© Guus Krabbenborg
Many organizations around the world are considering switching to a new ERP/TMS system in the coming 12-24 months. Some of them will opt for an upgrade to a cloud solution with their current vendor. Others will opt to put their faith in a new vendor and a different solution. Whichever way you go, the relevant question remains what you are trying to achieve with this step. Are you going for a “lift & shift” approach? (also known as “putting old wine in new bottles”) Or is your goal to modernize your business processes, refocus on the customer in everything you do, and raise your team’s whole game? In other words: how high do you set the bar?
Defining long-term goals
These days, it’s a generally accepted assumption that IT is a facilitator. It can help your organization become faster, more flexible and more resilient. But of course that doesn’t happen by itself! The way in which you will use the new system and the benefits from it that you and your customers will experience are all closely tied to the choices you make prior to the implementation. And the actions that you take after it. This always starts with defining your long-term goals. What do you want to achieve? Some organizations will be happy if they simply succeed in modernizing their IT tools. They’re migrating from an on-premise system to a cloud solution. And they’re taking their outdated operating processes, their old data, their old reports and their outmoded way of thinking about customers with them, without really changing much of anything at all.
The question here is: should you be satisfied with this approach? After all, what you’re doing in this scenario is simply continuing your company’s legacy with blinders on while the world is ablaze with change!
Involvement of top management
If you start by defining your business objectives before you make decisions about cloud migration or full replacement, we’re confident you’ll take a different track. And make no mistake: these are not technical objectives, but business objectives we’re talking about here. Of course this is an activity in which the top management has to be fully involved. Yes, has to be! Because it’s all about the future of your company.
And you can’t afford to be timid, or hold back at all! Strive to be, say, the most customer-oriented company in your industry. Or the winner of the Digital Transformation. Raising the bar will make your project a good bit more challenging, that’s for certain. But on the other hand, it can also unchain an amazing amount of energy and good ideas within your team. Much more important still is that achieving ambitious goals will make your company great – much greater than if you choose to just keep doing what you’ve always been doing.
So the question is: how high are you going to set the bar?