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Clean up your system structure before you start going digital

Björn Lorenz11/14/2017

There are sometimes simple answers to the question of "why": "It’s the law", for example, or "because that’s what the directive specifies". Often, however, the situation is more complicated. If the answer is "that is what the system says," you have to ask "huh, which system?" Often relevant information comes from different sources such as CRM, ERP or business intelligence (BI). The answer that you get from this is not necessarily clear. It is sometimes even contradictory.

Before going digital, clean up your system landscape

Having a heterogeneous IT structure may be just barely viable at the moment. In the foreseeable future it definitely won’t be. The digital revolution will bring new sources of information: Sensors, intelligent machines, geo-tags, cloud services. Not to mention digital news from the supply chain. Actionable, decision-relevant information is a great advantage of going digital. It is the basis for process optimization, new products and business models. If the data gets lost in the plumbing of a fragmented system infrastructure, a lot of potential gains are left on the table.

In order to avoid this, you should first do your homework in the ERP field, before the starting the race to go digital. One important point is to reduce the number of data sources. This does not mean expanding the ERP solution to include everything and the kitchen sink. But you should make sure that at the end of the flow of information you have business software that can be the "single source of information".

In the future everything will come together in the cloud

IT managers, who are really nervous right now, can sit back and relax: It is not a question of opening up the company software with countless interfaces. That would involve lots of effort, would be too expensive in the long-term and would also be a security risk. It is much more elegant to add a data hub to complement the ERP system. An integration platform that bundles all communication channels and organizes the information exchange between the company software and the growing number of related systems. Because many IoT devices are controlled via the cloud and online services are already growing in popularity, the best place for such a platform is in the cloud. This way, you also get rid of the annoying job of interface maintenance right away. In the end, preparation for going digital is perhaps not as daunting as you thought. So, what are you waiting for? It's best to start right away.

You have already rolled up your sleeves, but you are unsure how to best tackle the issue of going digital? Just call us or send us an e-mail. Then we can discuss how your company can best profit from the digital revolution.

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