These days, companies are often looking towards possibilities to standardise their IT platforms, often driven by anticipated cost reduction. But how does this work in practice? Let’s dive into the wondrous world of standardisation, in specific, going from local to global.
From local systems to a global platform
When you are situated in a large international company that has a scattered IT landscape, it makes sense to be looking at ways to reduce costs by striving for standardisation and introducing a global IT platform which should be deployed to all subsidiaries. But just how should this be done? What are the challenges that should be countered?
Define a roadmap
As the saying goes: “If you do not know where you’re coming from, then you don’t know where you are, and if you don’t know where you are, then you don’t know where you’re going. And if you don’t know where you’re going, you’re probably going wrong.” Hence, without a proper roadmap, you probably shouldn’t even start thinking about transformation. So make sure you have roadmap leading to an enterprise architecture and containing according timelines and milestones.
Great, so you have a proper roadmap, you know where you want to be with your IT landscape and you have set the milestones. Aren’t you forgetting something? What about the question how are we going to be successful with this new IT landscape? Now you realize, don’t you? The key to the success is in the hands of the people who will excel by using it. So, is your change management in place? As indispensably conditional change management is, paradoxically too many times, it is the most underestimated or even forgotten topic in a projectmajority. As a result of this, IT projects often end up being far less successful as could have been, just because the acceptation of the IT systems has not been properly managed. Don’t make that mistake too!
Before going into the implementation phase, analysis of the business within scope should be handled first. Roughly two types are to be distinguished: process analysis and data analysis.
By analysing how current processes are locally run and comparing these to how these should be run in the global IT landscape, it should be easy to identify the gaps between these two. But then, the big challenge of how to deal with this gap reveales itself: Will you choose to change the IT system or should the local processes be adapted to the global version? And should you choose to change the IT system, how will you get all stakeholders on board to back up this change?
As you can imagine, no two IT systems will have the same data model. So, another important activity to foresee is data analysis: how will data from the local IT systems fit into the global one? With data being the oil in the engine of business processes, data analysis is tightly bound to process analysis. Again, the same questions regarding gaps are applicable in this area as well.
And then you’re off! Previous steps have carefully been taken care of and the actual implementation can start. But since we have learned that nothing is set in stone, it is important that you must stay in control of changing objects and focus on continuous improvement.
Now, as you are reading this, it’s very likely that you’re thinking one of two things. Either you’re thinking: “duh, tell me something new” or you are thinking: “wow, that makes totally sense, never looked at it this way”. In the first case, I dare you to have a proper look at how you’re handling your transformation right now and be honest to yourself and judge if you are actually doing what is supposed to be done. In the second case: you’re welcome, ;-). And for both cases, I double dare you to contact us and have a chat. You might be suprised just how much further we can help you.