Radically Simple IT

Upton, David and Staats, Bradley (2008) Radically Simple IT. Harvard Business Review, 86 (3). pp. 118-124.

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Many managers think that developing and rolling out a major IT system is like putting up a warehouse: You build it and you're done. But that does not work for IT anymore. Taking that approach results in rigid, costly systems that are outdated from the day they are turned on. What's needed for today's businesses is IT that serves not only as a platform for existing operations but also as a launchpad for new functions and businesses. In this article, the authors present a path-based approach that addresses the primary challenges of IT: the difficulty and expense of mapping out all requirements before a project starts because people often cannot specify everything that they need beforehand; the other unanticipated needs that almost always arise once a system is in operation; and the tricky task of persuading people to use and "own" it. Japan's Shinsei Bank emerged during the authors' research as a standout among the companies applying the path-based method. The firm designed, built, and rolled out its system by forging together, not just aligning, business and IT strategies; employing the simplest possible technology; making the system truly modular; letting it sell itself to users; and ensuring that users influence future improvements. Some of the principles are variations on old themes, while others turn the conventional wisdom on its head.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Innovation adoption; Business planning; Modularity; Innovations in business; Technology
Subject(s): Operations management
Centre: Faculty of Operations Management
Date Deposited: 19 Feb 2012 20:19
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2015 14:06
URI: http://eureka.sbs.ox.ac.uk/id/eprint/2101

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