Investments in new enterprise software not only affect technology infrastructure, but also impact processes, roles, relationships, authority, company culture, and simple, day-to-day business operations. Although they need the software, some companies don’t realize that they’re not quite ready for it. They are unaware of the real costs, unclear about the true value, and unprepared for the significant demands that a new system places on people and processes (not to mention the stress of actual implementation).
Misjudging readiness, some companies have mistakenly forged ahead with software implementation, suffering from challenges as a result. Others shy away from the investment because they don’t understand the real value to their company.
So how do you make informed decisions about your enterprise software investments?
Value doesn’t need to be measured in only monetary terms (although most measures do include them). Instead, value needs to be explicit, clearly stated, and understandable.
There are three ways you can identify value:
- Increasing revenue or reducing costs
- Becoming more time efficient
- Producing valuable management information
Performing a value assessment creates a lot of data that helps build a business case for the investment. After completing a value assessment, you’ll also have a list of non-economic, cultural, and management values to weigh as well.
Many good value decisions go awry when you’re not prepared to understand current and future processes, don’t clarify or manage expectations, or try to do things too quickly.
Too often is the case that a company rushes to implement enterprise software before understanding the discipline of proper execution, especially in the face of the inevitable struggle facing the company.
As an NSCA Member Advisory Councilmember, Navigate Management Consulting is offering access to a free Value Assessment Tool. The tool is designed to guide your thinking about how an enterprise software investment can benefit your company in a simple, logical fashion, and help you compare those benefits to the costs of acquiring and implementing the software. Download it here! –David McNutt, Navigate Management Consulting