Information | Process | Technology

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IT's Doomsday

As a consultant I am regularly asked to review the IT provision in organisations, its capability, strategy, management etc. Very often the Finance Director is one of the prime movers for bringing me in to perform these reviews with the obvious hope that cost efficiencies may be identified and the IT leader challenged to become more financially responsible. 

I've never seen an IT organisation without scope for improvement, and that includes the IT teams I have run, but at the same time I have always found it necessary to caution the directors of any organisation I review that technology is fallible, people are fallible, and the search for cost efficiencies should never be taken to the extent of threatening service - a doomsday scenario is an unpalatable and melodramatic idea, but it is also a real possibility.

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Choosing a Field Service Management System Vendor

As published in Service Management magazine.

Deciding which vendor to buy your field service system from is as important as the system you choose.  What you buy now is probably not going to do what you need in the future, so supplier flexibility and alignment is crucial to a achieving enduring ROI.

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Choosing a Field Service Management System

As published in Service Management, an article by Steve Burrows on the business considerations in selecting a Field Service Management Solution.

Making the right choice of field service management system

Deciding which computer system to buy for the organisation is the stuff of nightmares. Between the complexity of modern business processes and operations, the conflicting requirements of users and the grandiose claims made by some software suppliers, selecting a system is a very difficult and hazardous undertaking which often leads to disappointment and wasted capital expenditure.

The above statement is true for almost all strategic/enterprise computer systems – ERP, CRM, etc, even though the business processes and modus operandi surrounding the use of such systems are well understood and relatively standardised. Selecting a field service management (FSM) system is much more difficult.

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Business Intelligence

What is this software that the IT industry calls "Business Intelligence"?

Elsewhere I've tried to explain Data vs. Information, and the concepts of Information Systems and Business Systems, where data is converted into information and used in the context of a business process. However these transactional systems deal mainly with specific items of data - this customer, that order etc., in the execution of a business process.

As business managers we have a need for higher level information based upon aggregated data - e.g. total value of sales for each salesperson last month, number of prospects in Leeds vs. number of prospects in Manchester, and so on.

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Mobile Data

"Mobile Data" is much misunderstood. The phrase is commonly associated with modern portable computer systems - handheld computers, PDAs etc. The IT industry, particularly in the Field Sales and Field Service disciplines, is promoting Mobile Data as the new manna. But we have had mobile data for hundreds of years. The humble shopping list is mobile data - a piece of paper we take with us to remind us of what to buy. In the case of a Field Service Engineer it is a list of jobs to do today, and probably lives on the passenger seat of his van. For the Field Sales Person it is a list of the appointments for the day, and some files of information about his prospect's requirements.

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