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vrijdag, 22 nov 2019

State-of-the-art Industrial-strength Components

Many companies continue using legacy components (software and hardware) for one or more of the following reasons:

  • legacy components have been in use for a long time (by definition) so they're known, and offer no surprises,
  • developers are always busy with daily issues due to legacy components so do not have time to look for new technologies,
  • there is often a high internal barrier to start doing things differently or, in other words, a high threshold to learn new things.

In a fast-paced high-tech environment this may become troublesome at some point in time. For instance:

  • new inventions and innovative enabling technologies yield better and/or lower-cost solutions,
  • tools and components have evolved, offering more and better functionality, leading to higher productivity once you learn to use them well,
  • learning new things means taking risks, making calculated choices, balancing pros and cons, being an entrepreneur.

A well-known method to model this scenario is the SWOT analysis that charts relevant Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. To fill in the SWOT analysis map as accurately and objectively as possible, periodical and thorough benchmarking is needed.

It is obvious that one should try to minimize weakness or convert weaknesses to strengths. The same goes for threats; try to make choices that in the end do not create more threats. For example, increase the barrier of entry for potential competitors. The latter could be realized by being obscure about your technology, but this is fighting against time. A better, durable way would be to improve operating efficiency by selecting components that are state-of-the-art, integrate well with existing practices, and have been thoroughly tested so are known to exhibit robust operation. That is our aim.