Why are huge companies not using databases? Instead using Teamsite?

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by schimmel, May 21, 2012.

  1. schimmel macrumors member

    schimmel

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2009
    Location:
    Sweden
    #1
    Hi folks,

    I work as web admin for a major international company, they have around 100 country specific websites.

    We work in Autonomy Teamsite 7.1 - which is outrageously old technology, all data is just stored in files, and as such, re-usability of information is extremely low. Every single manager for every country has to manually add specifications for their products, although they are the same in all countries. We don't use any databases to fetch information, everything is just plain old html. It's incredible.

    Does anyone have any theories as to what the benefits or reasons might be behind this? Does anyone have similar experience, large companies seemingly using solutions for 2-person start-ups.. ?

    I'm probing the company about it but since we've just invested ********s of money into continuing down the same inefficient path (upgrading from Teamsite 6), it's pretty sensitive.

    Also, I'm curious about other peoples experiences..
     
  2. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #2
  3. schimmel thread starter macrumors member

    schimmel

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2009
    Location:
    Sweden
    #3
    Thanks, that's an interesting reply. What's your experience with these cost-focused deals? I mean, surely the buying company must realise that the license cost is a pretty small part of the whole cost structure for keeping 100+ websites up to date, correct and in sync?

    I mean, not having a central DB costs ****-loads of money wasted on hundreds of people doing the same work over and over, with huge risk of inconsistencies and errors. This must be pretty apparent to everyone.

    Their IT department just seems hell-bent to stay in 1990's style information sharing. E-mailing excel sheets to 200 people who shall fill in the same columns, then e-mail it back to that poor person who somehow has to merge all this, and then copy-paste it into this formidable horror of a CMS called Teamsite.

    Non-reusability seems key. Internet Explorer 6 compatibility (and every-other-browser-incompatability) is one of the main goals. They make huge profits. Not that they are in IT, but this kind of inefficiency is just mind-blowing.

    Any other thoughts on why (large) companies accept such extremely inefficient IT? Are the wrong people overseeing things? Are people just lazy?
     
  4. lucidmedia macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2008
    Location:
    Wellington, New Zealand
    #4
    If the majority of content within the site is not dynamic and changing on a regular basis why store it in a database? The performance hit of bouncing off the database multiple times on each pageload adds up quick.

    That said, a lot of agencies make good money locking their clients into a technology and keeping them there as long as they can.
     
  5. Cerebrus' Maw macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2008
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    #5
    I'll play devil's advocate here.

    While it may seem inefficient to anyone, there are valid reasons for using legacy software. The main reason? The software works.

    You say that this is a large multinational company? If this software is mission critical, the cost to update, and more importantly test it, would be completely abhorrant.

    Not only would it be astronomical in costs, you could not guarantee that your new software works until it actually goes live. The saying 'Testing means jack until it ships' takes precedence.

    And then if something does go wrong, you have to spend more money to track down the issue, deploy a fix, then test that fix again, before rolling out to live. Not only this, but now you are losing money either productivity wise with your workforce not being able to work properly, or worse, your paying customers can no longer use your software.

    I worked at a pharmaceutical plant that shipped out blood pressure and thinning pills. The control center? Old 8 bit graphics, fortron programming, alphabetically ordered keyboards. Actual switches to control input and data! And yet... it worked. And this was only 4 years ago!

    It's that old adage. If it ain't broke, don't fix it...
     
  6. andiwm2003 macrumors 601

    andiwm2003

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2004
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #6
    for top level management websites are a thing that just has to work and they do not waste their time in understanding the system. the responsible IT mak\nagers of course have no incentive to say that the current system is ill designed and they also have no incentive to take the risk with a new database. the IT managers and all their staff have pretty save jobs with a predictable work load. why would they make their own job and the job of a hundred employees go away?

    this is simply how large organizations work. the interest of individual departments is not always aligned with the interest of the organization as a whole and as long as it works there is no problem.

    however eventually there are these large shake ups/efficiency measures/restructuring and everybody wonders why all of a sudden thousands get laid off.
     
  7. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #7
    Many IT departments think that more inefficient products = more work = job security.

    And some are too lazy to test anything new. (And as some mentioned, they don't want to risk implementing new products).
     

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