1. Based on Gardner's (2007) article, describe the importance of timing when implementing new projects.
According to Gardner, most players in the Mortgage industry are afraid to implement new projects when the business is booming, probably because they fear damaging the smooth running of operations, consequently cutting on their revenue. However, they are also wary of initiating new projects in times of low business activity because they are concerned about the possibility that those projects may not generate enough to compensate the investment made on them. However, Gardner asserts that these players are not privy to the importance of timing. It is during the times that the business is enduring low activities that a company should invest in new technologies. New projects should be initiated to overhaul and streamline operations. When a business is going through a low season, it can afford to try out new methodologies. If bugs are reported, they can be debugged and rectified in time. When the peak season arrives, the company will have all systems in place and will be able to cut down on its inputs and maximize its outputs (Gardner 102).
2. When does it make sense to outsource, specifically the maintenance and support of an application system?
Outsourcing has become a critical element of modern businesses. However, not every operation should be outsourced and therefore, determining when to outsource is very important. One of the main reasons why a business should consider outsourcing is to cut down on its costs. If the cost of doing the job in-house is more than that of outsourcing, it makes absolute sense to outsource. Another situation that usually leads to a decision to outsource is when the task entails complex technologies that will end up costing a company huge amounts of money as a result of hiring experts. This is especially true of application systems. For instance, to develop and maintain a mobile banking application requires business and technical experts. For the company to develop and maintain this application, it may invest a lot of money in recruiting, training and compensating expert. Outsourcing can turn out to be the only solution. Further, if the task is not core to the generation of revenue, the company should consider outsourcing.
Gardner, Harry. “Technology Solutions for the Real World.” MISMO Memo, 2007. PDF file.