IT system analysis benefits also farmers

An efficient milk recording system means lower costs and better service for the farmer.

Over the years, Mtech has seen that milk recording IT systems found in various organisations have very big variations in performance. The reason is often caused by legacy systems and solutions and the fact that it is a very complex and huge task to run a modernisation project to reach the progress and performance needed today.

Milk recording and cattle breeding have, in many countries, paved the way for digitalisation in agriculture. Many systems, including the Finnish one, were computerised already in the 1960s. Apart from giving long experience on how to use IT, the legacy may also mean that non-efficient work procedures have their origin in the limitations of the early systems. When one gets accustomed to a certain way of doing things, it might not be easy to see where there is unnecessary complexity.

Unnecessary complexity, of course, means more work, a higher cost, and thus also higher prices for the farmers.

Another eventual challenge may arise from storing the data by using old and outdated technologies. They probably still serve the purpose they were originally designed for but, for example, adding modern web or mobile services to serve the customers better may turn out to be very difficult or even impossible. For this reason, many organisations have started projects to modernise the underlying database or to combine the original data storage with a modern database. These projects are often complex and lengthy since data capture needs to continue throughout the process. Prerequisites for successful handling of such projects are excellent management and sufficient resources over a long period. If such a big and important project goes wrong, it might turn out very expensive for the service provider and, of course, in the end, the farms.

At Mtech, we have transitioned already in 2003 from our original 1960s data system to a modern SQL database. The process took longer than expected and was a challenge for the company but it was necessary to develop new services on top of the database. Within the projects we have had during the recent years, we also have acquired a lot of experience with data systems and IT projects from other countries. In many cases, there are opportunities to make the systems more efficient and more cost-effective.

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About the author

Image of: Juho Kyntäjä

Juho Kyntäjä

Senior Spelicalist
Mtech Digital Solutions

juho.kyntaja@mtech.fi