If you’re an executive, CIO or project manager, it’s easy to feel hamstrung by a lack of internal interest in and commitment to implementing new ERP software.
We’ve noticed in the market lately that a decent number of companies are hesitant to bite off on large ERP software implementations. Perhaps it’s because of a relatively weak economy, perhaps the upcoming U.S. election or because companies are being cautious before embarking on an initiative that has burned so many companies in the past.
Regardless of the reason, some of our current and prospective clients face limited capital budgets and/or lack of internal buy-in to support a new enterprise software initiative. The good news is that there are a few steps one can take to overcome these obstacles:
- Define an enterprise and digital transformation strategy. Some see single ERP software as a foregone conclusion. However, this is just one of many options available to CIOs and executives as part of their overall digital transformation and enterprise IT strategy. Because of this, organizations should spend time defining these strategies. It’s important to carefully consider everything from enterprise-wide technology deployments to lower capital cost options such as simpler technology upgrades and business process enhancements. When considering specific technologies, it is also important to take an objective and technology-agnostic look at the various options available, including ERP, CRM software, HCM software, mobile solutions, eCommerce and other potential alternatives.
- Consider non-technology options. Now may not be the right time for new technology. Whether it’s because the ROI isn’t there, the risk is too high or employees are simply too resistant to change, it may be that other non-technology options are better suited for your current situation. For example, we sometimes recommend business process reengineering, organizational change management or upgrading technology already in place as potential alternatives to more massive technology migrations. ERP vendors and sales reps may strongly push the need for you to implement a solution (their solution now), but that’s not always the right thing. It’s important to have an objective, outside view of what’s right for your needs – and this should be someone without a vested interest in seeing you invest in their software.
- Whatever you do, consider both the long-term and short-term implications of your decisions. Short-term constraints may drive short-term decision making to some degree, but it’s also important to make these decisions in the context of a longer-term and overarching IT and digital transformation strategy, which is why step #1 is so important. For example, we are working with with a mid-size manufacturer that decided that they would not be in a position – financially or organizationally – to implement a new ERP system for at least 1-2 years. However, they also know that their current situation is not sustainable to support growth and earnings expectations. Because of this, they opted to have our team overhaul their business processes, look for options to upgrade current technology and evaluate potential new enterprise technologies that could act as further enablers of the process changes that we are implementing. They are working within short-term realities, but within the parameters of their longer-term technology and organizational vision.
While you may think of this transformation to be heavy on the wallet, there are so many options to consider that could help your organization skyrocket in efficiency among everything else.