Angelo Mazzocco recently joined the Avaap Advisory Services team, bringing years of CIO experience as well as a view from the enterprise technology buyer perspective. We asked him to share insight to guide the decision process when buying ERP or other enterprise software.
How do you know when the time is right for a new ERP?
When you begin to see redundancy between the systems your new ERP would replace, it’s time to consider a system replacement or upgrade. Often, data that gets entered into the HR system also needs to be entered into the accounting and customer service systems, creating extra manual labor and man-made errors. Technology advancement has functionality to manage repetitive tasks, and with business performance a key priority, can free team members to focus on higher value activity that is also personally rewarding.
Another indicator that it is time for a new ERP is an increase in the number of customer service complaints or an inability to make real-time decisions. For example, procurement teams that work with supply chains might find it difficult to pull current inventory.
What is something someone who has never been through the ERP buying process should pay attention to in their ERP selection process?
Buying cloud ERP requires different thinking than traditional ERP purchase decisions. To get full potential out of the new system there are a few steps to consider. The first is to conduct a process flow analysis. When that is complete, you can evaluate the technical fit of the new system. Next is to understand the total cost of ownership (TCO) and develop a realistic implementation plan. Finally, you want to look for objective and independent advice from a vendor partner.
How does a CIO know if the ERP solution is able to grow with the company?
A big question to ask your ERP vendor is if the system has global capabilities and how it works. It’s important to also be aware of the infrastructure and how security scales with growth. When thinking about possible mergers and acquisitions in the future, you want to understand the adaptability of the new system.
Then, turn the question to yourself by asking, “how will our company enable flexibility, standardize processes, integrate operations, and ensure access to real-time data?” Successful transformation requires commitment from everyone in the organization to embrace new ways of working and using technology to align with the vision.
What is one thing every CIO should know as they begin their digital transformation?
A successful transformation project must be a team effort. Include individuals from every area of the business and develop a list of expectations with business users. As you evaluate ERP systems, compare them to the list of expectations. Also, look at platform scalability and flexibility, mobile support ability, ease of use, and long-term costs.
Why is proactively planning for change key to transformational success?
Managing change drives project success. ERP implementations are complex because they touch every area of the business and require involvement outside of core responsibilities. The project team needs to sustain a high level of motivation to meet the expected performance levels and drive the project forward. Ensuring that there is ongoing training and education, along with implementing best practice change techniques, enables the team to learn and understand all aspects of the new system and then cascade that through the organization.
Leaders must define the way they measure adoption and performance while actively supporting and being a champion for change and the new way of working.
Is your organization considering new ERP in the cloud? Join Angelo for a webinar on ERP system selection that looks at the key enterprise systems – Infor, Oracle and Workday – and considerations for successful transformation. View on-demand now!