It is not the most intellectual of the species that survives; it is not the strongest that survives; but the species that survives is the one that is able to adapt to and to adjust best to the changing environment in which it finds itself.
– Charles Darwin “Origin of Species, 4 May 2014
Here is how I see it. Going back 30 years, or more, we wrote bespoke business software to replace exactly what we did in our manual systems, faults and all. Then we came up with the idea of packages solutions, but we couldn’t bear to drop all those special processes so we customized the software, often to the point that it was unrecognizable! The problem was, once we had done this we had no chance of implementing the next release as we would have to do the customization all over again! Fast forward to today, modern SaaS Financial Solutions focus on standardization of processes with the option to configure rather than customize what they do. A much better approach but my question is should organizations be going further?
Back to Darwin. Organisations did, and still do, approach software purchase and implementation on the basis they will ‘adapt the software’, but if Darwin is right could it be that this is totally the wrong way round? In other words, should it be the organization that adapts and adopts the way the software works? Think of the organization as the species and the software as the environment.
Why does this, somewhat subtle, change in emphasis matter? Good financial software solutions are designed based on current best practice and end to end processes. What organization would not want to adopt these best practices? The more they adopt the better their business practices will be, along with all the benefits these will deliver, like reduced implementation and operating costs and time, fewer mistakes and less risk to name a few.
The more we work with organizations implementing SaaS financial solutions the more I am convinced that we need a different mindset for the selection and implementation of these solutions. I suggest that organizations should apply the following three principles, at all times.
- Always adopt standard supplied software functionality
- Question all configuration based on the principle ‘the business should adapt’
- Where a workaround is required it should be based on standard functionality
From Brovanture’s experience, we can clearly see the difference where organizations take this approach, in the success of their projects and the results they achieve. So, to bring us back to the beginning we think Darwin, a hundred years on, has a point. Organisations will be more successful when they adapt so they can adopt best practice SaaS financial software solutions.