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.
Futher Reading: Sourcing Considerations for New ERP Environments