By Inge Magne Bruvik, Microsoft MVP and Solution Architect at Cepheo

 

Investing in a new business application, such as an ERP solution, is a major investment for any organization. Historically these kinds of projects have often been considered IT projects.

 

The project timeline has often been long, the system architecture has been complex, and it has typically been necessary to involve a wide range of resources with different professions and roles. In many organizations, new business applications have required that a new IT infrastructure is in place before the project could even start.  So it is not surprising that many business application projects have been considered IT projects and, as such, have often been managed by the organization’s IT department.

 

A new role for the IT department

 

The recent shift towards cloud-based solutions has reduced the need to invest in complex infrastructure to support new business applications. Now, the IT department’s role is more focused on IT security, data privacy, integrations and integrity. Often their role will be more that of an IT architect. This should also mean that the role of an IT department in, for example, an ERP project could be less prominent.

 

Instead of only involving IT departments in the early stages of projects, you should make sure to involve the process owners and end users. This will make the whole organization feel more involved and they will take a greater ownership of the new systems. The new processes that are often a natural consequence of changing your ERP system will be more easily adopted by your organization. Early user involvement is a key factor in launching a successful project.

 

Involve users early and avoid complexity

 

Early user involvement will also help you, and the partners you involve, get a better understanding of your business and the new requirements needed for your business application. It is important that organizations choose a system that can grow with their business. But historically, many IT projects have suffered from trying to implement systems that are too complex for the current organization. This is often because the project owners were afraid of implementing a system that did not have the capabilities that they think they might need in the future.

 

Today, technology is changing faster than ever. This makes it hard to predict which technologies your business will need two or three years ahead. So, instead of trying to predict your future needs, choose a platform that has a proven ability to grow together with your business.

 

Finally, I would advise you to make sure that you choose a partner with experience from your industry. Also, make sure to ask your partner if they have standard industry solutions and accelerators for your industry. This will show if the partner knows and understand the needs and challenges of your business, and will help you plan and scale your project so you can launch your new solution in a timely and cost-effective manner.

 

3 key takeaways:

 

  1. Understand the changing role of the IT department

  2. Involve process owners and end users early

  3. Choose a partner that understands your industry

 

About the author:

 

Inge Magne Bruvik is a Norwegian Solution Architect with close to 30 years of experience in the Microsoft space. He is an MVP in Microsoft’s Most Valuable Professionals (MVP) program, which recognizes exceptional community leaders for their technical expertise, leadership, speaking experience, online influence and commitment to solving real-world problems. At Cepheo, Inge Magne specializes in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central.

 

Originally published as a LinkedIn-article in the fall of 2023.

Want to learn more?

 

Contact our Sales Director, John T. Hummelgaard, for a discussion about your company's digitization.

 

Phone: +45 2510 2050

 

Email: jhummelgaard@cepheo.com