Sunday, March 09, 2008

Overdependence on IT

Once you have a system, and I mean an IT system to support your business, have you thought of it enough to prevent it from taking a day off? Do you enough in place for a failover and backup plan? Or is it just a wishful thinking that nothing will go wrong. What if it does? Do you have a plan B?

A couple of days ago, I was at a retail shop buying grocery. The system had shut down - it was not a power supply failure and one of them said, "The Bombay guys have to do something". All hell broke loose there. Fortunately, there was a manual way to weigh, but there were no price listings available and there was obviously no way to print a bill. Most counters did not have a calculator as back up. Things came to such a pass that at one point the shutters had to be downed waiting to figure out a solution.

The same question again. Your system can make you lose customers if you have not planned for a back up. Do you have a plan B with your system?


skthewimp said...

there are 2 things

1. the IT systems. ravikiran had recently posted about why IT systems built for india suck. and the same is the case with what the retailers use.

2. yes, the IT systems suck. but my bigger crib with "organized retail" is that the stores are managed by a bunch of dumbfucks. they have absoutely no clue as to how to handle the situation.

of course, there is also the thing that they don't have much freedom in operation. there's way too much control and ...

it's for precisely these reasons that I get the feeling that "organized retail" in india may not really take off

Neelakantan said...

Actually the software by themselves works pretty well - all they need is some ideas on what to do in case it fails - which it seems to often. Sometimes their credit card authorization system fails, sometimes it is their billing system.
People who design these need to provide for failover options which they dont.