Should businesses adjust their software to fit their processes, or adjust processes to fit the software?

918 views1 Upvote8 Comments

Director of IT in Software, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
I was on a call recently where we were trying to solve for a selling motion, and the business said, "We're just going to use CPQ for that." And I'm like, "Right, yes, you can. What do you want the process to be? What experience do you want to create for your customer?" And they just looked at me like they expected me to tell them what that is because I'm the technology owner and the technology is supposed to dictate that for them. That's an extreme example, but that's the concern that I have with the fact that there's been this sudden pivot to say, "We need to make this investment in IT and systems because that's going to help us grow faster. It's going to help us accelerate." But it seems to be at the expense of people and the process piece of it.
2 Replies
CEO in Software, 11 - 50 employees

It's like saying that if you take 10 companies and put 100 people in each of the 10 companies that somehow they'll all come up with the same answers. That's an equation that involves a billion different potential opportunities. So assuming that somebody has already designed the software that has all of your answers, perfect for your business, I think is potentially a risk, depending on where that product brings value to your company.

Director of IT in Software, 1,001 - 5,000 employees

It's process 2.0

CEO in Software, 11 - 50 employees
I can tell you going all the way back to the 90s, that there was an assumption that you were doing it wrong if you were attempting to take existing processes and model them for the application, versus take what came out of the box and learn to live with those. I don't believe it's always necessarily wrong as much as I believe the execution is sometimes wrong.
CIO in Education, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
In a lot of business cases, we buy products and then we customize the crap out of it. And it would just be so much easier if we actually said, "Okay, we wanted this piece of software to do X. Let's change our business processes to do what we purchased the software to do.” As simple as that.
2 Replies
CEO in Software, 11 - 50 employees

In some cases, that is the right answer. I totally agree. And that's why I think it's worth discussing, because I don't want to assume that, that's the right answer surrounding the box for every set of processes solved by every piece of software.

CIO in Education, 1,001 - 5,000 employees

No issue at all with healthy discussion. No issue with assuming that the out of box solution solves all our problems.

My "issue" as it were is with the mindset that everything we buy is a Lego set and can be customized into any shape or form. It's those customizations that, from my own experience, has led to frustration, delays, inabilities to upgrade, etc. That's all.

VP, Customer and Technical Operations in Software, 501 - 1,000 employees
We have previously decided that whatever processes are in this ERP package are fine for us. It was probably 80% true, but we were trying to make everything be that 80%, to avoid any customizations. I think at times we try too hard to get everything to fit into that box, and maybe there isn't enough listening to determine, "This piece of it is going to be more trouble, we really need to do something with it."

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