If you have to adapt your processes, or work around gaps in systems management or functionality, it could be time to consider a new operational system.
All businesses change, whether it is due to growth, restructuring or responding to market trends. Workflow processes shift to reflect change; to maintain a competitive edge, so must your supporting software systems.
Reasons to consider a new operational system
Some of the most common reasons for a company to consider a new operational system or system integration include:
The pros and cons of a new operational system
- You’re growing and realise that Excel spreadsheets, Access databases and/or fragmented systems no longer meet your needs.
- You have an existing legacy system that’s clunky, uses old technology that can’t interact and has a workflow that no longer complements your business processes.
- You’ve been through a merger and the merged companies use different systems.
- You’ve acquired a new company that uses a different system.
- Whatever the reason, it’s important to consider the best option for your company. It could be legacy software modernisation, systems integration or a replacement operational system.
Legacy software modernisation may be worth considering if your existing system still accurately reflects your business practices, or contains significant intellectual property.
Integrating legacy systems means that you’ll be providing continuity and minimising the need for costly retraining. But you’ll probably be doubling the amount of support staff for old and new systems, resulting in few cost savings.
Keeping one company’s systems over another’s following a merger is likely to lead to dissatisfaction within some corners. Some users will be competent and others will need to be trained.
Keeping the best parts from each company’s system after an acquisition can lead to overlapping functionality, or gaps in provision. You may end up adding new systems to the mix to compensate, increasing training time and costs, but there will be familiar and new things for everyone.
A replacement operational system will mean a new system for all staff to learn, but it will bring agility to empower your business. It can be a great way of rationalising the platforms that come into the business as a result of mergers and acquisitions.
Your operational system is the cornerstone of your strategy, operations and competitive advantage. If you’re not sure what the best option is for your business, we can advise and help you to ensure you get a system that works for your business now and is easily scalable to continue working hard for you in the future.
In most cases, data from any ‘old’ systems needs to be “migrated” or moved to the new system. In some cases, the data needs to be synchronised between the old and new systems to ensure a side-by-side system rollout can occur. We’re well versed in managing complex data migration scenarios, so you can rely on us to ensure the process goes smoothly.
Business Applications and operational systems are all about following a process. It may have many beginnings, branches and outcomes, but all eventualities must be considered and handled.
To this end, we’ll initially gather information about and thoroughly analyse your current system(s) and business processes: what works, what doesn’t, any gaps in functionality and any workarounds that you currently have.
We’ll then work with you to understand more about your business and where you’re headed. We’ll talk to your staff as they can often pinpoint areas of the workflow process that could be improved to enable them to work more efficiently. We’ll also add our own suggestions.
As you’d expect, we’ll consider all aspects of the operational system including data, security, messaging and networks. We’ll then build a blueprint for a new system that:
- 1. carries over any required functionality from your old system
- 2. replaces certain components
- 3. adds functionality that didn’t previously exist, for example:
- the ability to import and export information from one system to another
- detailed management reporting which clients are able to access via a new, secure customer portal
- secure client messaging
- fully automated processes instead of manual or semi-automated processes
- taking feeds from other databases, so only the latest customer information is used
The next step is to articulate all our findings in writing and create a prototype of the new system to help you visualise how it will look and feel and how it will work, even at this early design stage.