Core applications need not be disturbed during ERP digital transformation

September 2, 2019

Whatever the business, customers matter, right? Well you might think so, but the findings of a July 2019 survey suggested that 68% of digital transformations are centered on improving the processes of the business - the nuts and bolts of how the system functions. Only 28% of transformations were specifically customer experience-centered, to enhance how customers interface more easily with the business. The remaining 4%? – oh, that was for the employees, poor things. It’s true that the back office processes which are spruced up often do benefit customers, but that’s almost a by-product.
In other words, what is driving digital transformation in enterprises that are consciously considering it, are issues which are quite distant from the customer base. Businesses realize that they really have to get up to contemporary speed with their core applications, so that’s what they’re concentrating their firepower on. All the other stuff, like customer and employee needs, ranks lower.

Piece of cake


Remaking or remodeling core applications is a piece of cake, right? OK, strike that: make it ‘a humongous and probably thankless task’. Do you buy a solution off the shelf or call in the demolition team, rip everything to bits and then build a new system from the ground up? Nope, you’re right, that’s not going to happen. There will without doubt be apps in there from third parties, some of them ‘vendor locked’. There’ll also be code written and rewritten over the years, by people who have long since moved on, or by companies which no longer support their ‘solution’. - “Hey, that was then, this is now,” you may well be told.
And at the end of the whole painful process, all the enterprise may have achieved is essentially just a makeover, without adding any new useful functionality to bring the customer nearer, for example through automating processes previously involving human operators. On boarding of customers is an area where according to one study up to a staggering 75% of users can be lost in the first week through ineffective on boarding.
So there’s an inbuilt failure to capitalize on the potential of attempting to update ERP Legacy systems, an example of that old phrase, ‘To put lipstick on a pig.’ Perhaps it will be a marginally more attractive pig, but hey, it’s still a pig.

Lipstick, pig?

The issue is that Legacy systems basically can’t be remade or remodeled. They is what they is, and ever will be, amen. Enterprises are stuck with their Enterprise Resource Planning systems (how ironic is that name now!) and simply have to make the best of it. Quick, more lipstick!

Enter Low Code

A solution to the conundrum is the NoCode/ Low Code approach, allowing the creation of completely new applications which are fit for purpose, and are faster and cheaper than off-the-shelf offerings, or indeed starting from scratch. Teams get decisions made more quickly and are able to fail, iterate and modify faster,  while at the same time opening up new vistas to allow previously ‘undo-able’ things to be achieved. No Code/Low Code puts the change process in the hands of users within the enterprise itself, rather than with highly specialized and costly consultants. The aim is always to simplify complexity – to simplexify.
Oriana’s Effector achieves this by having an ever-growing catalog of functional blocks of code which cater to specific business cases, and which can then be tailored in-house. Clearly there has to be oversight from a company’s IT department, but Oriana’s seventeen years of experience amassed in Low Code solutions means that Effector is a powerful and efficient tool to extend core service capabilities. Effector sits on top of the core and integrates fully, with all the major work being done within it. The interface with, and demand on core services is therefore smooth, and the downsides minimal. The notorious problems of project creep which inevitably affect large scale remodeling of ERP systems are avoided, because the new functionalities being added do not change the core.

Citizen developers – the new ninjas

he ‘citizen developer’ is becoming a reality, because of the increasing availability of drag and drop applications which can be plugged into the core to create simple new Applications, Proof of Concepts, and Demos. Citizen Developers are typically younger, tech-savvy individuals who are familiar with SQL, but they don’t need to be coders, simply employees who understand the use case and are therefore well placed to mock up solutions. Oriana’s Effector Studio  No Code platform provides true customization in house, where previously external Business Analysts were often called in to help. Once the concept is proved in the No Code arena, then the project gets passed on to experienced IT people to build out the solution. When they do that though, they’ll be using Low Code, to ‘Keep it simple, stupid!’

Result? Let the sprawling monster of the core peacefully go about its business and instead add easy-use, custom modules which do precisely what the enterprise needs them to do. This is possible because the No Code and Low Code platforms enable the fast turnaround of a customized solution or module, to add capabilities to the ERP or organization.This can include a raft of offerings which bring the customer nearer. Oh, and while the  employees are sculpting the system to their real world needs, they may just enjoy dressing the pig up in some stylish new outfits too, lipstick optional.

Whatever the business, customers matter, right? Well you might think so, but the findings of a July 2019 survey suggested that 68% of digital transformations are centered on improving the processes of the business - the nuts and bolts of how the system functions. Only 28% of transformations were specifically customer experience-centered, to enhance how customers interface more easily with the business. The remaining 4%? – oh, that was for the employees, poor things. It’s true that the back office processes which are spruced up often do benefit customers, but that’s almost a by-product.
In other words, what is driving digital transformation in enterprises that are consciously considering it, are issues which are quite distant from the customer base. Businesses realize that they really have to get up to contemporary speed with their core applications, so that’s what they’re concentrating their firepower on. All the other stuff, like customer and employee needs, ranks lower.

Do you have any questions or comments? Feel free to ask our experts.

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