In the beginning, there were ledgers and spreadsheets and these were large pieces of paper filled out by people like Bob Cratchit. Time progressed and seemingly the same people were doing the same things just with the help of a computer. Robert Q. Cratchit XVIII is still filling out spreadsheets, just without getting ink on his hands. The information from these spreadsheets comes from any number of sources and is delivered to Bob to be typed in. There must be a better way.
Now, for the first time, we have the ability to generate nearly complete applications that will automate almost every aspect of a business, mostly eliminating the need for all the analysts and the support and data entry people and streamlining the entry, use and analysis of data. Instead of having an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, like SAP, and an human resources management system, like PeopleSoft, a warehouse management system like Maximo, ad nauseum, all costing six, seven or even eight figures, why don’t we use some of this new technology to generate an application that does precisely what we need to do?
In the Robert Cratchit world of the 21st century, someone has a great idea, gets some funding, buys a ton of equipment and then calls Accenture, Deloitte or Infosys to come build them systems to account for time and materials. The consulting firm comes in, installs and configures all the various system and then leaves a team of developers there to “integrate” the data from these disparate sources and email the data to Mr. Cratchit. Each of these developers bill out between $100 and $200+ per hour and are there for the duration. Integration seemingly is an ongoing project.
Now, since we can generate the applications that business needs, we don’t need these amazingly expensive, huge applications or the legions of $200/hr developers to make them work and communicate, we simply generate an application. Then we can build customized reports to support whatever it is that the business needs to look at to make Enterprise decisions. In fact there is a business that will generate software for free and only charge the client a small fee per month to use it and house the data.
Why isn’t everyone using this model? In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is going to try to explain ‘purple’ to someone and because it is outside the realm of their experience, they will discount what he says. Different is not always better, but it’s time for business to stop mouthing the tired clichés and actually start “thinking outside the box.”