You need to replace your core administration system, but you think you need too much customization. You know you’ll fall behind competitively if you don’t replace your system, but you think the customizations you want will cost too much. Are you sure?
We’re not necessarily anti-customization. But we do think customizations — their perception of their benefits and advantages — may be matters of perspective. This may seem like an extreme example, but please consider the following exchange:
Ed: I’d like to put a manual transmission in my car.
Fred: But it has an automatic transmission.
Ed: Yeah. But I want it customized.
Fred: It’s going to cost a lot of money.
Ed: Never mind. I want to shift the way I want to shift. And your price is too high now anyway.
Speaking of Shifting …
What if Ed had taken a slightly more objective perspective? What if he’d been willing to take a look at the way he went about the business of driving? What if he’d realized he could decrease the cost of going about that business, get to his desired destination more efficiently, and save himself some time and effort if he’d been willing to drive the car the way it was intended to be driven? We may never know. Neither will Ed.
From his perspective, it was better to re-engineer the tool than to consider the reasons for which it was built the way it was and to use it the way it worked best. It was more important to Ed to turn his car into something it was never intended to be, rather than to accept it as it was, to understand its advantages, and to reap its benefits.
If you have the tendency to view software the way Ed viewed his car, we have a suggestion: As you head to NAMIC this year, try thinking about another interpretation of the acronym this way: Not All Methods Involve Customization.
If you do that, your experience at NAMIC might be more fruitful. You might find things you didn’t expect to find, including new perspectives. And you just might find yourself driving toward competitive success in a whole new vehicle.
At the very least, maybe you’ll be able to see the possibilities once you’re able to see out from behind the eight ball.