How to Successfully Implement an ERP System By Changing Your Attitude Towards Technology

success ERP implementation

Figures concerning ERP implementation failure rates can be pretty overwhelming to someone considering implementing an ERP system. For example, a much-quoted Gartner survey claims that 75% of ERP projects fail. Forbes Magazine contributor Steve Andriole suggests three main reasons for these failures: companies lack the necessary talent, executives fail to support big technology, and finally, most businesses are anti-new technology even if they believe otherwise.

The most intriguing fact is the companies’ inherent bias in their attitudes towards technology. If an ERP implementation begins with skepticism, lack of direction, or discomfort with technology, the ERP’s performance metrics will be undoubtedly affected.

That being said, Let’s examine how you can ensure a successful ERP implementation by changing your attitude towards technology:

First of all, ask yourself what scares you about automation

The Cleveland Clinic describes technophobia as an extreme fear of technology. If you experience technophobia, you may fear the power and influence of computers, artificial technology, and the Internet of Things (IoT). Modern ERP products usually integrate both AI and IoT in their modules to optimize business processes.

Ask yourself if you or other key decision makers in your company experience technophobia and are opposed to the idea of AI and IoT processing your sensitive data. If the answer is a “yes,” tell yourself that AI and IoT are tools designed to help you automate your business processes. They cannot do something more than they are programmed to do. If you are scared of AI-enabled ERP’s supposed power, you will probably not trust it enough to make way for a successful implementation.

In other words, embrace advanced ERP features without hesitation, and start using them with an open mind. 

Work through disagreements and conflicts between key decision-makers

Lack of communication and disputes between key decision makers can influence the outcome of an ERP implementation. Studies show technology deployment works best when there is consensus and agreement between key decision makers. For example, your Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) may hesitate to use a new ERP, while your Chief Technological Officer (CTO) is eager to deploy a new product. In such cases of disagreement, it is essential to find a balance of opinions. Move forward with purchasing an ERP only when all key decision makers are ready and are on board with the agenda and the objectives of using an ERP system.

Disagreements may arise during and after ERP implementation. Some may have issues with specific modules, while others refuse to use the product. crating a structured workflow for Working through differences and conflicts between various teams and individuals within your company is essential for a successful ERP implementation.

Find an ERP vendor who understands your hesitation.

Every business has unique requirements that change over time. The reasons you need an ERP today won’t be the same tomorrow. Most buyers understand this dilemma and often find it challenging to decide. Make sure your vendor understands the origins of your hesitation and provides you with the necessary tools to lower the risk of making seemingly irreversible decisions when implementing an ERP system.

In most cases, hesitation to implement ERP stems from the fact that technology requirements are dynamic and change dramatically in a short period. An empathetic ERP vendor will help you choose the most scaled-down version of an ERP and allow you to scale as and when required. In addition, such a vendor can also suggest customizations if you work in niche areas.

Conduct an audit of existing hardware and software

Many ERP implementations fail because the hardware is incompatible with the latest versions of ERP. Before implementing an advanced ERP, thoroughly audit your existing hardware. This also includes devices your staff may use, such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops. If they are outdated or cannot support advanced modules of an ERP, you may have to consider replenishing your hardware with the latest devices before setting out to implement ERP.

Likewise, conduct an audit of your existing software tools, and make copies of your data. In most cases, data transfer is part of the vendor’s implementation roadmap. But to be safe, ensure all your data is extracted, cleansed, sorted, and stored in a central repository pre-implementation -This might save you a lot of hard work post-implementation.

Prepare your staff for a change in work culture.

Any ERP implementation brings about a change to your organizational culture. In the best scenario – It results in a dramatic shift in how things get done. One of the reasons ERP implementations fail is that the staff is not ready for significant technological changes. If your employees are not prepared and trained, their previous working style may persist and interfere with your newer technical framework. They may resist these changes and return to their OLD WAYS, resulting in ERP implementation failure.

A straightforward solution to this problem is to ensure that every ERP implementation makes staff training an essential component of deployment. Without your staff being trained during implementation and before testing, do not expect ERP implementations to go through successfully.

Successful ERP implementation greatly depends on your attitude towards technology.

Although statistics indicate that over 75% of ERP implementations fail, they do not specify why. In most cases, the problem is not with the ERP product but the organization’s attitude towards change in working paradigms. Anything new causes apprehension, and it is quite natural for individuals and organizations to be skeptical about AI and IoT. To ensure your ERP implementation goes through smoothly, embrace your fear of technology and work with it.

Secondly, work through disagreements you may have with other key decision makers and choose an ERP vendor who is empathetic to your needs. Next, review all your hardware and software programs, and ensure that they are ready for a significant change in the form of an ERP implementation. Finally, train your staff and prepare them for upcoming technological changes to ensure a smooth implementation experience.

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The Author
Olly Lukatski

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