Brutal standardization of information systems

Having more companies is always a challenge for management, especially to find synergies within the group of companies. One intent of synergy may be to standardize and centralize information systems.

Every company builds and inherits a vast information system landscape over time. Is it possible to standardize information systems? It is possible and useful, for example, for a central ERP, or CRM or billing. With standardization, companies get better data flow, cost savings in the future,

Subsidiaries work in different locations, in different markets with perhaps different legislation, with different product portfolios and ultimately have grown with different information system histories. They are not the same as the parent company. Therefore, their information systems and landscape are different.

The ugly side of the coin of standardization and centralization is that subsidiaries remain very reliably dependent on a central system and lose its market value. Businesses without independent information systems cannot be sold for the same amount of money as with fully autonomous information systems. In addition to IS as an independent solution, the corresponding processes and organization are also missing. IS cannot work alone and also needs an environment that works properly, an environment that “takes care” of it. In the event of a company sale, information systems, processes and expert teams must be rebuilt after the closure :). Perhaps centralization is a cyclical process, being shut down and then built up from scratch just to satisfy specific management desires.

Yes, it’s a brutal world and it’s brutal standardization.

Can everything be standardized? Of course not, and sometimes it is the smaller part of current IS, mostly on transactional production systems. With standardization, business intelligence solutions require more effort for all up-to-date reports to assimilate all new changes from the source systems. All subsidiary BIs must balance any tectonic movements on the production side caused by forced standardization and centralization. BI needs to recreate missing data in subsidiaries. Can BI be standardized? Production systems can be centralized to some extent, but for BI this is highly doubtful.

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