Buying good technology is not enough. Far too often we are see a customer invest in good technology, only to be let down by poor implementation and integration. The cost of addressing poor implementation and integration after the fact is downright expensive, painful and risky for all involved.
Good implementation and integration is more than just installing an application by a technically competent IT Service Provider. For the piece of technology to work the way you expect it to;
- It must be installed on adequately scoped technology infrastructure (regardless of whether it’s at your premises, or on some form of hosted platform). Technically speaking, you must have adequate processing, memory, disk and network capability. The system will perform only as well as the slowest link in the chain.
- The technology must be configured to suit your business needs and business processes or you must change your business processes to suit how the technology application works. Without one or the other being a conscious consideration, the risk of the investment being negative instead of positive, increases significantly.
- Your users must be competent in the usage of the technology application. It is unacceptable to plead ignorance – technology is here to stay and it’s ultimately your responsibility (and your employers) to have an acceptable level of user competency. This means training and training over receiving documentation is preferable.
- You must include a lifecycle view on this technology investment. It’s a asset just like any other business asset and has a lifetime cost that’s far in excess of the acquisition cost.
- Include success criteria. You’ve got to know why your doing this and what result you expect. Knowing what result you expect means, you need to know how you can test you have achieved a baseline level of success. Success is not perfection – success means that you are comfortable you have achieved a baseline result that meets your expectations.
Good implementation and integration might cost you a little more upfront in terms of time and/or money. The return on that extra little bit of investment will pay dividends and its good common sense.