Many organizations within the Five Eyes community are being challenged to find ways to make IT systems and processes more efficient so that they can better manage information, conduct more complex data analytics and streamline and manage IT costs.
Unfortunately, outdated, legacy systems and a proliferation of individual IT solutions within organizational departments can make implementing standard systems like enterprise ERP difficult. Defense organizations need to ensure they have procured the right solution for their needs, and that they have the people and resources to implement the solution effectively.
Size matters when it comes to making sure an ERP solution can be both efficient and effective for a defense organization. In 2005 the UK Ministry of Defense had over 200 different ERP environments. A major program was established to bring the disparate systems into one environment. A trade-off in the move to a single system is that individual commands lose the agility that they may have once had. The cost and support required to maintain 200 systems is significant, but in an environment of austerity, the loss of agility can be overcome through the use of core interfaces, wrapped with internet-based applications.
Technology is only one part of the solution. In order to be effective, organizations must also change all related processes in order to maximize the use of the new system and tools and to decrease the potential to continue with outdated processes that they are familiar with. The old multi-year complex procurement model is a legacy of yesterday and should be updated to reflect the pace of technology. In addition, procurement teams must rapidly articulate requirements to ensure a speedy roll-out of the ERP.
Not all defense organizations have the internal capabilities to fully manage the procurement and implementation of an ERP solution. ERP technologies are evolving at a rapid pace – with new subscription models and hosting services being introduced almost every day. Defense organizations need to make sure they have the right people who can understand and evaluate technology options, manage the complex procurement process, oversee integration and deal with post-implementation upgrades and additional procurement if required to add additional functionality.
“One solution, according to the CIO of the US Department of Defense is the movement of people from the government to commercial workplaces, and back to government,” explains [ADD NAME AND TITLE OF KPMG PARTNER]. “Alternatively, defense organizations can engage third-party advisors who understand the unique requirements of defense organizations and those with extensive experience advising on ERP solutions.”
In order to achieve the full benefit of ERP, defense organizations need to develop an implementation plan that considers the current state and maturity of the organization and incorporate a plan to evaluate and update processes accordingly and in a manner that aligns with both the organization’s objectives and its desired outcomes.
It is also important for the users of the solution be involved in the development of new processes so that they are both familiar with how their roles will change and can buy-in to the new way of working. User uptake is a significant contributor to the success of an ERP implementation project.