Cleaning Up After Y2K

What did you spend on Y2K, and what have you got to show for it? One of the things you’ve got is sitting on your shelf under that stack of brochures for 15 different conferences on e-commerce. It’s the inventory of every old, new and middle-aged system in your organization. Question is, what are you going to do with it? And how do you engage senior management support for the long-overdue clean up?

Management believes that you install systems and they last forever, or at least a lot longer than your company cars. You know that you can’t get them to sit down and go through the inventory with you; that’s not going to happen. However, what you have here is, believe it or not, an opportunity.

The easy route of remedy, and by far the most popular, is to pitch management on the installation of one or a cluster of ERP modules. Lots of organizations have already taken that route and are now working away on an intense, two-year, multi-million dollar install. Unfortunately, your senior management told you a year ago that there wasn’t the money for this sort of solution. Turns out, with the move to exploit the Internet going great guns now, you’ve been thanking your lucky stars that your organization didn’t jump to ERP. You’ve heard that the line-up at the vendors to have their installed ERPs web-enabled is already 18 months long.

You’ve got at least two options. One is to turn a systems inventory clean-up into an information management challenge. The other is to turn a systems inventory clean-up into an asset management coup.

Let’s be candid here. You’ve known for ages that the organization would one day have to develop and implement an information management model. Well, now’s the time. You can use the organization’s need to develop and implement an information management model to drive the rationalization of the organization’s systems.


And where will you begin? With an executive information system, of course. Not because that’s your first buy or build, but because identifying management’s information requirements allows you to get their attention and to gauge very clearly where they want the organization to be vis-