I love reading the daily comics on the "Geek and Poke" blog - usually these guys are right on and I get a great laugh from what they have to say. Today's comic hit close to home. Although it is discussing CRM systems, I think there are key lessons we can learn from the CRM debacle and apply this to the mashup ecosystem so we don't make some of the same mistakes.
For a close up view, click on the picture.
Following the links on this blog entry, I ended up on Michael Krigsman's blog, which discusses why there were so many CRM failures, specifically due to the fact that IT and business units weren't lined up with mutual goals and this resulted in just the IT installation of the software and no real benefit for the business units. In turn this resulted in a lot of money spent that wasn't proportional to people using the software. Now that I'm pretty much living in the mashup world lately with talking to customers, hitting the road presenting to potential prospects and partners, as well as creating new community strategies for Info 2.0, I see lots of similarities to what we're concerned about and what IT and LOB need to be thinking about (and, as a vendor, what we need to be doing as well - internally with our own systems) when building Web/Enterprise 2.0 strategies. I even blogged awhile back on why we need to see a shift with IT and LOB if Web 2.0 is going to be successful in the enterprise.
Krigsman says that he sees 4 lessons to be learned from the CRM implementations with regards to how this needs to be mapped to the end-user of the application :
- Goal involvement. Have you developed a statement of business goals for the project that has been formally endorsed by the stakeholders, or was installing software the only formal goal?
- Project origin. Did an end-user group actively participate in defining project requirements and selecting the vendor, or was the project completely IT-driven?
- End-user benefit. Will the application give end-users valuable new capabilities, or is there little apparent benefit to end-users and managers?
- Project communications. Will stakeholders receive frequent updates on project status, or is that considered to be low priority?
These are great points. I see this as applying directly to mashup and Web/Enterprise 2.0 strategies. One concern I have, especially with IT having access to data being pulled into mashups, that there might not be a connect between what data is needed for the end-user or business unit to be successful. This could be sales databases, distribution or supplier details, and much, much more. IT and LOB need to align their goals, clearly define their projects together, make sure that the UI is one that the LOB folks can use (ie, not spreadsheet hell), and work on a continual process improvement to make sure that all of this maps back to what the needs were to start with - and that the software solution is making sense for both parties.
As Web 2.0 tools become increasingly end-user oriented and easier to use (no programming needed) this becomes more and more important. And if we as vendors don't take this into consideration and work with customers and on blueprints to help our customers be successful, we could run into the same issues that came about with CRM implementations. Before folks buy, these goals have to be aligned. And I don't see any customers that want to spend extra money on consulting dollars to fix this :)
There's still a lot to do on this front, but we're definitely getting better at it, and I know for sure that our customers are looking at this for their success metrics, especially with tighter IT budgets.
I'd love to hear feedback on this of course, and thoughts/needs that folks have when implementing Enterprise 2.0. What do you want from the vendor? What are success metrics for your business? How is your IT group working to map back to your business units?
As we move forward, you'll see more details on our plans for this. And I can promise you that we're listening./LC