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CIO Speak

ERP pre and post implementation strategy

What time is the right time to go for an ERP?

As such any time is a right time to implement ERP. However, the times like when an organization is poised for an exponential growth or the business cycle is at low level however, the organization is confident of overcoming this situation or when the legacy systems have lived their useful life and organization is looking for replacement are appropriate times for implementation of ERP.

There is no magic in ERP software. Your views

Yes. There is no magic in ERP software however, an ERP can do a wonderful job of integrating the organization's business process and teams during implementation and on ongoing basis. This is at times a dream management want to realize.

What should be the overall implementation strategy keeping in mind the terms of innovation, complexity and user adaptation?

Overall implementation strategy should look for implementing a robust, flexible system which users will happily use. There are contradicting demands on the team. Experienced business users can make this happen. They will configure ERP by handling complexity in a simplistic manner using innovative thought process to ensure higher level of end user adoption.

Which type of adoption; Big Bang, Parallel or Phased ERP implementation is the best?

Big Bang implementation is the best way to go about implementing ERP. However, the methodology still depends on the level of business process, IT & business maturity an organization is in. It also depends on the level of influence the ERP implementation sponsors have on the businesses. Higher the influence, better for Big Bang. Lower the influence, go for phased ERP implementation.

What criteria are important while selecting an ERP that might have a huge impact on the success post implementation?

Industry adoption, customer references, closure fitment of ERP process and organizations process and addressing pain points that an organization is facing pre implementation will determine the success post implementation.

Should executives outside of IT be involved in the vendor evaluation and planning process? Justify

Executives outside of IT should be involved to have buy-in from business right from the beginning and also to identify right business benchmark references, gaining possible competitive edge, ability of ERP to address key pain points.

What are the factors which determine the TCO?

TCO depends on cost of individual hardware, cost of licences, Annual maintenance fees on hardware, Annual maintenance fees on licenses, ERP vendor support cost, Enhancement / customization cost, upgrade and augmentation of hardware, training cost, cost of loss of productivity due to untrained users, potential business losses due to improper usage of software, ERP upgrade cost, staffing cost, connectivity and Bandwidth cost.

How could CIO calculate the ROI of an ERP software, post implementation?

ROI calculation by business should be facilitated by CIO rather than CIO calculating ROI. However, the facilitation should be done in a tactical way by influencing the business, highlighting the benefits of using ERP and cost of not using ERP and by providing right data for the business for calculation of ROI. Intangible benefits of ERP like competitive edge, ability to manage complexity, scalability, controls and robustness should be included like topping on the cakes.

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