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I often run into organizations that start a new round of quotes for the automation of every process. Organizations are still approaching IT as a commodity. Is that a profitable approach? Or is it damaging in the long run?

Sniffing
At first glance, this form of cherry picking seems to be OK. Why would you not choose the most suitable and advantageous solution for every company process? It will probably provide savings in first instance. Yet many companies do not realize that they lose these savings in the long run.

Compare this situation to personal relationships. Will you choose to have several lovers? A partner to go to the movies with, another one to take out to dinner and a third one to take to the bar. Or will you choose a loved one who you will do everything with and with whom you will build a long term relationship?

On paper it sounds pretty cool to have many friends. But in reality it takes a lot more energy, time and money. Often those relationships remain superficial.

Sparring and Exchanging
That’s how it’s done in the business world as well. In the long run, permanent business partners are often the best choice. It benefits your continuity. A steady business partner knows your organization, the things you struggle with, the opportunities and pitfalls of your market. That knowledge and experience enables you to spar. This will most likely provide insights that separate suppliers would never have been able to offer.


Fragmentation
High fragmentation of all processes is another danger of an ad hoc strategy. The software systems of different suppliers are not always compatible which creates a tiresome integration project. The integrated software of a single supplier offers a lot of added value. Often, integrated software features all kinds of smart features, which will allow a lot of processes to run very efficiently. In addition, the user experience is identical for every process. This will enable employees to utilize the tools quicker.

Costs
And finally, the costs. After a round of quotes you will most likely opt for the most affordable solution for that specific process. But will you also maintain an oversight of the possible long term savings if other processes have to be automated as well?

It’s good to take a critical look at your environment. Will you keep sniffing or will you partner up? Don’t let your company play the field, monogamy definitely has benefits in the long run!

This blog originally appeared in Dutch on http://blogs.sap.nl/ga-je-snuffelen-of-partneren/

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