IT development is almost always a black box for business managers who are just focused on getting the end results. “How” is always decided by the developers.
It is almost always that once the development is completed, no one ever looks into the system again unless there is a need for enhancements. It is however a not much know fact that how the system is developed has great influence on the cost of maintenance and upgrades in future for the company. Therefore, something which is almost always given the last priority “How” by business leaders holds a key to substantial cost savings on a long term basis.
A very basic real life example of a company having a security gate pass system developed for one of its factories catered to only one unit out of several units. Other thirty plus establishments had another set of fifteen applications doing the same job. Moreover, each application was written in different language and operated on at least three different platforms. Their cost of maintenance was certainly very high as each needed server space, database licenses and any change had to be carried out at several places. The worst part was that none of them talked to each other but were integrated to the central ERP application. The IT consulting company however made enough revenue doing the same integration fifteen times whereas this should have been ideally done just once. During the application consolidation exercise, it took more than six months to make a single application running across and scrapping all the old ones.
The CIO went about claiming that they saved more than USD hundred thousand by doing this consolidation. However in reality, this should not have been ever required and CIO could just correct this mistake and stop the loss of revenue.
There are several such disparate applications tucked somewhere in organizations getting ignored but end up inflating IT maintenance costs.
This is high time when business gets involved and asking questions as to why they have to pay high for something they can get far cheaper. In today’s situation where money is scarce, every penny spent has to be questioned and brought back.
CIOs can extend their helping hands.