It is now widely recognized how crucial it is for companies to strengthen overview and insight into their data, and to use it efficiently and systematically. This in-vogue phenomenon—known as digital transformation—allows organizations to optimize processes, supply chain value and competitiveness. Accurate identification of optimal trading opportunities via new technologies is an added benefit.
Many companies have initiated their digital transformation journey based on new, cloud-based business platforms—primarily because of the platforms' versatility, modular construction, and relative ease of implementation. Among other things, the use of systematic methods, such as an Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL), to undergo such a transformation makes it easier and results more predictable.
Only a handful are aware of how crucial it is to have a plan to keep any solution up to date and relevant to an organization's needs even when it is up and running.
Maintain the digital foundation with Application Management software and the Evergreen model
At Columbus, we use the term Application Management as a common denominator for an effort that aims to ensure that an organization's IT solutions continue to:
Cover the needs of the business and its users
Support company processes
Run stably and can be easily updated
Adapt to new technologies
That said, Microsoft's dynamic development model - called Evergreen – can be a double-edged sword. As per this model, it is necessary to implement a strategy and outline how the digital solution should be developed, maintained and managed. It is the only way to avoid implementing non-standard solutions or processes that can cause problems:
- When the solution needs to be updated, or
- In preventing an update from having unwanted consequences somewhere in your ERP platform
Therefore, a key element of Columbus' Application Management strategy is to provide testing routines, release processes and overall preparedness before implementing a piece of code or new updates to an enterprise solution.
Get errors and problems in advance
There are several challenges organizations may face while continuously working on a critical system like an ERP platform. Even if you only implement standard modules or put thoroughly tested Microsoft updates on the core application, the solution must integrate and work smoothly alongside a lot of other systems. This interaction takes place partly on the organization's local network and partly across solutions that the organization itself does not have an influence on— for example - with customers, suppliers, partners, etc.
It is essential to test everything before a new code is released on the operating environment. Equally important is having a contingency plan ready if something goes wrong.
Incidentally, both of these are among the top areas for which we receive the most inquiries. On one hand, companies are ready to seize the benefits of digital transformation. On the other, they are aware that new opportunities come with their share of unique challenges that they will need help with overcoming.
The faster you get on a cloud-based platform, the faster your company can reap the benefits of digitization.