Business Systems Strategy & Roadmap Development

Strategic alignment between the business and system investments is often identified as a weakness and companies struggle in their efforts to get this right. The reason is that it is complex and people both internal and external to the issue are not equipped to develop a solid business systems strategy. Strategically oriented leaders or management consultants may provide a strong perspective on the business but can’t translate this view into an optimal systems plan. The IT group, on the other hand, may understand the current systems well but is typically not well prepared nor credible to connect IT priorities with business strategy or have limited insight on leading solutions in the market. Also, it is not unusual for the IT team to get stuck in an academic exercise of “enterprise architecture development.” Most systems consultants are focused on a particular solution or are biased in other ways. The result is typically an overly complex business information architecture that hinders change and produces a poor return on system investments.

A well-formulated and up-to-date business systems strategy and multi-year systems roadmap can be massively powerful where systems and technology truly become the enablers for running the business better while allowing the organization to innovate and transform at increasing speeds.

Since the 90’s we have worked with many manufactures and distributors conducting these strategic assessments. The real-world learnings gathered during these engagements and the related research we have conducted have been translated into a methodology that is unique.

The multi-layered puzzle of business strategy, people, processes, data, systems, integration technologies, and infrastructure is complex in any scenario. An ERP system alone, for example, may have 100’s of users and consist of 50 million lines of software code. There is a lot that can go wrong. Our methodology centers on controlled simplification in the right areas. We have the frameworks to define and connect the multi-layered puzzle and the experience and research capability to proactively identify and recommend solutions for the architectural sore spots. Proactively detecting the real pressure points in the company as well as unique business process and data needs while pinpointing what is architecturally difficult is the key here. Without it, the organization will suffer the usual pain of off-target expectation setting, ERP initiatives launching against the wrong target, solution vendors scoping solutions poorly, etc.

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