasks to collaborate where there is data overlap, to aggregate for reporting purposes and to remove the operational burden of running multiple systems.
Our goal is to move progressively, by taking small concrete steps toward making a suite of different technology solutions appear as one unified system.
No system left behind and no employees excluded from contributing to improvements to operational processes.
That is ‘Progressive Digitisation.’