In an HBR IdeaCast interview with Chris Zook from Bain & Company, he shares their finding that 85% of executives see complexity, in one form or the other, as the main barrier to seizing business opportunities and being successful in an ever changing world:
"They either felt it was becoming more difficult to react to an increasingly fast world in businesses that are more complex and more muscle-bound, or to see and perceive what they need to react to or internally to decide, and to mobilize, or to focus resources for a long enough period of time"
"It’s like giving everyone Friday off. Many factors contribute to this problem but, simply put, end users are struggling to absorb the glut of IT investments made over the past several years."From a top-down technology-centric view it can seem like consolidating two systems into one will save costs and reduce complexity. In reality what sometimes happen is the opposite: the activities performed by people can be more complex to perform and the support they get from the new IT system might not be fit for their needs and the situations and conditions they work under. The much needed customization of the system then comes as an afterthought, and despite enormous investments in customization the end result in terms of benefits gained can turn out worse than the situation was before. People's work situations don't necessarily get easier when multiple systems are being replaced with a single new system.
It's a simple as that, but not as simple as buying that new "silver bullet" IT system.