6 steps to make your next IT project a success

Having the right technology is now a critical part of any successful business. But when it comes to the process of actually getting this up and running, many firms may find this a costly and time-consuming project, with no guarantees that a deployment will be successful.

The key thing any business needs from an IT system is a strong return on investment. This may not always mean a direct financial impact, but could be better productivity, smoother day-to-day processes and or higher accuracy.

So how do you achieve these goals? Sage has put together a few top tips for success which, if followed, can ensure that your implementation of a new IT system runs smoothly. As someone that’s been involved in many implementations, I can vouch, that businesses that have given consideration to the below, are more likely to gain positive results, quicker.

1. Establish clear leadership

IT implementations – like any business transformation efforts – only work if staff are on-board with the project and know what they have to do at every stage. By establishing an executive committee to oversee rollout, and a core project team to manage the rollout, you can ensure everything stays on track and any potential issues can be dealt with quickly.

2. Come up with specific goals

The better you understand exactly what you want your software to do, the easier it will be to secure a good ROI. So, for example, if you want to make faster business decisions, this should guide the focus of your rollout by ensuring you can focus on the right areas, such as more efficient data entry solutions.

3. Understand the software’s capabilities

No-one wants to spend time and effort on a software deployment, only to discover it won’t actually give them all the functionality they were hoping for. To avoid this, it is recommended that the implementation team go through introductory training in order to gain a more in-depth understanding of what is possible with the software.

4. Identify areas for improvement

It’s a lot easier to see what impact a new software solution is having if there are specific areas or processes to improve. Identifying where problems lie and what solutions are required is the first step, after which you’ll know exactly where to focus key software capabilities and best practices. You’ll then be able to review these processes after implementation to see clearly what difference has been made.

5. Choose the right implementation option

Businesses today have a number of options when it comes to how they deploy their software solutions, with the decision between on-premises or cloud-based services critical. Each has its own pros and cons, so there’s no right answer for every business about which to go for. Factors to consider include the business’ complexity, company size, number of employees, expected growth, and the sophistication of their IT skills and infrastructure. Speaking to an expert adviser can help firms determine what’s best for them.

6. Implement effective training

Even the most advanced software solutions won’t work effectively if end-users do not understand the system, or what they can do with it. A good training programme, coupled with an easy-to-use and intuitive user interface, is vital in ensuring employees can get up to speed with the solution quickly and start making the most of the new functionality.

By Jim Hildreth

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