The Value of Systems Integration


Posted on January 1, 1970 by Blake Leath

This past week I spent some time with a company renowned for being a "high tech systems integrator."

It got me thinking just a couple degrees differently, so I thought I'd pay the perspective forward.

So often, an organization focuses on increasing trust, improving performance, incorporating best practices, etc.  Yet generally, these efforts occur within isolation, in silos.

It reminds me of Dr. Frankenstein's efforts: try as he might to 'create life,' he inadvertently created a monster.  "The law of unintended consequences," to be sure.

My advice?

A rising tide lifts all boats, so step back--take some time--and work, as Michael Gerber wrote so eloquently, "on your business, not just in or for your business."  (Do the latter two and your business is master.)

Ask yourself, "If I were to start anew, from a blank slate, how would I design my organization?" rather than, as Frankenstein did, "If I stitch this onto here and attach that to the other thing...I wonder if I can 'create life?'"

Gerber articulated so thoroughly that it's rarely about what we use on hand...the 'additive' nature of mashing things together.  This rarely proves successful and frequently convolutes.

Far better to reconceive your company as if you were the unbiased systems integrator: "What do I need?  What do I have?  What do I lack?"  And then, come to terms with scrapping anything and everything in order to design, sequence and overlay most efficiently.

I know it's hard, because we all love our binkies.  But as a wise man once shouted, "You can't expect me to revolutionize transportation and insist that I keep the horse!"