In the days of legacy systems, we were confronted with the problem of ‘islands of information’ which did not communicate with each other. We had in-house developed systems and packages all working independently and had to be interfaced. We had “Islands of Data” which made no sense in terms of a corporate view.
Then came ERP, with SAP leading the pack. SAP achieved the objective of seamlessly integrating data across modules. Raising an invoice automatically updates inventory, sales and also passes the relevant accounting entries. This was wonderful and saved a lot of time and improved efficiencies and effectiveness in the corporate world.
Now let us look at the irony of this paradigm shift. The product has become so horrendously big that it has become impossible to find a single individual who knows the product in its entirety. What has this done? It has created ‘Islands of Consultants’!
For me ‘Islands of Consultants’ is more dangerous than “Islands of Data” because consultants have egos and data doesn’t. Data once interfaced will always perform the way it should. If the SD consultant does not get along with the FI consultant, because of egos, we have a problem in the implementation!
What are we doing today, we hire consultants and put them in the ‘island’ from day one. Job advertisements read ‘Wanted SD, MM, FI/CO consultants etc….” Before the person is recruited he is identified and placed in a silo. Corporates’ don’t work this way, they need consultants who see the big picture.
The emergence of the BPX community will hopefully overcome this problem. BPX consultants can play a major role in solving this issue. If I was representing the corporate sector, I would definitely prefer to deal with a consultant who can give me a solution across a business processes and not restrict himself to a module.
Is BPX the answer? What is the way forward? I would like to have the BPX communities views on the subject.