Research Summary: Five Steps To Building A Recession Proof Packaged Apps Strategy

Published on January 19, 2009 by R "Ray" Wang


FORWARD AND COMMENTARY
The five steps to building a recession proof packaged apps strategy represent the sixth report in an on-going series to provide clients with insight on how to better align their packaged apps strategies.  Aligned with operational efficiency and regulatory compliance business drivers, these best practices provide a road map for more efficient investment.
Other documents as part of the series include:

RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS
Introduction
Enterprises continue to face tremendous change from new business models, economic crises, changing workforce dynamics, and technology advancement. The current global recession challenges enterprises to tightly align packaged apps strategies with relevant business drivers. With regulatory compliance and operational efficiency as top-of-mind concerns, enterprises must recession-proof existing strategies to achieve sustainable change, identify opportunities to make business processes more efficient, choose the most effective technology strategy, and reexamine vendor relationships. The near-term goal: Find ways to optimize existing investments in packaged apps in order to free up money to fund not only budget cuts but also potential revenue sources for innovation.
Research Findings

The five steps take into account business drivers, people and organizational dynamics, process optimization, technology strategy, and vendor ecosystems and relationships.

  • Step 1: Align Packaged Apps Strategy With Recession-Relevant Business Drivers. Today’s key business drivers must align with regulatory compliance and achieve cost avoidance and risk mitigation.  Operational efficiency drivers attain short-term and long-term recurring cost savings.
  • Step 2: Organize The Stakeholders For Sustainable Change. Move beyond top-level executive sponsorship to create bottom-up buy-in.  Align business and IT through corporate planning and budgeting. Instill a program management discipline.
  • Step 3: Identify Opportunities In Commoditized And Differentiated Processes. Design with the end in mind. Apply process mapping to identify common processes.  Shift investments from commoditized to competitively differentiated processes.
  • Step 4: Select Effective Technology Strategies. With business drivers in hand, stakeholder alignment in place, and business processes identified, application delivery professionals can then begin work on technology strategies.  Strategies that align to both regulatory compliance and operational efficiencies include:  consolidating apps instances and deploying data archiving strategies.  Strategies that align to operational efficiencies include: optimizing upgrade planning, preparing for new deployment options such as software-as-a-service (SaaS), and incorporating upfront quality management and testing.
  • Step 5: Reexamine Your Vendor Relationship. This fifth and final step to recession-proofing an organization’s existing apps strategy traditionally represents the first step app delivery pros take when making decisions about apps strategy. However, by saving this step for last, app delivery pros gain the freedom to make decisions based on business needs rather than bias toward a particular vendor or technical solution. This approach will favor vendors that deliver choice, value, and predictability in the overall relationship as well as provide greater alignment between apps strategy and business drivers.

Report Links
Click on the link for the detailed report: Five Steps To Building A Recession-Proof Packaged Applications Strategy. For media courtesy requests, please send me an email to rwang@forrester.com
Your POV.
Would love your feedback on the report.  You can post here or send me a private email to rwang0@gmail.com.
Copyright © 2009 R Wang. All rights reserved.

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