Act now to transform your ERP solution

Many organisations have started the journey to transform their core ERP platforms, often to Cloud-based solutions, for example to SAP’s S/4HANA, Oracle’s Fusion or Microsoft’s Dynamics product. Given that the support for current products has been extended slightly, other organisations are still debating whether to invest now or to wait. 


If you haven’t already then you need to act now. These types of transformation journeys are complex, take time and must be set-up correctly with firm foundations. There will be some big questions that need answering up-front. At Project One, we are involved in many complex ERP transformation programmes and are therefore well placed to share some views. 



What happens if you defer the decision?  


Given the cost and effort required, and the fact that current products are still under support, it is tempting to defer the decision. However, this will cause issues:  


  1. Functional releases/upgrades to your current platform will be limited if the vendor has a newer product that they are now pushing. Consequently, business areas may be ‘standing still’ in an increasingly competitive marketplace 
  2. Your surrounding IT estate may have compatibility issues with a legacy ERP product, not allowing you full advantage of newer technologies 
  3. There will not be a simple upgrade path for you to follow to the newest Cloud-based product, without also transferring some of your legacy complexity and issues. It will require a business-led transformation and a multi-year journey to plan, mobilise and deliver 
  4. You may miss out on the A-teams from the suppliers. ERP experts are already in demand, and will become even more scarce over the next couple of years.



Key questions to consider  


A few key things to think about up-front: 


How do you make sure this is a business-led transformation and not an IT upgrade?  


This could be a huge opportunity to make the most of the vendor expertise and research that has gone into developing the ERP products, and to re-organise your business processes around this best practice.  



Do you go with a Cloud-based or on-premise solution? 


Mostly the answer will be Cloud-based, but there are implications to this that must be understood and planned for. For example, you will be tied into regular releases that will need regression testing and embedding into your business areas each time.  



What is the scope of the transformation?  


There may be other parts of your business, e.g. delivery or asset management, that do not currently fit within your legacy ERP scope. This could be a great opportunity to standardise. On the flip side, you may want to split out your application estate into a more micro-services approach, to allow more rapid development and flexibility.  



Which vendor and systems integrator do you use?


You may want to standardise across geographies on one vendor, or this may be an opportunity to switch to a better business fit. On the systems integrator, a good cultural fit is essential, especially if you are entering into a long development relationship. Planning and executing a well thought out selection process is key to this, making sure you meet the delivery teams and not just relying on the sales pitch. Make sure the resulting contracts incentivise the right partnership behaviour. 


To discuss further, please contact David Knappett 

Mobile: 07973 152494  | email:   

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