Technology V Requirements the Chicken and Egg dilemma.

A recent tweet from a business analyst said,

“We need to change the system so that it works for you, instead of you working for the system.”

As much as this is laudable in the true business analytical form of establishing requirements first and then build the system, the practicality and real world scenario is somewhat different.

With the increasing use of cloud service platforms that spread the costs of development over large numbers of clients the reverse becomes reality. Changing systems to fit to your specific needs is expensive and time consuming, the alternative though is a loss of differentiation.

I feel a similar way about sector capability frameworks; if an insurance company has the same capability map as another, how does it make itself competitively different.

Over recent years we have seen, driven by technology platforms, a move to standardised working. The economic pressures of reduction in development costs and SAAS platforming has increased commoditisation.

This trend results in value being created through cost leadership – reducing size the spreading of fixed costs being the order of the day.

On our course in developing operating models, we address this issue and use a matrix grid to plot choices whether to: buy, buy and adapt( configure) or use stitch and glue (interfacing independant services) or build from scratch. The choices provided assist in addressing the balance between value chains delivery (differentiation) and cost incurred. There is not one universal answer on which is best; it all is relative to individual strategic position from firm to firm.

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