Saturday, December 28, 2013

Success key to ERP adoption is embracing consumerization of IT

For years the selection process of ERP systems has primarily been based upon the functionality the ERP system provides. Also the primary party in selecting the ERP system has been the IT department followed by the other departments. However we do see a changing trend. As rightly stated by the Wall Street Journal: "“Functionality is no longer the definition of success. Usability is key". In a recent Forbes article discussing the decision from Avon to stop the implementation of SAP in favor of Oracle JD Edwards it shows that ERP systems selection and implementation is getting more and more influenced by the Apple effect.

The apple effect is the consumerization of IT. Users do expect to have the same experience in the corporate applications as they experience in the consumer applications. This makes that users do expect to have the same kind of ease in using an application and the same user centered approach build into the core of an application and even in the complete portfolio of an IT department. This means that things like user interface design, gamification, agility and self-service solutions become more and more a central part of the corporate solutions and can no longer be seen as an addition or nice-to-have. At the same time users, now digital natives, do expect to be able to work everywhere, always and on every device. Something that is new to corporate IT however something that has to be adopted by IT departments.

Where IT departments where calling the shots previously and where banking on the fact that the user community was not aware about the possibilities this is now changing. With generations coming into the workplace who are used to work with computers and who are digital natives the non-IT departments are getting a stronger voice in the boardroom and are influencing the IT departments. This makes that IT is becoming, as it should, a service organisation to support day to day operations rather then a department that dictates how the business should work.

Combining the consumerization of IT and a business driven IT management strategy is providing IT organisations a stable solution for the future and this should be on the agenda of every CIO. However, as this is a fundamental change in the way IT departments think and operate this is a, clearly necessary however, slow and complex process.
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