What are the Persistent, Pervasive IS Issues?

The list of issues that have plagued information systems is well known because they have existed almost since the beginning of, what used to be called the data processing industry.  This list of issues is pretty much as follows.

  1. Don’t align with business requirements.
  2. Cost too much and the costs keep going up.
  3. Take too long and seems to keep taking longer.
  4. Lack integration.  There is too much systems fragmentation, duplication, and inconsistency.
  5. Data quality.
  6. Not flexible, and too often constrains changing the business.
  7. Maintenance takes up too many resources and is becoming less and less affordable.
  8. Are difficult and/or expensive to change to implement new technology.
  9. Seem to make it difficult to acquire, develop, and retain qualified people.

Do you recognize these problems? If you do, it is also important to recognize a few other things.

  1. This is pretty much the same list that has existed for the last 50 years!
  2. Advances in technology have not solved these problems!
  3. Changing the computing and communications platform will not solve these problems.
  4. Outsourcing systems development or the whole IT function is not going to solve these problems!
  5. Buying packages is not going to solve these problems.

There is a lot of convincing evidence that the current, conventional methodology for developing business systems, or for that matter buying and installing packages (packages are developed using the same methodology), is defective and in dire need of change and improvement.  The time and cost to do either one is increasing at an unacceptably inflationary rate.  Acquiring and implementing business systems is most likely one of the very few activities in any enterprise that is not experiencing consistently improved quality and cost effectiveness.  This trend has to be reversed.