This old saw is broken: If it “ain’t broke” don’t fix it

Not every old saying still works. In software, if it ain't broke, you may not know what is possible!

Not every old saw (or saying) still works. In software, just because it “ain’t broke” doesn’t mean you shouldn’t improve it!

There is an old saw where I come from that I now find is nearly always poor advice: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. (Sorry for non-native English speakers – an old saw is a maxim – it’s supposedly words of wisdom.)

Awful grammar aside, the world is constantly changing and people who don’t keep up with those changes can find themselves in “a world of hurt” to use another folksy Midwestern turn of phrase. Many companies have aging software applications that they have become accustomed to – and protective of the add-ons they have cleverly devised (usually with many hours of IT programming) to keep it from breaking or being useless. The overseers of these systems use that old saw, and have not fixed what they can justify “ain’t broke.”

Just because you use a system every day and have not yet gone out of business does not mean that your system – or the process it supports – or both – “ain’t broke.” They most likely are, and you just don’t know you could be doing something much better.

I recently had the distinct pleasure of being on a webcast with a visionary who has repeatedly gotten ahead of a looming software obsolescence problem and addressed it: Mark Remson, VP of IT for NXP Semiconductors. I’ve been speaking to others in this industry as well. While many are either pretending it “ain’t broke” or paralyzed by fear of changing out the system that runs production, leaders like Remson are making the move and gaining great benefits for their companies.

As the foundation of smart products, some of the semiconductor companies are acting – well, I won’t say dumb, but as if they still believe that old saw. My warning: You don’t know what you don’t know. Do your homework on modern MES/MOM software and discover that risk of not changing can be far greater than risk of changing, without the enormous upside benefits. This webcast with Mark Remson will help you to decide when the time is right.

Nothing lasts forever, not old saws and certainly not old application software!


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