Mandating IETP solutions on projects on the face may seem like a sensible strategic decision for many organisations. The reality is very different. There is an upside and downside to mandating a viewing solution to your projects. Some obvious and some not so obvious, so allow me to share some of my thoughts and feelings. The full video is available on YouTube.
Firstly this can be a very emotive subject, having worked in this market for over 30 years, the issue of viewing solutions always brings out the very best and worst in organisations. The emotion and deep-rooted feelings around viewers are almost as divisive as Brexit! Cards on the table. There are some excellent viewing solutions, and there are some quite frankly terrible ones.
The question that came to us at TDW was that of mandating viewing solutions on platforms across the ‘corporation’. Your question is excellent and deserves an open and honest answer.
There are many good reasons why you should prescribe a viewing solution to your platforms and projects. Ranging from lower training needs, reduced and known IT infrastructure demands, best retail price and so on (more in the YouTube video). The problem is that this introduces a significant downside to your user community and projects. Scalability is the first major issue, and not all projects require all of the bells and whistles of an IETP solution. However, some projects will require more than what is available in the standard prescribed product.
It is essential to have an eye on where technology is going and how your organisation can adopt emerging capability with the minimum amount of fuss. Mandating viewing solutions can often slow this down, engraining your projects in one bespoke viewing solution.
The biggest challenge around mandating IETP solutions that I have seen is the “not invented here” and political arguments that then ensue. Projects will often steer away from adopting innovative methods of information creation and deployment simply because they do not wish to use a specific tool. This mindset benefits no one.
You need to balance both sides of the argument and make sure that you are not backing yourself into a technological corner. Have an escape route, and where possible, give your projects a choice of solutions.