As CIOs head into the holidays and the new year, they often spend time thinking about what they want from their ERP software.

For some, there is a need to reassess their organization’s current systems, business processes and people. For others, it may be time for a complete replacement of their current systems. The rest may go for a clean-slate approach to define a longer-term digital transformation.

Regardless of your intentions, here are some tips to ready your organization for a new or improved digital transformation in 2017:

Every organization has different enterprise technology needs and opportunities. Some find that a major overhaul of technology is appropriate, while others find that a more incremental improvement to current systems and processes is a more suitable path. It is important to understand your goals and objectives before beginning your digital transformation or ERP software initiatives.

Assess how much of a change your digital transformation will entail

Once you have a sense of your general goals and objectives, it is important to assess the magnitude of change and impact on your organization. For example, moving from a dated, legacy, mainframe-based system is much more complex than upgrading a relatively modern ERP system. It is important to understand the degree of change and impact on your organization so you can engage in appropriate organizational change management activities going forward.

Plan how you will prepare your organization for digital transformation

Once you have defined the magnitude of change, you will need to define your plan to prepare the organization for change. Start by conducting an organizational readiness assessment to determine how ready you are for change and to uncover potential sources of resistance in your organization – along with potential strategies to mitigate that resistance. This should provide a foundation for your overarching organizational change and enterprise IT strategies.

Define how your business processes will drive your digital transformation

Business process reengineering should be a key component of any digital transformation. In particular, you will want to define how your “to be” business processes and improvements will drive your organization forward, which will enable you to overlay appropriate technologies onto that operational model. Too often, companies gloss over this important step and assume that the technology will give them a silver bullet to resolve their business process issues.

Quantify how you will define digital transformation success

You won’t achieve what you don’t measure, so be sure to define and quantify how you will measure success. For example, is your measure of success to simply finish the project on time and on budget without disrupting your daily operations? Is it to reduce inventory costs and internal overhead? Is it to materially improve customer service and satisfaction? Whatever the answer, it is important to define the measures and target levels of performance that you will use to drive your project and post-implementation results.It’s never too early to start planning for your 2017 initiatives, so these tips should help ready your organization and team for an exciting journey into a more digital era!

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