The role of your IT manager in your ERP replacement project

Any ERP replacement project will need to have a team involved in selection and implementation of the ERP.  That team will have a project manager, an executive sponsor, several subject manager experts, one or more representatives from the ERP vendor, and, your IT manager.

IT must always be part of the process.  In many businesses they must sign off on the purchase of software purchases and that alone gets them on the team.

IT related requirements

The reasons for replacing your ERP system might be related to IT technology.  If you can no longer buy a computer old enough to run your legacy ERP on, that is one requirement to replace your ERP that is IT related.  Your IT manager is a subject matter expert in much the same way as your accountant or quality manager and has earned their role in the selection and implementation team.

Counseling the rest of the team

Your IT manager is the one who can update your legacy ERP configurations.  It is possible that the legacy system can provide the needed results with a few updates and no replacement is needed.  Your IT manager should have insights into new developments in networking and cloud connectivity and programming and can help evaluate whether a proposed ERP is up to date and likely to stay that way for the foreseeable future.

Use our comprehensive ERP software selection checklist to plan your ERP replacement activities and forecast your requirements

Data transfer

Your new ERP will need much of the data contained in your legacy system,and that transfer will be more complicated than simple cut and paste operations.  Who has the skills to transfer that data and to modify the transfers as testing reveals unexpected results?  Your IT manager has.  At your go-live moment, the last of the transactional data up to the deadline you set must be transferred quickly and accurately as planned so the replacement ERP can work perfectly for all users with little or no business downtime.

Customization and integration

Your IT manager probably has expertise in customizing and integrating software. If that is part of your implementation plan, your IT manager gets a seat in the team room for this reason.

One role that probably should not be the IT manager

Your ERP project manager generally should not be your IT manager.  That person should have a background in managing large projects and should have extensive experience in ERP systems.  And that experience should be in using ERP in a functional area such as finance, sales, or production.  IT often has a support role which is different from an active user role.

Your IT manager is a nice person and is important in selecting and implementing a replacement ERP.  Make sure yours is very involved in the project at your business

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Tom Miller

About the author…

Tom completed implementations of Epicor, SAP, QAD, and Micro MRP. He works as a logistics and supply chain manager and he always looks for processes to improve. He lives near San Francisco Bay in California and can be found on the water in his kayak or on the road riding his motorcycle. Contact Tom at customerteam@erpfocus.com.

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Tom Miller