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The Need for Speed: Software, Hardware and Everything In Between

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Picture appears courtesy of Fritz van Eerd – Hockenheim.

A consultant we work with started his software company in 1976 and bought a computer for development.  It had 48K of RAM (that’s ‘K’, not ‘MB’) and 12MB of disk space (that’s ‘MB’, not ‘GB’).   It cost about $70,000.00 (that’s 1976 dollars).  Today, a $600 lap-top is many thousand times more powerful than that first computer.

We bring this up to demonstrate the amazing improvement in data processing hardware technology that is ongoing today.  But many companies are not taking advantage of these very affordable hardware advances.  As software upgrades provide more and more capabilities, including processing speed, data integration and cloud services, they often need to be accompanied by hardware upgrades to take full advantage of them.

No matter how much processing speed is increased with new software, everyone always wants it to run faster.  What seemed like a great improvement in speed after the last update, now seems slow.  Some of this may just be the imaginary result of impatience due to increased business pressures, but it also may be very real.  New users may have been added, order volume may have increased, or the demands of the latest software upgrade may be outpacing the hardware capabilities.

We are currently working with a company that has been using Liaison ECS and Liaison Delta for their EDI communications for over 10 years, during which time they have more than tripled their number of trading partners, quadrupled their EDI volume, and doubled their users. The Liaison software has more than kept up with their EDI requirements, but their last hardware upgrade was over 6 years ago.  No wonder they are complaining about speed!

The cost of upgrading the hardware is minuscule relative to their increased sales volume.  Furthermore, the upgrade process is painless compared to the benefits it will produce.

Review your hardware capabilities on a regular basis.  The cost in dollars and time of upgrading will surely fill the need for speed.

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