Welcome!

Industrial IoT Authors: Elizabeth White, Ed Featherston, Stackify Blog, Yeshim Deniz, SmartBear Blog

Related Topics: Agile Computing, Java IoT, Industrial IoT, Microservices Expo, Microsoft Cloud, Machine Learning

Agile Computing: Blog Feed Post

Innovation and ERP — Decision Making Not Made Easy

It is with some degree of wonder that IT decisions makers are still relying on vague data

Decision making is defined most simply as the act of choosing between two or more courses of action. It might seem straightforward, when only one person is involved and the choices are black and white. But add another person to the equation, and a few more choices, and the decision gets exponentially more complicated. I am reminded of this each time I venture out with my co-workers for lunch in midtown Manhattan. I have found it’s always best to claim, “I chose last time,” since that usually gets me out of the debate.  But that won’t work when it comes to IT budgeting and planning.

So it is with some degree of wonder that IT decisions makers are still relying on vague data, questionable extrapolations, and subjective (and emotional) perspectives, making it impossible to gain consensus or get a comprehensive picture of the organization’s systems.

We hosted a webinar recently with Liz Herbert, a Principal Analyst with Forrester Research, on Innovation and ERP, and she knows a thing or two about the struggles IT decision makers face. During the webinar, we asked three poll questions to the attendees that shed light on some the challenges that organizations are facing with decision making, specifically as it relates to their ERP platform.

Poll Question 1: How much do you spend on operations vs development?

This one really galvanizes one of the key points made by Liz — how do organizations balance “run” with “innovate?” Organizations know they are spending more on operations (ie, maintenance) than on innovation (ie, building), with 60% of respondents spending over 50% and a full 1/3 of respondents spending over 75%. That certainly doesn’t leave much for innovation! Even more telling is the 20% that don’t know — a point backed up by Liz in her reference to a current Forrester customer who is struggling with understanding the allocation of their spend on a multi-million dollar program. (The fact that Forrester even has a viable consultation offering around this need further highlights the pervasiveness of the issue.)

Maybe it shouldn’t be such a surprise that organizations struggle to delineate their spend allocations, but if you don’t know what you are spending on maintenance, it sure makes it difficult to propose cost reductions or re-allocations.

Poll Question 2: How do you measure the extent of your customizations?

The responses here are not surprising, since knowing what to measure and how to measure are age old challenges — as old as development itself. It used to be simple, when systems were an aggregate of linearly-developed programs on the mainframe. But with the advent of different coding practice paradigms (thanks a lot OOAD and SOA), the task became more challenging and obtuse and much less accurate.

Those 25% of respondents that said they have no way to measure customization are doomed when it comes to innovation initiatives. And many of the methods that are being used do not take into account the complexity of what is being measured. Without insight into the quantity, complexity, and quality of customizations, any attempt at bringing in new functionality or features will be a lot more difficult than you anticipate, if they can get completed at all.

Poll Question 3: How many lines of ERP custom code do you have in your organization?

Even if you are among those who know where your spend is going, and you are making a serious attempt at measuring customization, is your measurement the right measurement?

The response to this question that stood out the most for me was that the highest percentage (31%) believes they have less than 100,000 LOCs. We have done analysis on 254 ERP applications in our Appmarq database, and that response on the surface is seemingly a valid proportion based on the median of our sample (putting them in the lower half), but it certainly puts them at odds with our analysis that shows an average of 806,000 LOC per ERP application. This is backed up by my experiences during 18 years in the industry and the hundreds of customers I have spent time with, much of that that doing ERP customizations, integrating with ERP, or testing ERP. Without strong measurement in place, virtually everyone underestimates the level of customization in their ERP platform and my gut tells me that a good portion of these 31% have a lot more than 100K.

So what to make of the 27% that believe they have over 750,000 LOC? Many make the opposite assumption of those who think they have less than 100,000. I can hear the internal conversation, “Lets see, we went live with SAP back in 2001. We then did that large program to integrate an acquisition — boy that was a doozy! And then we had that other project in 2003, 2004, and oh yeah, another in 2005 and 2006 … I guess we have a lot.” Odds are, those respondents aren’t any more sure than the rest of you — even if they may have made a more realistic estimation.

