Time for a health check of your digital ability?
3 Feb 22
3 Feb 22
In the last 12-18 months, we have experienced a huge investment boom regarding ERP-systems. Not since the end of the 1990s have we seen as many requests for consulting services as now. In addition, the majority of all customers talk more about “when” to start a project instead of “if” to start a project. There is a very strong will from the organizations to “take it to the next level” in their development and often with the headline “digitalization”.
One can speculate as to what is behind this great demand, but most likely we have finally passed a “tipping point” when it comes to companies’ insight that it is not possible to continue to “fix and trix” with old and outdated systems and infrastructure. And many organizations (not least in the manufacturing industry) have fixed and trixed far too long. Despite the fact that Sweden can present an industry with products at the forefront, you often get both surprised and scared of the dark when you see how these industries have neglected investments in modern technology.
Although it is positive with an increased understanding of the need for digitalization, it is surprisingly often the customer has difficulty defining what the target is for their planned digitalization. People like to talk about “modern systems”, “modern architecture” and “efficient processes”, but find it difficult to further define what is included in these concepts. And thus there is also a lack of the basic and driving factor for why digitalization projects should be implemented. Although it is always wise to invest in new technology and “modern” new systems, it must be possible to secure return on investment. And it must be possible to specify where, when and how the benefits arise. Otherwise, it is not possible to plan and ensure the realization of the effects that are expected to occur.
Instead of indulging in a procurement project to switch to something “more modern”, the organization should first gain insight into “where we stand today in relation to other companies” and “what is reasonable to achieve in improvements” at a performed investment. This can be in the form of a strategy, feasibility study or benefit analysis. Regardless of the title, it is a kind of “health check” of the current situation. And it should include both the IT environment and business processes. They are always closely related.
But it is also about measuring the customer’s maturity and digital ability. Possessing a digital capability essentially includes more than just access to modern technology and infrastructure. It also presupposes that the customer has an established development model where IT and processes go hand in hand and where there is a clear and pronounced organization with responsibility for the development of the business’s processes. And if the digital capability is lacking or deficient, the investment in the long run will not have the expected effects.
For those who are stumbling and have difficulty finding their way forward when it comes to developing their IT landscape, their ERP-systems and their processes, it is well worth carrying out a health check. With facts and clarity about the current situation and the potential going forward, it will be significantly easier to prepare alternatives and scenarios for an improved system environment. It also gives the organization an opportunity to create consensus on the current situation and the conditions required to be able to develop and improve.