All eyes and ears stood frozen on him. It was the penalty round. This way or that way, he debated in his mind. One wrong stroke would mean the next player will decide the fate. But one right stroke would mean his team would snatch the trophy, right there.
As Joe Smith watched a nail-biting Football face-off, his brain forked into a play-off too. As the CIO of a leading IT Services company, he was torn in a tug-of-war for the last two days.
He had been caught hopelessly between Mr. Devil and Mr. Right.
On one shoulder, the wicked guy with horns laid relaxed crossing one knee above another and kicking him every now and then with a ‘How does it matter’.
‘How does it matter if invoicing stays complex and your company misses some margins or revenue opportunities? How does it matter if the client follows a different billing format? How does it matter if you are not following what this country’s tax system asks you to? How does it matter if you cannot trace resource costs to projects, contracts and to the level of employees as accurately as you may wish?” He would tease and cajole him.
In fact his laziness and indifference was so stubborn that Smith would have given up already had it not been to the white-satin-draped guy who tip-toed every now and then on his other shoulder.
The guy with a halo over his head would shake his conscience. “It matters. Don’t you see how ridiculously you are missing revenue leaks on every contract and how both you and your clients are living in a maze when it comes to expense management and project tracking? The irony of it is too much – you folks automate everything for your clients and yet here you are – caught up in stupid data redundancies and invoicing nightmares! All this, when you can very well opt for an SRP.”
Smith’s conscience pricked him more. It was true.
For the last two quarters he had felt it without doubt that the project management scenario was going awry as the company’s old system struggled with visibility of resources and hence conked off when it came to precise forecasting of resource requirements or timely contract renewal and in fact, even on, resource utilization rates.
The last meeting one of his clients abroad had bluntly pointed that the company could not accommodate the variety of invoice formats - fixed bid, fixed monthly, slab based, role based, employee specific rates etc. He couldn’t help but worry how their ERP would juggle all those multi-country, multi-location, multi-regulatory-environment challenges that will soon scale up. At the same meeting, incidentally, his star project manager had thrown his hands up citing how he could not manage the animal the ERP was, whenever he needed a tab on the right person for the right place at the right time. As to his sales team, complaints here were a rule rather than an exception, often pointing out that fixed bid projects have been losing margin. All thanks to inability of systems to track the estimated efforts against the actual with errors around timeline and delivery milestone’s status.
He also knew that specialized stand-alone solutions were good options but he needed something that was seamless with 360 degree flavor, would not compromise specific functionalities and would yet offer an end-to-end bundle. He had also heard experts pointing out how organic, well-rounded, soup-to-nuts SRPs with core release cycles were distinct from incomplete SRPs that had layers patched in through acquisitions or with hard-to-handle configurations.
The time to decide was now – dare to migrate to the right SRP or comfortably continue with makeshift choices? As he wavered between the two shoulder taps, he heard a deafening applause on TV – the player had just scored a winning goal with an unprecedented kick. He had changed the game.