As the functionality of ERP has advanced, it’s time to discuss application life cycle management. Call it whatever you wish (ALM, APM, App Management, etc.), but this is the right time to address it. The first step is to ensure you have an accurate portrait of your landscape. For many this is an Excel spreadsheet, and while that is ok to start with, we will want to really build on this. It needs extensive details to be useful in the capacity of application planning. This means it needs to include the operating system, database, integrations, users, modules, all with as much detail as can be included.
In a perfect world, you would consider a platform like Service Now or Planview to help administer this information. You would also make it interactive with the application owners to keep the updates occurring. This would become the hub whenever your environment changes to help you manage the impact assessment. When it comes to ERP, this helps us identify where we may be able to reduce this portfolio by consolidating into new functionality and thus offset some of the cost.
Things like recruitment software, travel software, budgeting /planning / reporting tools are top of mind for consideration. Governance from sponsorship is key to ensure you aren’t simply keeping software with duplicate functionality because you “have had it for a long time.” The rule I use is 70% of current functionality met in the new ERP you are moving. This can save hundreds of thousands in maintenance costs, not to mention improve usability within the new ERP.