The tech challenges keeping property execs up at night
Brian Devlin, Industry General Manager, TechnologyOne
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The IBRS report found that technology procurement is increasingly business led, so it’s common for property companies to employ multiple disjointed IT systems that meet the needs of separate business functions like finance, HR and development management.
While employing separate solutions may adequately meet the demands of each silo, it’s an inefficient and time-consuming approach that generates a poorer overall result.
The use of multiple solutions usually leads to replication of processes multiple inputs across separate functions, effectively increasing potential for inconsistencies that bring reporting accuracy and validity into question. In effect, the bigger picture is lost.
For many the humble spreadsheet still remains the tool of choice in business functions tasked with managing complex projects and budgets.
Seen as a ‘one size fits all’ solution, spreadsheets are used across a full spectrum of responsibilities including; contract management, cost estimating, scheduling, project management, subcontractor management, supply, cost control, health and safety, quality management and compliance. That’s a lot of faith to put into a solution that is primed for human error through manually mis-keyed information, incorrect formula creation or cut-and-paste mistakes.
Not only error-prone, carrying out manual processes is time-consuming, costly and an ineffective use of valuable resources, so you’ll wait longer for information that may not even be accurate or current when you get it.
Chessher-Brown thinks businesses will eventually learn to move on from using manual tools including spreadsheets, provided they can learn to trust that newer systems are working.
“I think the spreadsheet is always going to be a backstop for many businesses and it will take time for people to move on. There is an adjustment when you move to more sophisticated business tools and what I would describe as a “leap of faith”, trusting that the tools are working and that you can make decisions based on the information,” she said.
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