The Enterprise Systems That Companies Need to Create

  • David Waller and Paul Beswick
  • October 12, 2020

Companies should focus on creating enterprise systems that allow them to make fundamentally better business decisions.

The swiftness of technology’s progress in the past decade has convinced legions of companies that their survival depends on jettisoning their legacy systems as soon as budgets permit such an overhaul. Computing power has surged, storage costs have plummeted, and networking speeds have approached theoretical limits. All the while, companies and consumers are generating ever-growing floods of data packed with clues on how individuals behave and how products perform. Many companies thus risk upgrading technology purely for its own sake. In doing so, they overlook what may be the greatest opportunity presented by the modern technology stack: the chance to mobilize new tools in a way that empowers managers and technologists alike to make fundamentally better business decisions.

To illustrate, consider the curiously old-fashioned approach companies typically take to upgrading their legacy systems. It starts when something old stops working. Perhaps an aging mainframe fails often, resulting in seemingly never-ending maintenance costs, or an outage destroys transaction data. A decade ago, the natural response was to check for an updated version of yesterday’s software that could stamp out the bugs — particularly if paired with newer hardware. Now, companies look to the cloud for the latest collection of computing services, storage technologies, and performance guarantees.