Mike Krigsman posted this today morning on his ZDNET blog http://www.zdnet.com/blog/projectfailures/predicting-2012-rapid-implementation-in-focus/ . I tried to post a comment, but somehow that does not seem to have posted. So I thought of posting it here.
I am not entirely convinced that Rapid Deployments will bring terrific benefits, but will be watching it closely in 2012. At the moment , I have apprehensions.
1. If faster implementation is such a big agenda item for Enterprise Software vendors, why do this half way approach of Rapid Implementation? Why not go all the way and offer it as SaaS ? Is the idea to milk perpetual licenses for on-premises software for a bit longer, just by repackaging it?
2. Fixed price is a good thing – but hardly unique. Most ERP projects now are following a fixed price contracting structure. I know no one likes change orders – but change orders happen mostly because of scope definition inaccuracies. Projects are progressive in nature – especially ERP projects. So even in Rapid Deployment, at some point – customers will find out they will need something else on top. Will the software vendors provide such changes for free without a change order? If not – will customers feel happy just by paying a software vendor instead of doing it inhouse or paying consultants to do the work?
3. Consumerization of IT – making IT “sexy” and “easy” – is a good thing for the business users. However Rapid depolyments only solve a part of this problem, which is the installation part. While it is a good start – will customers see enough value with just one part of the puzzle solved?
4. Rise of CFO’s office is definitely not a 2012 thing. CFOs have always taken active role in IT (and other) investment decisions. CIOs very rarely report to CEOs, they either report to CFO or to Chief Procurement Officer.
5. Who supports Rapid implementation solutions after the vendor walks out of the door? Will there be enough skills in the market for outsourcing companies to provide such support?
6. What about integration costs? Stand alone systems always cost more in the long term. Once the rapid implementation goes through enhancements and integration with existing systems – will it offer any benefits beyond other on-premises solutions from the same vendors? And if you enhance a prepackaged solution – will a vendor still provide standard support ?
Happy New Year !
6 thoughts on “Rapid Implementation – is the promised land finally here ?”
Michael, I largely agree with you. The confusion or the complexity is because there are many SME’s for whom under-standing what to expect itself is quite challenging.
I am a big advocate of RDS for SME’s but wonder if something could be done about Branding? How do you break a brand such as SAP to make people set their expectations lower? I am yet to learn that art fully.
Anand, you raise an important point. When it comes to implementation, which is primarily a people-oriented set of activities, there is no such thing as a silver bullet. If expectations are not set properly, then success will not be achievable. I personally believe that managing realistic expectations is key to any kind of implementation.
That said, I strongly think that raising the profile of rapid implementations as an issue is very important because of the focus it brings to this entire area. As with any set of people issues, awareness is the first step toward solution.
Vijay, one of the issues with RDS is that the customer would realize the limitations of solutions fairly late. So it is very important at the start of the project itself, to communicate effectively about “what is it and what is it not” that the customer would get as solution.
If he has been sold magic bullet solution and have not been made aware that maintenance may become expensive, it could be problematic. I have had a client who decided to implement SAP. The reason? he saw the advert in the Airport that “Best Run Business Run SAP”. Who can blame him :).
SAP sold them magic bullet story. As SI we had some tough time managing client budget; and make his business become “Best Run Business”.
If managed properly, which includes client expectation management, RDS is good approach. I must also add, SaaS is not necessarily cheap/ fit for purpose OR for some, secure enough.
All great points – rapid deployment does seem good in theory. One of the difficulties is that it does force consultants to do some shoehorning of client process into rigid definitions of features – perhaps over time there will be gains made in the user side of rapid deployment.