The bottom-up approach is an approach to implementing various types of software and security programs, such as identity management programs, into a corporate or network atmosphere over a period of time. The bottom-up approach works by implementing the programs slowly at the micro level, rather than implementing them at the top, or macro level, such as on the main servers, and letting them trickle down from there. There are a number of different advantages and disadvantages to a bottom-up approach as opposed to the more commonly seen and used top-down approach, and it is important to consider whether or not the bottom-up approach might be more useful to your organization based on these advantages and disadvantages.
Pro: Earlier Return on Investment
Because the bottom-up approach works at the micro level, each individual user will be using the software or security and identity management programs right from the start, and will have the highest possible buy in to the system. This means that there is less chance of a security breach down the road. The bottom-up approach thus allows for overall returns on investment to occur much quicker and increases implementation ease of use.
Con: Subsequent Changes May Be Needed
One huge disadvantage of the bottom-up approach is that you may need to make changes to the organization and implementation later on in the process, and as a result you may end up spending more time, money, and implementation resources on the project than you would have had you selected the top-down approach. This can be a problem for struggling businesses or for businesses that need to adhere to a strict budget.
Pro: Easier Replacement of Manual Processes
The bottom-up approach makes replacing manual processes in the various business functions much easer than with a top-down approach, where manual processes will have to be replaced with automation later on in the process. This is especially important to consider in manufacturing environments.
Con: Reliance on Existing Business Processes
The existing business processes are used to implement a bottoms-up approach, while a top-down approach introduces entirely new procedures. This means that it will be harder to correctly implement the procedures with bottom-up approaches if the fundamental business procedures are already flawed.