Key Organizational Considerations in New ERP Environments

May 16th 2013 | Posted by Steve Coper

A decision to move from homegrown and legacy ERP solutions to a packaged ERP solution (e.g., SAP, Oracle, etc.) requires changes to the on-going role and capability of the internal IT organization. It is WGroup’s perspective that the following factors should be considered when developing a new IT organizational model and capabilities:

  • A move to packaged software requires a change in organizational focus and capability. There will be a need to create Centers of Expertise or Excellence (COE) for managing the ERP solution going forward both from a business and an IT perspective.
  • During the ERP implementation, new process definition and process improvement is owned by the business and during implementation the business is usually responsible for the adoption of business processes.
  • Since the package ERP will become the new foundational system, a core team of Business Process owners should be retained post-implementation, to form a Business COE with responsibility for: 
    • Strategic Direction – ERP usage and enhancement 
    • Business Processes – Refinement and improvement
    • Business Integration and Interaction model
    • Business Ownership Enablement 
  • Similarly, an organization may create an internal IT capability to support the ERP solution architecture, continued development & integration capabilities – this forms the IT COE.
    • The IT COE works in concert with the business COE, the implementation team and the outsourced support provider to ensure that the on-going integrity of the ERP solution is maintained beyond the initial deployment and to plan future upgrades and changes 
    • The IT COE has an integral role, even if the support for new ERP environment is to be outsourced 
    • This may require an investment in resources, training and new skills
    • This also requires strong governance and disciplined execution 

A clear IT organizational strategy and the definition of the new IT organization structure post-implementation is a key step. It is recommended that an organization planning or executing a new ERP deployment meet with an experienced IT strategy firm to help craft a cohesive IT organizational strategy, operating model and implementation plan.

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