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There is never a good time to start your digital transformation initiative. Especially this time of year, key team members are on vacation, which can make difficult starting a new project and gain the necessary buy-in. There are a million reasons why the summer months may not seem like a good time to start a digital transformation project, but there are probably just as many reasons and ways that you should, in fact, take the time to start such an initiative now.

Here are a few tips and ways to get your project off the ground this summer:

Start building your project at the grassroots level. Many CIOs, CFOs, and IT Managers feel that their only option is to decide between starting a formal evaluation and selection process – or not starting at all. However, the decision is not quite this binary. You can start by mapping out your current business processes, defining your high-level future state and building a business case for how new enterprise technology might help improve your business operations and financial results. You can also conduct an organizational readiness assessment to determine how big of a change a new initiative would entail. If you spend the summer doing things like these, you will hit the ground running when the team is back to full strength to discuss a more formal evaluation and selection process.

Define an overarching IT strategy. Many enterprise and ERP software selection processes wander aimlessly with no direction. They take a “throwing spaghetti to see what sticks” approach to evaluating potential software solutions, which is not considered best practice. Instead of starting an enterprise software project with no clear sense of direction, it is helpful to first define an overarching enterprise, IT, and digital transformation strategy. This will help define the goals of your project, potential software options and a high-level, long-term plan among other things. This ensures that your team is grounded and headed in the same direction once you are ready to start a more formal evaluation, selection and implementation process.

Get your ducks in a row. Your selection and implementation process will go a lot smoother if you have a strong foundation to start from. In addition to defining a clear IT strategy (as mentioned above), you may also want to begin defining your business processes and requirements. This will provide a launching point for your team to begin a more formal evaluation process once the team is back together. Business process management itself involves many decisions and can take quite some time, so this can help build some momentum while you’re awaiting approval for a more “official” evaluation project.

Hire independent digital transformation consultants to help get you started. The entire process can be overwhelming, so don’t be afraid to enlist the help and support of independent digital transformation consultants like Panorama Consulting. Such outside and technology-agnostic expertise can help give you direction and confidence to build a strong foundation to start your evaluation process from. They can also help you prioritize and focus your efforts so that you are honing in on the business processes and technologies that are most likely to improve your business.

Summer may be a time of relaxation, vacations, and family time, but it is also a great opportunity to build a foundation and momentum for a third quarter digital transformation or ERP software initiative. How will you spend your summer preparing for the back half of the year?

Download Panorama’s 2017 ERP Report

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