The struggle of multiple systems

Technical Specialist Chris Powell contemplates the headache of using a multitude of systems to case manage Anti-social Behaviour.

Recently, I’ve had the chance to speak to quite a few users of both our ReACT case management solution and other software systems too. One thing became clear quite early on, and that was that it seems everyone uses lots of systems for their work.

It made me think upon reflection – what do I use?

So, to answer that question, on a typical day I use 9 systems. That’s 9 individual systems that I have to log in to, navigate, amend details, log out of. I then often have to repeat the actions on multiple systems where there is a cross-over. For example, I may need to use CRM software to manage a support call, but then a quote, done in the same breath, has to be done in another system. Both then need to be attached in another system, and before I know it I’ve been in several systems to complete what should be a small task.

If I then break it down, I realise that the main reason for this is that my colleagues, who have their dedicated jobs, also use a wide spread of systems. They require me to update their systems to make things easier for them to find information in one place, similar to what I would expect in return.

Sound familiar?

It’d be great to have one system that does it all – which isn’t impossible! It does come with potential downsides though and the argument is one system that can do it all might not do everything as well as dedicated systems. Dedicated systems allow for much more granular control and data capture, and most likely functionality, but it adds to that “system count” that just seems to be going up for everyone in the technology world at the moment.

Over the last few meetings, it’s also interesting to see these other systems that are used and listening to the reasons they are used. I’ve heard of people that “can’t be trained up on a new system” or “have to enter things a certain way otherwise it won’t work”. Surely, as a solutions provider we need to be able to offer the flexibility for users to feed in data as they want, in a simple and user-friendly way.

Something that seems more popular than ever recently is the quest for a central location to be able to read/write small amounts of specific information in a portal environment that also allows easy access to the main dedicated back-end system to really utilize full functionality. Also, quite a few customers have small development teams in their own IT/IS departments that want to latch on to this information that is available behind the scenes, maybe in a dashboard for reporting, or to share the data with multiple departments in their businesses.

So, next time you log in to access your emails, or your ReACT system, just think how many other systems you will be using that day…

How many systems do you use to case manage ASB? Comment below.