Intelligent Issue 7 - Page 65

deliver IT initiatives and respondents are worried they are going to lose key staff due to burnout . With the competition for talent not slowing , this presents major challenges for organisations looking to deliver on their Digital Transformation plans .
How do scarcity of budget , IT skills and labour affect a company ’ s Digital Transformation roadmap ?
Simply put , the successful completion of such programmes will be under even greater scrutiny than ever before from the board thanks to the scarcity of resources – both people and finances . Success will rely on careful planning , a strong relationship with your technology partners and an ability to find the skills or upskill your existing team to fulfil your goals .
How does pressure from the board of directors to show increased return on investments for IT leaders ’ technology spend impact an organisation ’ s innovation strategy ?
The biggest challenge for CIOs asking for funds to invest in Digital Transformation is the market context . Whenever there is an economic slowdown , instinctively every board is inclined towards cost savings to demonstrate profitability and have the resources to ride out the downturn . Consequently , growth is seen as less of a priority as it is perceived to require investment .
However , we would question why you must choose between profitability and growth . We would argue both possible and uncertain economic times can add a healthy element of focus to an organisation ’ s approach . From our perspective , that means being much more focused on where innovation can add the most value to the business . The top priority must be agility , so that organisations can respond to volatility in the marketplace . This requires solid foundations in your core ERP system , but that does not mean existing systems must be replaced . This will enable you to be measured in your IT investments , manage your expenditure and the level of disruption to your IT systems .
IT budget challenges are exacerbated by the requirement to ‘ keep the lights on ’ with top existing ERP vendors like Oracle and SAP while still finding budget to fund new digital initiatives that will move the needle by increasing revenue , cutting costs and taking market share from competitors .
Survey respondents cited three top issues with vendor support including the need to upgrade to resolve issues ( 51 %), escalating to an experienced engineer ( 45 %) and having to reproduce the issue to prove the root cause ( 40 %). Third-party support companies are generally priced at 50 % of the cost of vendor maintenance or support but when you eliminate the need to upgrade to resolve issues , staff with only experienced engineers and resolve issues on base and custom code through root cause analysis , the costs savings increase dramatically to 75 – 90 %. These savings help fund digital innovation allowing organisations to increase both profitability and growth .
What are the benefits of digitally transforming a business and what tips would you offer to those starting out on their journey ?
Having worked with a number of our clients supporting them on the path to transformation , there is clear value to modernising your IT systems . The more agile and responsive you can be to customer expectations , the better the chances for your organisation to achieve growth . As such , it is understandable that the majority of respondents to the survey are looking to move their ERP to the cloud .
Our main advice to clients is not to view transformation as a ‘ big bang ’ project where you are having to rip out existing systems and replace them with cloudbased versions of your applications . A more pragmatic approach will be what we call the smart path to transformation where organisations optimise the existing systems they have , before evolving them over time and transforming those applications first that will offer the most value to the organisation .
We see this innovation happening at the edges , around core Enterprise Resource Planning ( ERP ) applications . You can still optimise your core ERP to meet your everchanging business needs while integrating these systems with applications at the edge of their environments from best-ofbreed vendors who offer functionality that is tailored to their requirements .
Of course , the application vendors are setting artificial deadlines on full support for existing applications such as Oracle Database ( for example versions less than 19c are no longer receiving security alerts and critical patch updates ), eBusiness Suite ( version 12.1.3 no longer receiving security alerts and critical patch updates ) and SAP ECC6 ( mainstream maintenance ending December 31 , 2027 ), but customers should not see this as an argument to move these systems to SaaS equivalents straight away . Such change will cause significant disruption as customisations will have to be relinquished in favour of adopting vanilla processes in the vendor ’ s SaaS applications . When our survey suggests justifying the value of transformation to the board as a major concern , can you really claim that moving core ERP systems ( that work well today ) to the cloud will deliver the most value to the business ? Maybe , maybe not – but if you embark upon the journey take a smart path that maximises ROI on your IT budget spend . � www . intelligentfin . tech