August 18, 2022

Why Your Data Needs a Better Home: the Trust vs. Will Approach

Fancy pen on a document with calligraphy "my Will"

Ever view your data as a living asset in today’s technology-driven times? Think of it this way: it lives in your business and helps it grow. Unfortunately, in many companies, that’s not happening.

There can be many root causes for that underperformance. Legacy software central to the business is outdated and not doing the job. Another is that the current system doesn’t follow the existing business model. Here’s one more: your system’s original tech provider is no longer available.

It’s time for a change. It’s time to reframe your data and how you view it. And here’s how to start …

The Trust Vs. Will Model: The Time is NOW

Viewing your data as a living asset makes sense through a lens of both the present and future. So, the trust vs. will analogy is much more apt than you might think.

Your current system resembles that of an old will. It’s been around forever. Largely untouched by the latest challenges. It’s a basic, static document on who gets what and when. However, the reality is that it can no longer meet today’s needs.

Conversely, a trust is a more malleable structure with the ability to adapt to varying scenarios. Technologically speaking, those scenarios could include cloud storage, data integration, and the apps that are the foundation of your systems and operations.

Is an old will better than no will at all? Yes. Is a trust a be-all, end-all solution that works for every business? Of course not.

The desired outcome is a custom solution that fits your business perfectly. So view the trust model as a way to frame the situation but don’t be solely attached to it as a way to move forward.

A Deeper Look at Two Use Cases: Upgrade or Build Anew?

The decision to upgrade vs. replace outright includes both strategic and tactical outcomes. Strategically, you’re setting a new course and vision for both your company and the technology systems running it. Tactically, you will deploy new technology that alters and enhances how human and technological factors interact with the data.

In other words, it’s a decision not to be taken lightly! So to help you understand what other businesses went through in this process, here are some examples.

Illustration depicting a printed circuit board with an upgrade

Use Case #1: Furniture Store [Replacement of new technology systems]

The furniture store’s commission system (an input to Payroll) functioned from two valuable inputs: Sales and Time Reporting. The commission application was written in an Excel predecessor, Lotus Notes.

The commission structure was outdated and did not accommodate the new business rules. The impact of outdated technology was higher human costs and intervention. Commissions had to be manually proofed, with extra time allotted for adjustments, and after all that, inaccuracies still occurred.

Barnes Business Solutions solved all those issues by creating a custom software solution that provided accurate, timely, and cost-effective data.

Use Case #2: Window Cleaning Business [Upgrade of new technology systems]

This business inherited a Microsoft Access database from a company they acquired. The firm felt the database was sufficient but didn’t perform well over time. The company had its business rules that needed inclusion. Unfortunately, the developer who created the original system was no longer available.

Barnes Business Solutions upgraded the existing software, following the new business rules. This solution integrated and aligned business needs and goals with technology to deliver those efficiently and productively.

A Multi-purpose Solution: Enter Microsoft Access

In both the use cases, Microsoft Access was the ideal solution. Access excels with integrating different types of data. For example, the companies could now receive vital and accurate reports that were either incomplete or missing from the previous software. In addition, there was also the enhanced ability to email individual user commission reports where needed automatically.

The lesson learned here is that Microsoft Access is not a static tool. It provides a rapid application development platform that allows developers to customize an application quickly. It can be configured precisely for what a company needs to maximize its data. For some, an upgrade is the answer. For others, a replacement is the desired course. Working with a consultant like Barnes Business Solutions will help you proceed down the right path with complete confidence you made the right decision.

Why Upgrade or Replace and Why Now?

The most obvious answer is: time is money. Software that requires more manual time via entry and editing can be both a time and money drain on business operations. This is further compounded by work being done manually that is often more error-prone.

The second most obvious answer is your data deserves better. Better systems = a business that runs more smoothly.

So you immediately reap the benefits of time and cost savings as well as the peace of mind from maximizing one of the critical components of your business: the technology systems that help run it.

Build the Right Solution the Right Way: From the Beginning

When considering the will vs. trust scenario, both can work. You can replace a will with an updated one without including a trust. And as you may or may not know, a trust doesn’t always supersede a will. There are circumstances where both have a viable place.

A trust can provide elements that a will cannot. It can offer privacy, flexibility, protection of your assets, and a plan for how asset management continues.

From a data and technology standpoint, making a change results in better data, more efficiency, and higher profits.

Where there is a Will, There is a Way. Where There is a Trust, there is a Way Forward

You’ve read how aligning your technology system with your current and future needs make business sense. You’ve also learned that it’s similar to how you would approach choosing a will vs. a trust. And no matter what you choose, you also discover the value of your data as a living asset.

At Barnes Business Solutions, we understand the vital importance of your data. And it’s our role to provide technology solutions that help you make the most of it on time and within budget.
To discover how Barnes Business Solutions can optimize your technology and business operations, Download our Action Guide here.

Are you interested in finding out more and have questions you want to answer directly? Reach out to Maria Barnes and send her a message here.