From software islands to connected systems

Software Islands to Connected Software

Digitization of processes is not an option today. Even small businesses today need to be dependent upon computational power of devices to run and manage operations.

Large enterprises have different departments of operations, and each department has their budgets. And each department needs software, to smoothen out its processes, and the cost for the software comes out from their budget. This disconnection between different departments often results in various problems, including disconnected systems and redundant software islands.

All departments have many similar needs e.g., task management, content sharing, knowledge management, authentication, etc. which can be served by same enterprise-level software systems, instead of procuring different software systems for each department. Organizations can re-use software systems across departments to reduce costs and management efforts.

I am writing this article to bring forth a more significant problem which arises due to software islands. In recent history, India has seen some banking frauds. Referring to this issue, where the bank had different systems working correctly (in their work area) were disconnected with each other.

The Letter-Of-Undertaking system was disconnected from the core banking system. Both the systems kept on running without alerting anyone about the mismatch in data.

The manual process of entering the data output from one system to another system could easily have been automated. Humans can make mistakes. Humans can miss out a prescribed process. And humans can intentionally skip a step in a series of procedures for some benefit. But computers cannot. Machines are designed to follow instructions. If a piece of operation can be defined logically, computers can be programmed to support it. There is no escape from it. (unless instructed otherwise)

If the bank, would have designed the system to automate communication between the systems, this problem could have been avoided.

Banking industry (or any other sector which is highly governed) have a must need of systems which are connected. A software system which orchestrates the information between different systems reduces not only manual efforts but also makes sure that all the steps in the defined process are followed.

Such a system should also check different systems at regular intervals for validating the data between different systems.
Each enterprise has its own backbone of processes. Hence it is good to invest in a custom software which is dedicatedly built for the organization.