Leyla Blakeman is the Customer Services Director and explains why businesses are investing in new IT.
After years of under investment, growing numbers of organisations are beginning to look again at technology. But times, technologies and IT departments have changed fundamentally over the past seven or eight years.
In many businesses IT has been significantly downsized, leaving the organisation lacking the skills required to understand technology changes. From the impact of mobile technologies and social media on CRM to the impact of web enabled processes on every part of the supply chain and the role of cloud computing, the technology landscape today is very different.
The opportunities for significant business change and process improvement are clear. So why are many businesses failing to identify the key business objectives associated IT investment and simply looking to replace dated, often out of support, software? With the vast majority of these projects run in-house, typically by a senior manager who is also juggling a highly demanding day job, the idea of actually creating a clear framework for the implementation that will reflect business needs is simply too overwhelming. Especially with a lack of in depth technical knowledge.
What is the best way forward with the CRM deployment, for example? Can the sales team get mobile access from day one – or would it be better to focus on getting an accurate customer database and clear simple fields/forms for staff to complete? If the business objective is to improve customer understanding and use that insight to drive better cross and upselling, then clearly data accuracy and analysis must be prioritised over mobile access.
One of the key benefits of the Project Management experience for organisations in this situation is that the process is designed to tease out the business objectives of the mplementation in order to set clear goals. Rather than somewhat opaque statements about management dashboards, improving working capital, better stock management or improving customer service, the PM process enables the business to clearly discuss objectives, gain insight from the IT consultants regarding what can be achieved and set priorities.
Breaking down these objectives into clear steps transforms the business’ understanding of the value of the implementation. Armed with a clear understanding of business direction, the PM and consultant can work together to determine delivery goals and schedule the project, prioritising those key areas of business pain.
The result is that rather than feeling forced to replace an out dated ERP or CRM solution with something new, the business can proactively exploit significant technology change to add value and deliver innovation in clear, measurable steps.
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