Which one is flexible: process or tool?

Our advice is to make sure that the decisions are made based on a well-considered tool strategy, not by the beliefs from the ivory tower.

There are two basic options for enhancing company's key processes with software tools. One option is to select a single system for all the needs and the second option is to build a toolbox with several individual components. Depending on the selected strategy, you are either modifying your key processes to fit the demands of the tool or selecting the best possible individual tools to support your current processes.

Selecting one tool only has its benefits. In this approach all the components are working seamlessly together without a need to build integrations. In addition, the user trainings can be targeted to one single system. The drawback of this approach is typically long-lasting rollout projects. Lots of time must be used to the project, and the benefits of the new tool are delayed.  But most of all, when using monolithic solutions, company's processes typically need to be adapted because of the need of the new system.

An alternative solution is to select the best individual tools for supporting company's key processes. In this approach it is not needed to adapt the processes too much, one can select the best existing tools to fit the current processes. Taking these kinds of tools in use can be extremely fast. It might even be possible to have the tool up and running instantly by self-service on the web.

A need to integrate several tools together is a common concern when selecting the tools. In most cases, it is possible to start without integrations and gather usage experiences for some time. If the tool seems to fit the needs of the company, integrations can be built later. When selecting the tools, it is of course necessary to make sure that the suitable interfaces are available.

There is demand for both monolithic comprehensive systems and agile separate tools. Our advice is to make sure that the decisions are made based on a well-considered tool strategy, not by the beliefs from the ivory tower. The best solution is not always to order from the market leader.

Security of the cloud services

The usage of cloud services is inevitably growing. This brings entirely new possibilities to build the company's toolbox from individual components. Information security of the cloud services is a big concern. The fact is that in this approach the data doesn't reside in the own premises anymore. This is not categorically bad or good issue. After all, it is all about good practices in information security. It can be taken care of by the own personnel, or outsourced to the external professionals.

Tuomas Mikkola


strategic-decision-making blog
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