I guess depending on the surgery a surgeon could use a swiss army knife in a pinch. After all, didn’t Radar O’Reilly use his Tom Mix pocket knife to perform a tracheotomy in an episode of M.A.S.H.
For optimal results though, a surgeon knows which tools to use.
In a similar vein, let’s cut over to how this is similar when using business applications.
All too often, a software solution is developed to meet a specific business process and may perform that process quite well. Over time though, the original product has grown to try to meet far too many niche needs and is stretched to serve an ever growing audience. This often dilutes the products capabilities. The product becomes overly complex with seemingly a button or module or “bolt-on” for everything. In the end, the product might be able to serve more needs but often fails to do any one of them well.
Organizations that are looking to purchase new software need to be careful in their selection. Business applications that attempt to serve a large audience with many modules and many features are often mediocre at your most important business processes.
This also relates to usability, long term cost and support, and if the solution can grow with the organization. If a solution is deeply complex, how easy is it to use? If it is over engineered, how easy is it to support? Are you paying for modules and features that you will never need or use? How easy is it to get the data out of a complex system for business analytics? How easy is it to extend or change the solution to meet your needs over time?
After answering these questions, many organizations are now moving away from their traditional large complex multi-module systems and taking a serious look at CRM (customer relationship management) software to meet their core business needs. CRM solutions in general have matured over the years and they are often easy to deploy, use, and maintain. Hence, orgainzaitions, associations, and businesses are finding that they will use CRM more often for their core needs. This provides richer analytics on key performance indicators as well as better insight into a customer’s (or member’s) unique relationships including their social and business network.
CRM software such as Microsoft Dynamics CRMhas the ability to be set up to meet very specific needs and perform them quite well. Associations for example can not only track their members, they can manage their other core business drivers in CRM such as dues, meetings, donations. This allows an association to focus solely on their core business needs with a robust yet easy to use and familiar solution from Microsoft.
Organizations should focus on procuring solutions that not only meet the core business needs, but actually excel at meeting those needs. Like a surgeon that uses the right set of tools for the best possible outcome, this strategy sets you up for the highest possible return on your investment.