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Wille Faler is an experienced software developer, architect and agile coach with experience across a number of different industries as an independent consultant. Wille specializes in backend, integration, and Java technologies, but has more recently found a passion for Scala and text mining/analysis. Wille is a DZone MVB and is not an employee of DZone and has posted 42 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

Software is the Central Nervous System of Modern Business

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Software is the Central Nervous System of modern business, this is something that Bill Gates asserted way back in 1999 in his book “Business @ the Speed of Thought”, and it is even more true in 2013 than it was in 1999.

Software drives modern business, it is everywhere: it drives the ad campaigns that attract customers, it drives the sales whether they come in via the web, a call centre or via a till in a shop. It drives the stock management system that checks whether goods are available and if they need resupplying. It drives the supply chain, it drives the pace with which goods or services are delivered, it drives the financial transactions that support it all. In short terms, the claim that software is the Central Nervous System of modern business is a relatively uncontroversial one.

Organisational Parkinsons or Alzheimer
Yet senior management in many organisations treat software with a large amount of contempt, as if it was not important. Imagine suffering from a cancerous tumour on your brain, would any right thinking person scour the earths every corner for not the best, but the cheapest surgeon to remove the tumour?

I wouldn’t think so, yet this is exactly how senior management in many organisations deal with the surgeons of their organisational Central Nervous System: never mind ability, who can make the loftiest promises at the cheapest quoted price? It doesn’t take a genius to see that this is madness, and in many cases akin to suicide by accepting a slow degenerative disease to your organisations central nervous system.

You have probably seen this in your travels if you have been in software long enough: siloed systems and data, left hand unaware of what the right hand is doing, endless death marches failing to deliver and many other things eventually resulting in the organisation slowly but surely being unable to react to changing market conditions, unable to seize or even recognise opportunities in front of it.

Though you may not realise it, this is exactly what the organisational version of Parkinsons and Alzheimers disease looks like.

Senior Managers and Executives everywhere are treating the Central Nervous Systems of their businesses with dangerous disdain by means of neglect, prioritising cost over value and seeing software as separate from the rest of their business operations. It can only end in one way: the slow onset of a degenerative disease that at first will seem like a minor nuisance, but that will eventually ensure that what may once have been a glorious, successful organisation slowly fades away and becomes a pale shadow of what it was, before it ultimately meets its end.

Published at DZone with permission of Wille Faler, author and DZone MVB. (source)

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)


Sam Chera replied on Wed, 2013/06/12 - 11:39am

The point of this article is obvious, nevertheless, many enterprises go without a software even nowadays. Moreover, management in such companies often knows that set of corresponding tools can significantly reduce expenses, but where is the solution? 

Any buisness has to be run in friendly environment, which has to support complicated and entangled projects, but it's hard to find one. HQ services for running business are numerous, all of us heard about Asana or JIRA, for example, but many managers give up these tools or suffer much, when try applying them to run complex or lasting projects with deep internal structure. 

Rich companies can afford different integration solutions, but who likes additional expenses? I wrote about these problems earlier in my recent review of askcow online collaboration service. 

And I'm firmly sure, that the point of an article is absolutely correct, but software developers have to be more attentive to requirements, which modern buisness bring to CNS services. Build comfortable tools, and such articles will become past. 

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