First of all, what is application overload? Click here to learn more…
Application overload is the over abundance of the number of applications a division or company has. Many companies obtain an application for nearly every task. Acquiring a new application is made easy with the Software as a Service model. Also the price of individual applications have dropped with increased competition from software vendors.
But why is having numerous applications a problem? Many issues are encountered with an increased number of applications. Actually, these issues tend to become increasing more complicated and costly with an increase in the number of applications:
- Managing those applications (cost of individual ownership is high, including SaaS applications)
- The need to enter the same data in multiple systems
- Decrease in user productivity because of an over-abundance of tools (study by Pegassystems)
- Reporting across multiple applications is complicated
- Inbound/outbound data integrations among applications (usually point-to-point) quickly multiple in numbers and complexity
A new breed of applications has emerged called low code/no code. This category allows for rapid application creation and modification with drag and drop widgets. Low code still needs a developer to glue together components, package and deploy. The “no code” category is similar but can be used by nontechnical business individuals.
This new segment of applications allows businesses to create and deploy applications faster than ever before, but still requires the IT to maintain and support the new application.
Also, most of these applications focus on the user interface. While, this point is not a negative aspect, the focus is not on the data elements or data sets that define your business.
Adaptable Applications need to focus on Data Sets
The key for any business is to provide meaningful KPIs or metrics. These metrics help the business to analysis and measure their daily performance and potentially identify adjustments to make their business better. Now if a company can quickly change this measurement model, a significant increase in flexibility would allow the business to better handle to new challenges. The following 2 points are key to create a versatile environment :
- Easily change their data sets
While having a flexible application that allows you to change your user interface (ie. adding a new widget or changing your layout) is very useful, changing the underline data set is key to the business. These low code/no code do allow for this, but usually is very slow to change a single element, and painful to change an entire dataset.
- Having a central, or a single repository
A single data repository is key for an adaptable application. Many separate datasets is the biggest issue with application overload. Separate datasets result in enormous expenses to your business, including :
- expensive data integrations,
- expensive potentially creating a data warehouse for reporting
- complicated reports
- data inconsistencies among applications
SchematicPro places focus on datasets and data relationships
The key for adaptability is the data and the relationships. A single central repository is a data strategy that simplifies all aspects of your business. But, is this strategy possible?
SchematicPro focuses on bringing all operational data into one datastore. SchematicPro manages these datasets by :
- Having a flexible definition of core entities or dimension table
- An example of these core entities would be a tank, meter, storage, well, or generator. SchematicPro allows one click modifications of these core elements, and allows you to easily create new entities
- Quick and rapid loading of facts.
- Users can quickly load operational data
- User can quickly modify the definition the of the fact tables, and manage the relationship between the fact and dimension tables (in-other-words, change relationships between core entities and operational data)
- Easily change user navigation between operational data and core entities
To learn more, click here to view the overview for SchematicPro.
Benefits of Data Unity
A single central repository for your operational sounds to go to be true. This approach is very different from the typical data landscape of businesses today.
But, if we can achieve this utopia, what would be the benefits?
- Reduced applications
- Less applications means less cost, less time spent on dealing with managing multiple vendors.
- Users will spend less time switching between applications
- Reduced data integrations between application
- Application integrations are huge investments companies spend money on to glue together applications
- Single source of truth for your core entities
- Nobody wants multiple copies of core data to sync or validate among systems
- Simplify reports, kpis and metrics
- Create Reusable mechanisms, such as workflows, alerts, notifications, & MOC on all your data
These points are huge advantage over a typical application infrastructure, but with a cost.
The downside to this approach would be the feature rich widgets which you would acquire with using a custom developed or a low code/no code solution. Purchasing an application which is very tailored to solving a specific task would also be a richer experience to the user.
In summary, the dilemma is multiple feature rich applications vs an uber-flexible system. Eventually, a best-of-both worlds might exist, but software will need a significant evolution to accomplish this.
You will need to choose the approach best for your business.