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10 ERP Upgrade Mistakes to Avoid

ERP, strategic planning, business, upgrade, IT, information technology, information systems, competitive advantage

What Is ERP?

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) has to be considered part of the plan when upgrading your system. In this information technology (IT) has to be combined with the business process to help bring a competitive advantage to others in the same industry. It is anything from reading an e-mail to updating records of procedures. An ERP is an application that uses a centralized database to run the entire company. This medium allows data from one department for viewing in other branches of the same company. It can be bought either as modules for different parts of the agency, or a subset. ERP systems are there to enforce processes that your business will adopt.

Upgrade Mistakes

  1. Not explaining what new systems means to users before starting the project – If the users of the upgrades don’t know why it’s happening and are in agreement, the update will fail.
  2. Not load testing systems with scripts and end users – How do you know if your file loads are typical? Load testing with scripts and users will complete real tests in this area to make sure that the process will work or not.
  3. Not performing tests of the new process to see if it works or not – Will everything work as planned?
  4. Not taking change management or testing sincerely – Know everything you need to know about the change and regression tests beforehand, so you aren’t surprised by “new opportunities.”
  5. Assigning internal personnel as project managers – Get a consultant project manager as they will focus on the upgrade only. They’ll catch the mistakes made and keep things on schedule and budget.
  6. Not telling others of changes before they happen – End users don’t like change so make sure to communicate before so they aren’t caught off guard.
  7. Giving classroom training only – Allow for video training that the users can find and use if they come across a problem they can’t fix. Create a Knowledge area that they can access to see before elevating.
  8. Not moving components to open business standards – This speeds up future upgrades that will happen. Try to change reports and interfaces to open business standards. It will help a lot in the future, and possibly save money with more completed upgrades.
  9. Not archiving before upgrading and keeping up security during – Archiving before upgrading will save you time and money. It speeds up queries on large tables, and table conversions as they are will run quicker. Security wise, upgrades are to be need-to-know only. There’s no use in upgrading if spies find a way to get the information out to your competitors.
  10. Assuming internal tech personnel will pick up years of experience in weeks – Keep the consultants around for a while after the upgrade is complete. Enhancements aren’t easy to learn, and someone has to be there who knows how to run the system. Or at least until the first workers understand the system as well.

Impact of IT on Business

IT has a significant impact on how companies design, build and support their business processes. Information systems have a considerable effect on how these methods work. Agencies improve effectiveness and quality of products and services through empowering their employees. Something to consider.

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4 Elements of Information Systems

customer, system, business, information, process

The use of information technology (IT) has dramatically increased in the business world in the past decade.  It has been acknowledged that information systems (IS) is a very important step to compete and grow.  There are four elements of IS that new systems need to work correctly.

4 Elements

  1. Customers – The main function of IS is to be able to better support the end user or customer. This is both internal and external.  Externally it could be an online shopper who wants to buy from a website.  Internal customers would be something like employees or one department in a company who needs supplies from another department.  IS was developed in order to better support external customers.  Also something to focus on is flexibility supporting internal customers.
  2. Products and Services – This deals in data transformation. The IS has to work well in any industry.  It helps prepare many types of services and/or products based on design.  Customer expectations have to be satisfied in order to be considered successful.
  3. Business Processes – Improvements to processes directly influence performance. It provides relevant information to the company.  This improves said company’s processes by adding or removing steps as needed.
  4. Communication Technology and Computers – This is the central piece of the information system. They have to be able to deliver efficient business processes and make the customers happy.  This is done through either delivery of product or services rendered.  Technology helps to improve communication through email and chat internally.  Externally it provides a good website that people will enjoy visiting.  Information can be accessed much more quickly which increases the competitive edge.

Why Use IS?

Information systems helps improve relations between customers and the business, or business to business relationships.  The question is, which type of system does your company need?  A lot of questions to consider before making the leap to upgrading

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Enterprise Agility, Digital Options and IT

enterprise agility, digital options, measurement, information technology, IT,

Define Enterprise Agility

To be able to operate and be strategic, there are tons of factors to consider.  Hyper-competition, higher demands from customers, advances in tech and changes in regulations have to be considered when upgrading.  There’s something called enterprise agility.  It’s comprised of two things. Being able to sense what is going on and respond to it.  The timelier the response, the more likely the company will succeed in difficult times.  Dynamic capabilities are included here.  One has to consider how to build the new system that will respond to the new environment.  In order to keep up with competition capabilities have to be able to adapt to new changes.

Market orientation deals with market intelligence focusing on new and current customer needs.  The information gathered will be spread across all departments so there can be company-wide responsiveness to changes.  Absorptive capacity deals with how well the company assimilates, transforms and uses the knowledge gathered.  Strategic flexibility is how well the agency manages both economic and political risks to market threats.  It also looks for future opportunities.  The flexibility has to include both reactive and proactive approaches to problems.  Organizations need to be watchful for and respond to competitors’ actions.  They need to look at consumer preferences.  There has to be a focus on economic shifts.  The agency needs to look out for  changes in regulations and advances in technology too.

The Role of IT

The role information technology (IT) plays in this is very important.  Responses are completed through direct and indirect means of digital options.  Through direct means IT can anticipate and sense changes dealing with businesses.  IT systems help as sheer volume of information processed goes further than can be handled otherwise.  Indirect means are more pronounced though.  This is where product development, manufacturing and supply chains add to performance of the organization.

Digital options can be considered indirect too due to them being work processes and knowledge systems.  Knowledge reach is the comprehension and accessibility of codified knowledge available.  If the system is built correctly it can help companies to gather and use the knowledge gained.  Knowledge richness is when IT gives out high-quality information in a timely manner.  IT also reviews real-time pattern recognition and monitors data.  It helps create strategic scenarios assisting strategic decision making.  Process reach is when IT integrates customers, suppliers and partners internally.  The richness of these processes are improved by quicker timeliness of delivery.  They become more accurate and relevant.

Conclusion

Depending on how the new systems are deployed and managed, IT could hurt as well as help businesses.  The older the technology being used means responses could be limited by the range available.  Everything would have to be updated, not just programming.  Systems might restrict the ability to retrieve and interpret data being gathered for analyzing.  Or processes could be incompatible with new systems.  This would mean that they would have to be upgraded.  It’s up to the firm as to how well IT is going to work for them if at all.  Agility is the ability to respond quickly to change that comes up.  The company has to understand the updates in order to create and implement them correctly.  If not, they could fall behind from their competition even more.