Topic: 1) General Management
Over at The CIO Weblog, I pointed out a review by InfoWorld of four hosted, customer relationship management (CRM) solutions. Now in many cases information technology (IT) initiatives are thought of as corporate-wide programs, and thus, solutions like these are not in the perview of those within a division of a company launching either a new product, new services offering, or backoffice services operation. It is often presumed that if a new business initiative is successful that the processes of the new program will utilize the legacy platform as its core. In many cases, this will be true and one will not want to introduce another system (because of side effects like having multiple processes in place or having exception processing).
Consider, however, that pilots and new business initiatives can move at breathtaking paces and that hosted applications and application service provider (ASP) software can be introduced sometimes instantly or within a few days. Some can also be reconfigured on the fly when flows need to be optimized. Then consider a perspective that people and processes need to be serviced first (even if it means reverting to paper and pencil or Excel spreadsheets and throwing out the IT to get the job done). Then consider whether hosted software might be a good way to get your pilot done. With the monthly subscription plans of many providers, there is often little financial risk.
S4 Management Group