Tuesday, November 09, 2010

IT Systems Viability

We have been using a CRM application heavily customised to fulfil our needs as a Training Management System for the last 10 years. Now the applications vendor has changed the technology behind this application to be in line with the latest technology and released a brand new application.

This means that we have to rethink the capability of our heavily customised system in future as it is not a case of simply upgrading to the new application. It is basically a rebuild of all the functionality we have developed over the last 10 years.

This situation has made me think of the question – How long should IT systems be viable? Of course there is no right or wrong answers to this question as it depends entirely on the business requirements and the functionality available at the time in the IT systems being used.

The bottom line is our expectations keep on changing as per the business and most systems cannot keep pace with these changes. Hence there is a need to choose new systems.
The life span of Systems has a big impact on the business costs. You can reduce the cost of replacement if the systems are utilised longer. We are thinking of utilising our CRM application for a bit longer as the functionality released by the new version of the application is no where near the functionality that our current system provides. WE just have to make sure that we do not roll out new versions of other applications like office and operating systems without proper testing for compatibility.

What are your views of IT systems viability?

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