“You can’t always get what you want.” The famous words from
the Rolling Stones ring true when organisations acquire packaged solutions “off
Here is an analysis of what happens when an organisation has
a legacy system it wants to replace with an “off the shelf” solution. There are
three basic things to consider:
the organisation has right now, in terms of the capabilities the system
the organisation wants from a new system, often with updated capabilities,
streamlined processes, support for new channels, etc.
the organisation actually gets from the new application it acquires off
Let’s analyse the gap between what the organisation already
has and what it wants. The gap between the two will depend on how big a business
transformation the organisation is taking on. It is likely, however, that there
will be at least some capability that the organisation currently has that it
will want to retain. The figure below illustrates that there will be some
overlap between what the organisation currently has and what it wants. Of
course, there will be some legacy capability it will no longer be interested
in, while there will be new capabilities required.
It’s reasonable to expect that where the business
transformation is large the overlap will be smaller, and where the change is
small the overlap will be greater.
Now, let’s analyse the relationship between what the
organisation wants and what it will get off the shelf. It’s logical to conclude
that what the organisation wants and what the organisation gets won’t match
perfectly. There will be some kind of misalignment or gap between expectations
and reality. The figure below demonstrates this:
The extent to which the two circles overlap will depend on
lots of factors and obviously the more they overlap the better. However, no one
should realistically expect that the two will exactly match each other. There
will always be capabilities that the organisation wants that it will not get
off the shelf. There will also be capabilities or functions it will get that it
really isn’t interested in.
Now, let’s put it altogether and see what happens:
As you can see, it’s a bit more complex than it might have
appeared originally. Obviously, the shape of this diagram is going to vary
based on the organisation, the size and type of business transformation and
other influences. However, there are a number of constants that are apparent.
Let’s look at what you will get. You will get some of what
you want that you already have and want to keep. That’s a good thing. New
capabilities that will replace your old ones and will hopefully do it more
efficiently and effectively.
You will also get some of what you want that you do not have
already. This is also a good thing. You want those new capabilities that were
out of your grasp previously.
However, there are a couple of problems. You are also likely
to retain some of the capabilities that you no longer want and you are likely
to get some capability that you don’t have and don’t want.
Worse than that, you will NOT get some of the things you
want, and you will lose some of the things you have and want to retain.
That’s right, “you can’t always get what you want.”
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Tim is a senior business and information architect with wide experience in the
private and public sector. His private sector experience is almost
entirely in the finance sector, including Bankers Trust, Commonwealth
Bank, Sydney Futures Exchange, Commercial Union (now part of CGU), and
National Mutual Life Assocation (now Axa). His public sector experience
has been with NSW Police Force, Police Integrity Commission, Australian
Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), and Australian Taxation
Office (ATO). Tim has completed the ITMP program at UTS - Master of
Business (IT Management) with special focus on research into enterprise
Labels: channels, Information Professionals, legacy capability, Organisation, packaged solutions, Rolling Stones, support, tim hosking, you can't always get what you want