The fact remains that most don’t know how much ERP customization they have — and for too many the answer is “a lot” and “more than we would like.”

It is all about the data — it tells the real story
Here we are at the precipice of the “3rd Platform,” the full scale adoption of mobile, social, cloud, and big data, [all credit to Melinda Ballou of IDC for introducing that reference to me], and the resulting back-pressure on the IT organization to adopt and drive these changes is tremendous. They must drive innovation or their business loses — it is that simple. Yet, many IT organizations are ill-prepared to make the necessary decisions, or in this case the necessary “right” decisions, that will drive the innovation initiatives that the business must have to grow and succeed.

Now tie that back to the original intent of our webinar – ERP customization killing innovation. There are a set of decisions around ERP as it relates to innovation — modernize, consolidate multiple instances, upgrade to newer versions, continue to build out and customize further, etc. And each decision requires a strong command of the current state of ERP customizations. So, let’s reflect on the opening scenario around decision making — when there is one person making a decision between black and white, pretty simple process. When you have an organization making a future-altering decision, with representatives from the business, from IT and even sometimes from third party advisors and consultancies, the decision making becomes infinitely more challenging. There is too much at stake to use subjective information. You simply must get everyone working from the same set of objective, fact-based data points.

Tell us in the comments what you think of the poll results — are you surprised?

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Lev Lesokhin

Lev Lesokhin is responsible for CAST's market development, strategy, thought leadership and product marketing worldwide. He has a passion for making customers successful, building the ecosystem, and advancing the state of the art in business technology. Lev comes to CAST from SAP, where he was Director, Global SME Marketing. Prior to SAP, Lev was at the Corporate Executive Board as one of the leaders of the Applications Executive Council, where he worked with the heads of applications organizations at Fortune 1000 companies to identify best management practices.

@ThingsExpo Stories
BnkToTheFuture.com is the largest online investment platform for investing in FinTech, Bitcoin and Blockchain companies. We believe the future of finance looks very different from the past and we aim to invest and provide trading opportunities for qualifying investors that want to build a portfolio in the sector in compliance with international financial regulations.
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
Imagine if you will, a retail floor so densely packed with sensors that they can pick up the movements of insects scurrying across a store aisle. Or a component of a piece of factory equipment so well-instrumented that its digital twin provides resolution down to the micrometer.
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settle...
Product connectivity goes hand and hand these days with increased use of personal data. New IoT devices are becoming more personalized than ever before. In his session at 22nd Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, Nicolas Fierro, CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions, will discuss how in order to protect your data and privacy, IoT applications need to embrace Blockchain technology for a new level of product security never before seen - or needed.
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, discussed some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he covered some of the best practices for structured team migration an...
No hype cycles or predictions of a gazillion things here. IoT is here. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, an Associate Partner of Analytics, IoT & Cybersecurity at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He also discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data...
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and B...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
We are given a desktop platform with Java 8 or Java 9 installed and seek to find a way to deploy high-performance Java applications that use Java 3D and/or Jogl without having to run an installer. We are subject to the constraint that the applications be signed and deployed so that they can be run in a trusted environment (i.e., outside of the sandbox). Further, we seek to do this in a way that does not depend on bundling a JRE with our applications, as this makes downloads and installations rat...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lead...
Digital Transformation (DX) is not a "one-size-fits all" strategy. Each organization needs to develop its own unique, long-term DX plan. It must do so by realizing that we now live in a data-driven age, and that technologies such as Cloud Computing, Big Data, the IoT, Cognitive Computing, and Blockchain are only tools. In her general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rebecca Wanta explained how the strategy must focus on DX and include a commitment from top management to create great IT jobs, monitor ...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
The IoT Will Grow: In what might be the most obvious prediction of the decade, the IoT will continue to expand next year, with more and more devices coming online every single day. What isn’t so obvious about this prediction: where that growth will occur. The retail, healthcare, and industrial/supply chain industries will likely see the greatest growth. Forrester Research has predicted the IoT will become “the backbone” of customer value as it continues to grow. It is no surprise that retail is ...