The importance of leadership and IT buy-in for a successful ERP implementation

Investing in a cloud ERP implementation is a time-consuming, multi-step project that an organisation should carefully research and evaluate. The process of implementing ERP software is a journey in itself and without the commitment and approval from your company’s IT and leadership team, success can be diminished.

Leadership buy-in is a key factor for success in any significant organisational change. Unless your team is dedicated and supportive, big ideas will never reach their full potential. An Acumatica published blog on this topic references words from Dr. John Kotter an author and Harvard Professor who said, “research has shown that 70% of all organisational change efforts fail and one reason for this is executives simply don’t get enough buy-in, from enough people for their initiatives and ideas”.

Why an ERP implementation requires leadership support

Embarking in an ERP implementation is a huge organisational transformation that requires all teams to be ready to take a proactive initiative to learn and adapt to a new system and way of doing business.

The previously mentioned Acumatica blog also mentioned that an implementation requires a champion, manpower and staff support an all their require leadership involvement.

Champion: Every ERP implementation needs a champion and the champion must be a part of the executive team. He or she is a person who is a leader within the organisation and who is committed to seeing the cloud ERP adoption succeed, recognising its inherent value from the outset. He or she is the energy and drive behind the project that keeps everyone on track throughout the process.

Manpower: An ERP implementation takes manpower. End users in all departments will need to be involved and the leadership team can ensure you get the personnel you need.

Staff Support: If employees across the organisation don’t see the support (and excitement) from the leadership team for this immense project then you’re going to get lackluster support from them. This lack of support results in disuse of valuable technology that would not only help the organisation succeed, but also make employees jobs easier.

Overall, this means the level of leadership support before an ERP implementation even begins can be a make or break.

Knowing how critical leadership and IT buy-in is for successful ERP implementation is vital. Identifying and understanding strategies to achieve buy-in is equally important. Acumatica has suggested the following steps to help pave the way for encouraging leadership teams support.

Do your homework – Explain why a modern ERP solution is important

To remain competitive in the marketplace, businesses must automate important business management processes to increase efficiency, scalability and profitability. Clearly communicate what an ERP solution can provide your company. Understand the possible return on investment (ROI) as well as the key benefits and features that can transform your business.

Prepare for push backs

There will always be hesitations surrounding the risks so address any potential issues with open communication. It is common for there to be concerns around the complexity of any implementation but by gaining the knowledge and addressing these issues head on will entice leadership and IT buy-in through full transparency.

Ask for input from the IT team and keep the leadership team in the loop

Recognise that members of the IT team will have insights and the expertise that can help guide you through the research, evaluation and selection process. Ask for their input and they will feel appreciated and heard by including them in the decision-making process. This is also where the champion comes into play and will be, as mentioned earlier someone from the leadership team who can meet with the team regularly throughout the ERP implementation to keep everyone informed. They’ll not only be prepared for the process, they’ll also have a say in it.

The journey to a successful ERP implementation is not always smooth sailing but with a supportive team, the journey is guaranteed to be easier. Leadership and IT buy-in is extremely important for businesses that wish to embrace a new way of work through the power of an ERP solution. If the leadership team is dedicated to the implementation and believes in the value it holds for the organisation, the rest will follow.

Source: Acumatica