January Blog Series: New & Best Practices
Insights from: Emir Dobraca (Fullscope Account Executive) and Sharon Long (Fullscope Senior Business Analyst)
Upper management deals with many software business decisions, and when they encounter the possibility of upgrading their manufacturing Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software they look to their Information Technology (IT) team to provide them with information that will assist the company in making an informed business decision.
Approaching the Situation
One of the key factors upper management looks for is the possible business benefits that may lead to increased return on investment (ROI). Upper management must ensure that their IT group's objectives are aligned with the company's overall business goals, which requires the IT group to be innovative as well as informed on all existing software.
When IT personnel initiates the discussion with upper management about upgrading ERP softwarethey should come prepared with a five year strategic plan that maps the businesses' long range objectives and the resources required i.e. people and budgetary concerns. The more business decision makers understand IT's perspective on software business strategies, the more they will support the IT department's efforts to move the business forward. It helps establish credibility and prepares the business for well-aligned cross-departmental goals.
It is not uncommon for upgrades to be seen as a non-impact to the business and therefore the cost is typically one of the biggest business concerns. So, it is crucial for IT personnel to educate themselves on the immediate and future cost savings benefits.
According to the recent blog Thinking About A New ERP System? by Mint Jutras, an independent research-based consulting firm that specializes in analyzing the business impact of enterprise applications, "Most ERP solutions pay for themselves within a two to three year time period and Mint Jutras research finds those manufacturers running ERP solutions from Microsoft Dynamics do it even faster."
Another point of concern for upper management is that other ongoing IT projects may be delayed while an upgrade occurs. IT personnel should address this by introducing this endeavor as a necessary and routine business project, and emphasizing collaboration is vital to sustainable and successful ERP implementations and upgrades.
Business decision makers can empower IT department leaders by involving them in routine strategic planning. Both parties will feel like they have an equal voice in ongoing business initiatives, which can help ensure this project is given the attention it deserves as a part of the continued effort for aligned business objectives.