Rapidly evolving technology trends and their associated organizational and operational impacts can be overwhelming. It is nearly impossible to constantly keep up to date with this ever-changing landscape–making the job of today’s CIO so difficult. Proving why leveraging outside expertise can be so beneficial.
With that in mind, here are four challenges in particular that you won’t want to face alone.
Creating an IT strategy and roadmap that fits your business. The proliferation of enterprise software and other business technology options is mostly positive for organizations – especially those in the small and mid-markets that historically couldn’t afford many enterprise solutions. But the number of these options can be dizzying to navigate. For this reason, it’s critical to work with an outside expert who can help in developing a technology-agnostic ERP strategy and roadmap to define the best path forward based on your organization’s overall direction. Your roadmap should include a three to five year plan along with more immediate low-hanging fruit that you can begin implementing right away.
Organizational adoption of new systems. Whatever you decide to execute within your IT strategy and roadmap is sure to lead to relatively significant organizational changes. Even seemingly simple technological implementations typically result in direct and indirect changes to employee’s jobs, roles, responsibilities and the communication between departments. Because of this, it is important to never underestimate the need for organizational change management. Many IT-types focus on the more techie aspects of IT initiatives. This explains why so many struggle in this area. The good news is that there are organizational change consultants that can help you navigate this vital pain point of any IT initiative.
Alignment between new technology and your current business processes. Technology itself doesn’t mean much if it isn’t aligned with your business processes. Even before selecting which technology to implement within your organization, it is important to define how you envision your business processes looking into the future. Beware of simply documenting how things are done today instead focusing on pain points, opportunities for improvement and “to be” business processes that will best support your organization going forward. Look for ERP consultants who are also experts in Six Sigma and manufacturing (or your specific industry vertical) to help facilitate this process for you and your team.
Realizing the ROI of enterprise technology investments. One of the biggest shortcomings of enterprise IT initiatives is failing to deliver a solid return on investment (ROI). In fact, according to our 2015 ERP Report, most ERP systems and IT initiatives fail to deliver expected business benefits. New technology may sound good in theory, but if it doesn’t deliver tangible business benefits, then it isn’t helping your organization. Go beyond developing a business case for your initiative and instead develop a more robust benefits realization plan if you expect to truly realize meaningful benefits.
Regardless of how technology evolves in coming years, these commonalities will be relevant to your job. It doesn’t matter if you are struggling with the implementation of a new ERP system, rolling out technology to automate your shop floor, applying a new CRM system and mobile devices to your sales team or pursuing any other enterprise software initiative –mastering these challenges will help you succeed well into the future.
If you’re in the market for new ERP software, be sure to register for our ERP Vendor Showdown webinar series.