When I came across this article recently (http://www.forbes.com/sites/dell/2012/05/08/enterprises-should-implement-change-not-applications-2/), I was tempted to share it, tweet it, thumbs-up it, and anything else I could do to say that I agree with the idea that an IT implementation–or in our case the implementation of fund management software–is less about implementing IT than it is about changing the way work is tracked.
In our case, we’re implementing software for private equity firms and other alternative asset managers, and the majority of our clients already have a good process in place. This process, after all, is part of what makes them unique and what ultimately results in higher returns. So when we come in, we’re able to take those existing processes and map them to our application. If there are gaps in the existing process, the client ends up having to define their processes during the implementation, which might take a bit more time, but as the above article suggests, it’s a necessary step in adopting software successfully and benefitting from the functionality it provides.
This need to focus on process is another reason why savvy firms will have more than just an IT person involved when they look to the market for new software tools. Comparing one software system to another in a vacuum can only get you so far, but evaluating a software system and its ability to conform to your business’s existing processes–or for your business to conform to it–is crucial to understanding all of its advantages.