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Down Arrow The Systems Staircase

Visualize the Hierarchy of Systems Maturity in an Organization as a Steep Staircase.

Gray Arrow 1st Level - Manual Systems.

Gray Arrow 2nd Level - Data Sources like Spreadsheets, Databases & Other Documents.

Gray Arrow 3rd Level - Independent Standalone Standard Packages / Custom Built Bespoke Software Solutions .

Gray Arrow 4th Level - Integrated ERP Systems .

Gray Arrow 5th Level - EAI (Enterprise Integration Application) & similar Systems.

Each of these five levels of The Systems Staircase are explained in detail below.

Down Arrow Is it tough climbing The Systems Staircase ?

(c) Kaytek 2005 - The Systems Staircase with Manual Systems at the first Step, Independent Data Sources like Spreadsheets, Databases at the second step, Standalone Customized or Standard Software Packages at the third step, Integrated ERP Systems at the fourth step and EAI (Enterprise Integration Application) Systems at the fifth step and more beyond.

(c) Kaytek 2005 - Copyright Mahesh Khatri India
(c) Kaytek 2005 - Copyright Mahesh Khatri India

Down Arrow Level 1 - Manual Systems at the bottom of the systems staircase

Organizations need to have properly defined manual systems to get started.

These could be in the form of paper based registers e.g.

For it's accounting operations, an Organization may have a manual 'Payment Register','Receipt Register', etc.

A Doctor's Office may have a manual 'Patient's Register', 'Charges Register', etc. In these registers, the entries are made manually by the users.

Instead of registers, some use notebooks & pads to record information by hand.

It is important to understand that unless manual systems are in place (which implies that basic procedures are being followed), even the simplest computerization activities cannot be done satisfactorily.

The scope and depth of information being maintained in these manual registers must be studied thoroughly to proceed ahead.

Down Arrow Level 2 - Data Sources like Spreadsheets, Databases & Other Electronic Documents

After manual systems, the next logical progression step on the 'Systems Staircase' is to have data entered and stored in Office Productivity Software like Electronic Word Processing Documents, Spreadsheets and simple databases.

This enables the organization to use the properly defined manual systems in Level 1 to start organizing their data systematically.

It also inducts a disciplined attitude in the daily operational work procedures, routines, activities and tasks.

Down Arrow Level 3 - Independent Standalone Standard Packages / Custom Built Software Solutions

The next stage beyond storing data in spreadsheets and simple databases is using standalone software packages that take care of specific aspects of the organization's work functionality.

These independent software solutions help move the organization's systems usage to the 3rd step just before an integrated ERP solution can be used.

Some organizations prefer to work directly at Step 3 without going through Steps 1 & 2. This approach can only be done when the software solution being considered has had a successful track record of being implemented in similar work situations.

Also, the organization must be ready to work with such a standard software solution and not demand too much customization as a starting point.

Down Arrow Level 4 - Integrated ERP Systems

At Level 4 are the integrated Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Systems. We cover ERP systems in detail in our separate ERP section here.

Down Arrow Level 5 - EAI (Enterprise Application Integration)

At the top of the Systems Staircase pyramid, at Level 5 is the domain of Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) Systems. We cover EAI in detail in our separate EAI section here.

Gray Arrow We have used the above Systems Staircase Concept to quickly help map the IT Infrastructure & Information Systems of organizations in different verticals such as jewellery /pharmaceutical machinery manufacturing, US Higher Education, etc. Can we help your organization climb the Systems Staircase ? Contact Us.