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The Benefits of IT Consolidation

The Benefits of IT Consolidation

In the latest of his "Future focus in PPM" series Project Management advisor and lecturer, John McGrath outlines the challenge and benefits of IT consolidation.

The challenge of IT Consolidation

Let’s think about the concept of IT systems consolidation. We often think of that as an IT challenge, but I think it’s an organizational challenge and it’s certainly an enterprise PPM challenge and I think we’re now seeing that all future-focused organizations are recognizing the importance of technology and a digital platform in creating and sustaining a competitive advantage. If you look at the companies that are surviving and thriving today, for many of them, their business model is underpinned by its single digital platform.

The learning opportunity for organizations who preached the mantra of “one organization, one vision, one strategy, one team, one single source of the truth” and the elephant in the room for these organizations is that they have hundreds of IT systems.

You equally need one single source of truth to understand your enterprise project requirements. As a response to this future-focused organizations are making IT systems and systems consolidation part of their overall strategy.

Systems consolidation is not an IT strategy, it’s an organizational strategy, fundamental to any agile responsive organization.

And it’s very important for senior executives to remember the principle that technology is supposed to simplify work, not complicate it, and when you have multiple conflicting systems with duplication of data, conflicting results we are complicating what should be simple.

Streamlining and consolidating your enterprise ICT systems is fundamental for digital transformation, but also to gain greater efficiencies in becoming a more agile and responsive organization.

If you think about it from a practical perspective, more enterprise ICT platforms mean more people, more wasted resources, more expense, and more silos – all barriers to digital transformation.

Joining the dots of multiple systems accelerates your strategic execution capability and gives you more accurate data, which is fundamentally enabling the organization to make better decisions.

It also helps purely from an economic point of view. If you look at headcount, for example, you’re going to create synergies across different teams, greater efficiencies, and more engaged employees.

We need to remember that systems consolidation is fundamentally about seamless business integration, and these projects, by their very nature, are challenging.

They contain significant risk because systems consolidation impacts an IT infrastructure and multiple IT systems and business operations must continue during the consolidation and the big risk here is that while it impacts multiple business applications and business operations you must keep your business model operating and continuing during the systems consolidation process.