Many growing companies use a disjointed mix of old and new software programs. These programs don’t work well together. This can slow things down and limit insights. Upgrading to unified enterprise platforms helps firms better meet targets as they scale.
This article explains a straightforward 4-step process. It helps you identify complete solutions tailored to your central business goals. This is true now and into the future.
Table of Contents
Step 1: Set Central Goals Guiding Technology
The first key step is to clearly define 2-3 top level targets. Your company wants to achieve them over the next 3-5 years. These could include boosting sales 15%. They could reach nationwide customers. They could cut order processing times by 30%. Or, they could better coordinate remote teams.
Understanding your most important business objectives creates a technology compass. It keeps long term IT upgrade decisions on track. This directly enables your operational and growth goals.
Ask sharp questions like:
- What business processes currently aren’t working smoothly? We want technology to help fix them.
- Where do we need more visibility through reporting insights and analytics?
- What future capabilities could set us apart competitively in our market?
This grounds upcoming platform evaluations in what matters most for your organization’s success. It steers technology to play an enabling role.
Step 2: Fully Audit Current Systems
Next, thoroughly catalog all major software applications, platforms, and services across business units. This is essential for delivering core customer value.
Highlight specific pain points. These can cause workflow disruptions, productivity drags, integration difficulties, bottlenecks, or limited data access and visibility. Assess where feature gaps may exist compared to industry competitors or standards.
This audit flags areas ripe for consolidation or replacement. It aligns with your clarified business objectives. You can integrate these changes under a new, cohesive enterprise IT architecture. It sets the baseline.
Step 3: Research Your Centralized Solution Options
Now thoroughly research smarter integrated platforms. These platforms are proven to drive outcomes. Specifically, they work for organizations like yours in your industry.
Key categories to evaluate include:
- CRM – Centralizes all customer data and interactions for consistent omni-channel experiences
- ERP: Optimizes the entire value chain. It starts with financial planning and extends to manufacturing, inventory, and HR.
- Business Intelligence – Generates insights via analytics and reporting across all business functions
Compare leading contender platforms against each other on factors like:
- Cloud security certifications
- Scalability for growth
- Mobile capabilities
- Process automation
- Advanced analytics
- Customization flexibility
This research expands your list of enterprise brands. They offer future-looking capabilities that fully achieve your goals.
Step 4: Create A Custom Selection Scorecard
Finally, develop a concrete scorecard for grading solutions. Weight criteria based on what you defined as most vital to enable through technology.
Sample weighted criteria could cover:
- Improving sales conversions
- Centralizing customer information
- Smoothing supply chain operations
- Expanding real-time financial insights
- Simplifying software integrations
- Intuitive automated workflows
Tally total scores to make an objective data-backed decision. Choose the platforms that best address your needs and forward growth trajectory. Don’t rely on vendor hype.
The days of disjointed, bandage-like legacy systems failing growing organizations are over. Following this pragmatic 4-step approach ensures you implement unified enterprise solutions. They are tailored precisely to accelerate your core business goals.
Clarify objectives, audit pain points, and explore integrated platforms. Score finalists aligned to your mission, not just vendor promises. You set up IT infrastructure, analytics, and digital capabilities. This supports revenue growth and operational excellence. With technology decisions rooted in enabling top priorities.
The time for piecemeal tools has passed. Follow these steps to match enterprise systems to the heart of your business success. Deliver value to the customers and stakeholders that matter most.
Cloud systems can take 3-6 months from purchase to go-live. The time depends on complexity and customizations. On-premise solutions often take 9-12 months.
Ask for client references and check analyst reports. Confirm that the training and support are sufficient before signing contracts.
Plan regular training, tailor access levels, highlight benefits to users, offer feedback channels.