As CIO, you’re constantly monitoring an ever changing IT landscape. But you also manage an ERP system that represents decades of investment and is crucial to your business operations. What’s your IT strategy going forward?
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is the core of your business system — and that won’t change as you consider your overall IT strategy. But are you getting the full benefit?
ERP is a component in a broader IT strategy that includes such digital transformation pathways as mobility, the Internet of Things (IoT), and cloud deployment. The first step to developing an IT strategy for the future is to evaluate your current situation.
Your IT landscape has many moving parts, inter-dependencies, and players. Inventory your application portfolio to determine whether applications are strategic, a commodity, or legacy. By segmenting your application portfolio, you can build a strategy to protect and strengthen your ERP investment and embrace the opportunities in digital transformation.
1. Assess Your ERP
ERP is at the core of your IT strategy:
- Standardizes processes
- Maintains a single source of the truth
- Serves as a core system for master data
- Tightly integrates related processes
- Supports processes unique to the business or industry
- Supports quick development and deployment of innovative applications
2. Take Inventory of Applications
Decide where to invest, what to keep, what to replace:
- Increase investment in strategic applications based on reliability, scalability, extensibility, and vendor commitment.
- Keep commodity applications based on importance to operations.
- Replace legacy applications based on obsolescence and risk to the business.
3. Assess Shadow IT
When users ignore internal IT and purchase cloud services directly, you risk deployment of applications outside IT without approval, and a disconnect between IT and the business. To gain control, collaborate with the business side to identify and implement application requirements.
4. Digital Transformation
Multiply the value of your ERP investment by digitally transforming your enterprise. You can achieve marketplace differentiation with:
- Mobility: Efficiency, cost reduction, flexibility
- IoT: Connected enterprise, real-time data driving business transactions
- Cloud deployment: Improved IT control, strategic deployment of applications, new capabilities
5. Build Relationships
Developing a winning IT strategy is easier when there is a partnership between IT and business leaders. To build this relationship, give the business what it wants and needs—a voice in software selection. Maintain IT control over software ownership and plan to:
- Leverage IT as a trusted adviser to the business.
- Share technology ownership between business leaders and IT.
- Involve business users in software research and selection.
- Work with partners across the company to evaluate options for intellectual property protection, data privacy, and contracts to ensure business continuity.
You’ve evaluated your IT. Your users are hungering for innovative solutions. But how do you choose the right solution and build the right strategy for your company?
First of all, your business requirements aren’t one-size-fits-all. Cloud deployment for your ERP is a strategic choice that could be an opportunity for your organization to become more innovative and a way to cut costs in the short or long term. But it’s critical to find a deployment solution that works for you.
Options include: Private Cloud – Deploy your ERP system in a hosted environment, co-location, or with a private cloud provider data center; Hybrid Cloud – Deploy your ERP across a combination of on-premise, private cloud, and public cloud; Public Cloud – Deploy your ERP in a shared, public cloud deployment.
Before making a jump, we suggest you consider the following:
- Ownership: Ownership of technology assets versus subscription
- Customizations: Ready-to-use deployment versus customizations
- Fiscal model: Operational versus capital expenditure
- Life cycle: Long-term versus short-term dynamic requirements
- Maintenance: Outsourced management versus in-house management
If you would like to discuss your options with a Highstreet expert, please feel free to contact us.