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Reduce system integrations and adaptations

I have seen it all the way from the smallest boutique and workshop to the biggest multi-international enterprises and factories. The similarities are surprisingly many. Both parts of the spectrum have often found themselves stuck in between a rock and a hard place. Or literally between integrations and systems. Can we live without any of them? No, both are totally necessary to get your business to a decent technical level, to drive sales and to support your internal processes. So, what has happened then?

To rely on just 1 system can be dangerous, and we don´t want to put all eggs in the same basket. But it doesn´t matter how hard you try to maintain and think about your IT environment. Acquiring a company or other strategic decisions can change that from one day to another.

No matter if you choose 1 ERP or 100 ERPS and other specialized applications in your own IT-environment. Every new integration is the adding of dependency and complexity.

So, the reduction of integrations and the increase of control of your complete IT infrastructure can be both an efficiency boost for your organization and a direct cost decrease. With a closer vendor/partner dialogue and a complementing integration platform with interface capabilities you will learn that you might have systems that does things that others might do equally good or better. That´s always your step one. Ask yourself, do I really need this system?

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Based on my own experience we tend to buy more systems because we lack strategy and knowledge about what we already have. And to live in this complex situation today you need to enhance your own capabilities regarding integration.

As an effect of a tangled legacy situation, I have heard quite a few creative ideas for how to get rid of it:

  • 1 system in equals 1 system out. This will give you a status quo but at least not an environment which is increasing in number of systems once a day.

  • 1 system in equals 2 systems out. Now it gets interesting, because in some cases this tactic works very well. It´s not only the fact that we reduce systems, but we also smoothen out processes as well as gets rid of unused or poorly used systems. And primarily it gives us the ability to see the root-problems clearly, which are:
    • You didn´t evaluate your systems properly before buying it.
    • You didn´t measure the usage/efficiency for the processes using the systems
    • and you for sure didn´t have a proper off-boarding routine of systems.

The complex and agile future ahead will force you to become versatile. There will be dependencies to new systems due to new circumstances. But always remember that unique integrations towards a handful of systems is hard to maintain and adds a lot of risk.

It doesn´t matter if you add Novacura Flow® already in your ERP implementation or add it later to your IT environment, it will anyhow give you the capabilities to straighten out this mess. But don´t regard it as just another “new” software. Think of it as an enabler for creating a better IT environment, for reducing costs, and for adding efficiency.

Oftentimes it´s the essence of your IT Environment, meaning your core infrastructure, ERP systems and other critical parts, that are the showstoppers when you need to perform necessary changes.

It might even be less investment costs (read short-term) to hire staff than to do a proper job of maintaining all of them in a correct way. Which often results in projects running late or in no-go decisions to upgrade.

Adaptations and hardcoding of existing solutions are other dependencies. So, the reduction of adaptations is equally important as the reduction of integrations. It´s not that you should live without adaptations, but they should be well thought through in terms of ROI. Because no matter how well the investment will play out in short-term it is also making it difficult for you to support, maintain and upgrade.

Posted by: Andreas Lindqvist

Andreas Lindqvist, Sales Manager
Andreas Lindqvist is our Nordic Sales manager located in the north of Sweden . Andreas has made a career from local production planner to global IT service management and Global IT project manager connected to ERP and other business systems. Before joining the sales team at Novacura Andreas was working as a consultant and project manager at Novacura. Core segments of competence are complex IT and global business environments, manufacturing, logistics and process improvement.

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