Agility is the name of the game for businesses who want the ability to seize new opportunities and respond to new threats in their marketplace. Against this backdrop, creating a competitive advantage requires the ability to exploit new trends for gaining an edge in the future.
The best example of this are businesses who build their enterprise technology on a cloud foundation. They are able to scale and grow faster, enter new markets before their competitors, and even disrupt their own industry. They achieve all of this by being able to adapt to the new demands of their customers – because cloud technology delivers new functionality at the same rate that customers’ expectations change.
Through faster deployment cycles, the cloud allows an enterprise to gain the latest capabilities as they’re developed, and before their competitors often do. Today, these capabilities include:
- In-memory analytics
- Real-time access to information
- Machine learning and AI
- Digital assistants
- End-to-end data integration
Ultimately, faster functionality is achieved through cloud ERP with an intelligent core that is faster to:
- Deploy – the new system can be implemented and core processes brought on board in weeks, as opposed to months or years.
- Upgrade: upgrades pushed regularly through the cloud enable the deployment of new capabilities at a more rapid pace than on-premise deployment.
- Adopt: user experiences are simpler and more intuitive through an interface that borrows from consumer-friendly applications, and offers mobile capabilities for remote workforce.
Effective change management
One thing you can be sure of: New requirements, both functional and technical, will start popping up right after you start your project. Managing these requirements effectively, which includes adjustments in the scope, activities, and deliverables, will be essential in the success of your ERP deployment. For this reason, procedures and systems should be in place to accommodate project changes, and stakeholders should be aware of them before the project actually starts. Your project stakeholders need to have full visibility of the change management process, and following this process closely is key in the successful completion of your project.
The threshold your company’s employees need to cross in working with the new business management system needs to be as low as you can make it. Ideally, the ERP solution will be intuitive and easy to use, and it will offer the functionality and information people need without requiring searching or complex navigation. If the ERP project involves a cultural change in the way people collaborate and exchange information, you need to clearly communicate to everybody how their work will change, and test and promote productive new practices before the ERP system is in place. Knowledge transfer and training have to be effective in readying your people to work with the new software. Not all popular approaches to user enablement work for all companies. Training by departments may be ineffective because it fosters a silo mentality you wish to overcome, and the train-the-trainer approach many companies practice may put too much of a burden on certain users and not give employees enough of a comfort level to embrace the new technology.