The implementation and integration of a new ERP system is one of the most important tasks a company can undertake. When moving from a legacy, monolithic system to a modern, agile ERP solution such as Acumatica, many challenges can be encountered, especially for a company ill at ease with the latest technology. To help guide these businesses, Gartner, a leading IT research and advisory company, has written a report designed to help guide businesses through this potential mine-field. This article will summarize the main points of the report, with subsequent articles diving deep to give businesses greater detail on certain aspects and ideas from the report.
A Brave New World of ERP
The key, guiding idea of Gartner’s report is that we are in a new era of ERP solution, and businesses must act accordingly. Gone are the days where purely tactical integration plans could provide real results. With ERP systems evolving to feature such a diverse array of functions such as the cloud, mobile and internet of things connectivity, and ‘citizen developers’ it is no longer enough to rely on traditional implementation plans where “we need function x so we buy product y” was the guiding principal.
A new, more thought out strategy is needed. Instead of the ad hoc approach, tackling problems and diagnosing needs as they appear, companies should have an in depth plan for what functions, tools, and integrations are needed before choosing a partner. By taking a more long-term approach to choosing and implementing a solution time and money can be saved and frustration avoided, as new functions will not be required after go-live.
Make the Most of New Capabilities
According to Gartner a key axiom to remember is simple: Do not put your ERP back together the same way it came apart. When upgrading to a complete ERP solution such as Acumatica from a legacy, monolithic solution it would be counter productive to expect the new, top of the line system to behave in the same way as the system it is replacing! But too often companies fail to plan out how they will best make use of the new tools and capabilities a complete solution will arm them with, meaning they never achieve their peak potential.
One Size Doesn’t Fit All
Defining what enterprise business capabilities are needed to execute the business vision you have laid out for your company is key. Gartner breaks these capabilities down in to three categories in a process they call ‘pace layered applications’. This breaks up systems in to three categories- Systems of record, systems of differentiation, and systems of innovation.
By laying out capabilities on this spectrum businesses can accurately plan for what they need now, and what they will need in the future. We will be taking a closer look at these three categories in an upcoming article.
Citizen Integrators and the Role They Play
Some users may not be familiar with the term “citizen integrator.” Gartner defines it as “business users who engage low-code or configuration-defined development tools to perform integration as needed”, meaning users who are called upon to solve problems as they arise as an additional job they perform, rather than being a full time implementation specialist. While these citizen integrators perform vital functions, they also can pose risks to the overall health of the implementation. Managing them and ensuring their work lines up with the overall business strategy is vital.
Moving into the Future Requires Planning
The Gartner report makes one thing abundantly clear- the old ways of doing things are no longer enough to ensure long-term success. By choosing to implement a complete ERP solution, such as Acumatica, businesses are making the correct first choice, but a long-term vision for its implementation and success is required to truly make the most of the new tools available in the brave new world of modern, agile ERP solutions.