There’s been a lot of noise about the benefits of next-generation ERP solutions that are based on in-memory computing technology – but mostly that’s come from the vendor perspective. Now, an IDC report features the voice of the customer.
By interviewing early pioneers of next-generation ERP software, the analyst identified 10 tips for making the technology work as hard as possible for you:
1. Forge a partnership between IT and the business
ERP solutions based on in-memory technology can transform the relationship between IT and the rest of the business. Instead of simply providing services that keep operations running, IT becomes a full partner to the business in driving efficiency and innovation, based on the availability of real-time information.
2. Take the time you need to prepare your organization
A common theme was the importance of taking the time to properly prepare the organization for this significant change to how work gets done. Interviewees stressed the importance of getting people on board before the change comes, and being sure to get senior management support.
3. Prioritize time spent preparing the data
Interviewees stressed that preparing the data, specifically the master data, was the most difficult technical challenge in the implementation. Data cleansing and data quality work on the master data is time-consuming, but necessary in the migration to the new ERP system.
4. Use standard processes rather than reapplying old customizations
Adding customizations makes it harder to keep the ERP system current with the latest updates and keep up with best practices. As a result, many of the companies who have successfully implemented next-generation ERP solutions are limiting customization work as much as possible. This is done by asking line-of-business stakeholders to make a case for the customization, which is then reviewed by a change management board.
5. Free up IT resources to focus on efforts that differentiate your company
Early implementers of next-generation ERP software are using technology to reduce the time and resources they spend on carrying out day-to-day tasks that any business must do. By taking advantage of technology such as cloud services for datacenter and application management, IT staff can spend more time on tasks that make a difference to your customers, your partners, and ultimately, your bottom line.
6. Increase automation to drive productivity
The pioneers of next-generation ERP software are using data to change their processes to incorporate higher levels of automation. This is driving efficiencies, improving productivity, and helping them stay competitive.
7. Plan for broader access to ERP both within and outside the enterprise
To support new business models, companies are extending access to the ERP system to more people – both inside and outside the organization. This increases the need for training and support for external stakeholders such as partners, as well as employees.
8. Digitize information that is currently outside your ERP system
In most organizations, a significant amount of business knowledge resides outside the current ERP system. By digitizing this information and capturing it on a single, unified data platform, you can support new digital business models and run smoother, more efficient and accurate processes.
9. Connect signals and insights to business action
Real-time access to data is an important enabler of process improvement. However, it’s critical that you also recognize which data signals have impact, and act on them. Companies that achieve this can streamline operations, improve business agility, and cut costs.
10. Make your ERP solution central to your business
A next-generation ERP system should be considered as central to your business – not just a processor of transactions. Pioneers of solutions based on in-memory computing are handling more routine processes automatically and focusing user intervention only on the exceptions and higher-value opportunities. Meanwhile, the application of advanced analytics and machine learning technologies is enabling process improvement and enhanced productivity.
To learn more about how in-memory computing solutions can help drive your business success, read the IDC white paper, “Voice of the Customer: 10 Insights, Direct from SAP S/4HANA Pioneers.”