It can happen to businesses of any size. From your company’s CRM to its payroll and timekeeping systems to the marketing automation platform to any number of collaboration and project management tools, there seems to be an enterprise application software solution for just about any challenge a business can have. It is very common in companies of various industries to have dozens of enterprise systems in use in different departments, and the issue is only compounded when you throw in your proprietary and in-house legacy systems. Before you know it, your IT department has quite a tangle of passwords, custom configurations, updates, and integrations to handle. This leads to difficulties in using the enterprise tools efficiently, often leading to parallel controls with the use of spreadsheets or other tools for manual control, and ultimately a decrease in ROI on the software. Thankfully, there are some tactics for taming your jungle of EAS systems!
1. Get Organized: Manage Your Change Requests
Within this context, where there are numerous software tools from various suppliers (or internally developed), it is important that there is a control of all existing software products in the company. It is essential that there is also a unique process of requesting new change requests, internal development of new solutions (if the company has a development department or hiring an outsourced workforce for development), in addition to new acquisitions of software products.
Without this unique process of incoming requests, the risk of companies getting lost between so many available software options is great, making the task of managing all products difficult, as well as maintaining all the necessary infrastructure to keep operations in full and safe functioning. Having a request process in place from the start will help keep everything manageable.
2. Get Educated: Find the ROI in Your Systems
We all know the way to any C-Team’s heart is through showing ROI. You’ll need approval to dedicate some resources to tackle and organize your EAS situation, and the other departments will want to see the impact their particular system of choice is making to the company’s bottom line.
While it is very important that the management of corporate information systems is done by people who are trained and experienced in the subject, participating in the strategic planning process of the organization, showing how information and information technology can contribute to cost reduction, increasing productivity, improving quality, developing new products and services, exploring new market niches, and thus for greater competitiveness of the organization. Setting up and reporting KPIs with each department head to benchmark the efficiency of the platforms they use will garner goodwill and support to grow your IT team.
3. Get Growing: Set-Up to Scale Efforts
Another key point for the success of the organization is the development of norms and standards with the aim of avoiding the chaos caused by the decentralized and distributed acquisition of computer resources and by the development of applications by users when there are no standards and norms.
Few of these tasks are exclusively technical (in the sense of involving only computer knowledge and systems analysis). Most of them require skills in administration, communications, and human relations, to mention only the essentials. However, they are tasks that, in order to be exercised competently, require more than superficial knowledge of the area of technology.
For companies to achieve market competitiveness in a professional manner, it is essential that the processes described above be implemented with a tendency for rapid growth. A lack of standardization or a concern to standardize these processes, leading in the short term to a strategic planning error that will be reflected in poor performance, excessive resource consumption and consequently low productivity.