Are Your Executives Engaged In Your Potential ERP Initiative?

Executives need a hands-on approach to ERP software.

As software continues on its mission to meet the demands of an ever-changing world, business leaders are cognizant that digital transformation is not a question of if but when. A recent survey of 2,216 executives by PricewaterhouseCoopers said that 80 percent of respondents believe identifying opportunities to digitize the company is critical to its future success, with the onus on developing a digital IQ in every corner of the organization.

What is clear is that any potential digital initiative, such as the integration of enterprise resource planning software or any number of business efficiency tools must be supported from the top down. ERP software, for example, will have a significant effect on how a company operates, especially if that organization is transitioning to a more cloud-based work environment.

Executives Must Understand A Digital Ecosystem

In the last 10 years, the idea of an enterprise-wide digital IQ has become more prevalent. PwC defines this business tool as "the measurement of an organization's abilities to harness and profit from technology," an indicator of success which encompasses both internal systems and the company's engagement with customers.

Two years ago, a similar survey by PwC said that 67 percent of respondents thought that their companies had strong digital IQ. Logic would seemingly dictate that this number will continue to rise as more digital investments are made, but it appears not to be the case. In 2016, for example, that figure had dropped to around 52 percent among executives and decision-makers, with the 2017 report noting that the definition of what a digital transformation involves varies from company to company.

"The days of a purely on-site workforce are long gone."

In addition, the connected society has accelerated the need for those at the top to understand the importance of the digital ecosystem. The days of a purely on-site workforce are long gone, replaced by a mobile and remote employee base, made up of individuals who can tap into the company's systems at any time. At the same time, the effectiveness of these integrated systems is predicated on how engaged executives are in both the initial implementation and subsequent integration phase.

A successful ERP integration will increase the availability of information, improve productivity, reduce direct operating or labor costs and allow for more interaction between internal teams and external customers. Organizations that have a dedicated chief information officer, for instance, will be more likely to support the initiative from the top down, which will allow vendors (with the support of an IT team, naturally) to deliver the business goals required for success.

Planning For Success

Decision-makers have to make sure that every level of the organization knows what the digital roadmap will be and, importantly, ensure that the technology initiative is leveraged in such a way that it becomes both seamless and scalable. In other words, an executive team must rethink how the the company defines and delivers digital experiences, creating a culture of tech innovation and adoption that can bolster the balance sheet.

One caveat to take into account is that decision-makers may be under the impression that their involvement ends when they sign the check. However, this is often not the case. Buying-in to a digital initiative is merely the first step. More often than not, the transformation will require the company to expand and improve the aforementioned digital IQ via executive decisions that will have a trickle-down effect on the rest of the workforce. And that is where the fun begins.

Accent Software has been deploying ERP solutions for over 15 years. As a certified Microsoft Business Solutions partner, we provide a range of vendor-vetted Microsoft Dynamics NAV implementation services that allow companies to streamline backend systems, increase productivity and maintain a healthy bottom line.

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