Posted On: November 15, 2016
Topic: ERP Application Management
Though smaller in scale, the ERP needs of a midsize organization are similar in scope to those of the enterprise organization. The problem is that the smaller IT teams at these organizations are already stretched thin without managing a complex ERP system that is a challenge for even well-staffed enterprise teams. To support ERP effectively, IT leaders in midsize organizations need to adopt a pragmatic approach that is built around best practices. It’s important for IT to understand all the roles that are necessary to provide optimal support and how to leverage both internal and external resources.
It’s not uncommon for an IT team at a midsize organization to have about five support personnel on staff. Collectively these individuals may be assigned as many as 70 different roles, including ERP responsibilities. To reduce both the cost and the complexity of maintaining an ERP environment, midmarket organizations often deploy solutions that are highly templated and offer little customization, but those who need a more robust ERP deployment face increased support challenges.
In its ERP Support Strategies report, Gartner found that these midsize enterprises are not providing the proper level of support, or are spending more money than they should. IT leaders reported to Gartner that the lack of skills and staff are the biggest barriers to achieving their ERP support objectives.
Roles Needed to Support ERP
Most midmarket IT teams are generalists and not specialists. ERP support requires the IT staff to not only be versatile with their technical skills, but must also possess a business acumen that is not easy to find. This can create a challenge for IT leaders as they attempt to assign ERP support roles based on skill sets. Without a good understanding of the roles, IT leaders may be improperly assigning responsibilities or rushing to outsource them — both approaches are likely to lead to suboptimal results and create unnecessary barriers to a stable organization.
Gartner provides a staff planning tool as a framework for identifying the roles, services and skills needed to support ERP deployments. Three types of roles are recommended:
Considering Outsourcing Options
Leveraging outside expertise and resources can help midsize organizations meet ERP support demands and contain costs. While the trend is to outsource non-strategic functions, Gartner identifies several rules of thumb:
For optimal ERP performance, internal staff should be assigned a quality-control role to ensure back-end technical governance continuously meets the organization’s quality standards.
OneNeck IT Solutions is a leading ERP hosting and application management provider who supports most major ERP applications including Microsoft Dynamics AX, SAP, and Oracle E-Business Suite. Our promise to you is to provide a single point of accountability for your ERP infrastructure. For many of its customers, OneNeck is the sole organization responsible for managing their entire enterprise application environment.
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