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Navigating the crossroad of technology implementation strategy

When it comes to implementing business enablement technologies like CRM, HRM or ERP across an enterprise, one regular question for top management is the choice between utilizing in-house resources or hiring the services of a professional technology consultancy.

Some decision-makers who prefer the in-house route may see business technologies as straight forward digital tools with immediate usability right out of the box; others may be unaware just how extensive technology implementation projects can be, and wrongly assume that their internal IT teams are more than able to do it on their own.

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It’s not that an in-house team cannot implement CRM or ERP; they can, in theory. But here’s the catch: a proper technology implementation happens only when people, processes and the technology are considered to ensure the solution perfectly matches your needs. And, that’s where the professional technology consultants, who specialise in implementing business enablement technologies across multiple industries, come in.

To help you understand the strengths and weaknesses between the in-house route versus professional services next time when you have to implement technology at your company, here’s a bit more on the pros and cons of both your typical in-house team and a professional technology consultancy.

In-house IT team: pros and cons

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Pros:

  • Familiarity: Your staff are typically very familiar with your business, the organisational culture and your technology architecture. So, in some elements they hit the ground running.
  • Communication: The existing communication channels and acquaintance between internal staff also allows for a much easier and quicker flow of data and information. The conversations are also frequent and natural with a common shared frame of reference.
  • Control: You naturally have more control over your internal IT team as compared to an external one. From hiring the right staff and delegating tasks, all IT-related actions occur under your supervision, which could prove to be a good thing if you know what you’re doing.

Cons:

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  • Expertise: Your internal IT staff may not always have the right skills to meet the desired outcomes of your company. In most cases, technology implementation projects require people with expertise across multiple functional areas, like project management, quality assurance, compliance, and more, with deep understanding of product. In other words, these tech projects immensely complicated compared to using plug-and-play software right off the shelf. And key concern is you may realise that once the implementation of an ERP or CRM is already underway. So, you’re ultimately left with a broken or incomplete system.
  • Prioirtise: Generally, if your core business operation is not tech-related, your in-house departments will take on more supporting roles. That often results in technology implementation projects receiving fewer resources, and sometimes, even getting pushed further down the priority list of your company. Also, in-house resources are usually engaged on normal business operations and your resources are based on existing architecture. So, many internal teams do not have sufficient capacity for new developments, particularly the complex projects that involve planning and implementing large business applications.
  • Errors: When internal teams with limited capacity and expertise undertake complex technological projects, they’re more likely to make errors. And since already have routine tasks to take care of, they will certainly skip a lot of steps that can lead to deployment of incompatible systems.
  • Cost of hiring: Adopting and implementing new business technologies internally may require you to hire teams of developers, QA’s and project managers. For short-term or one-off projects, the cost of recruiting, onboarding and benefits is going to be expensive. Add performance issues and supervisory time you will have to spend on them, which will also cost you more.

Professional technology consultants: pros and cons

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Professional technology consultants do more than just implement technologies at your company, unlike in-house IT teams. They also perform strategic and advisory roles in addition to technical ones. A professional technology consultancy like Dogma Group comes equipped with diverse sets of resources in addition to their key technology experts. And, owing to years and years of experience working with a wide range of businesses, they are also mighty experienced in what they do, which is to revolutionise the way businesses are enabled with enterprise technologies.

Pros:

  • Complete solution: A professional technology consultancy provides you an array of services that makes for a complete solution. They identify your needs, gather your requirements and take on a more product-agnostic approach like we do here at Dogma Group. After understanding your specific needs, they find the business enablement technology that best fits your company. Additionally, they work with you to figure out the best strategy to implement a system, which involves business process mapping, change management and user adoption, product selection and customer journey mapping. It is only then that they will move on to implementing CRM, ERP, HRM, or related technology solutions by migrating data, integrating the technology solution and developing web portals and apps. Once that’s done and you have gone live, they provide you additional support services.
  • Cost effective: Although hiring professional technology consultants might seem costly at the beginning due to huge upfront costs, the total cost of retainership is actually spread over a span of several years. So, getting professional consultants involved in your project is actually very cost effective in the long run. On top of that, you will no longer need to spend additional money on hiring and retaining your own IT expert. Plus, there is no IT infrastructure to purchase and maintain. Moreover, you only pay these technology consultants for the services you require so once the project is over, you may only be required to pay for the on-going support services.
  • Focus on core business: With ample time and funds saved from not having to maintain an in-house technology department and infrastructure, it is easier for you to focus on your core tasks and strategies. While your external team of technology professionals handle everything about all your business enablement technologies, you can focus on your business priorities to achieve your organisational goals.
  • Focus on project: Professional technology consultancies take on a project-management approach when it comes to their clients which means they plan it like a project, allocate the right experts and resources and strictly follow the project timeline to find the best-fit business enablement solutions for your business. At Dogma Group, we make a point to go an extra mile by positioning ourselves as trusted advisors to our clients. We work with our clients as a part of their company to gather an intimate understanding of all their business processes. That allows us to not only implement the best-fit solution for our clients but also share with them our unbiased opinions, which ultimately enables them to achieve their full operational efficiency.
  • 24/7 support: A major part of technology implementation is continuous support. And this support is not just limited to troubleshooting IT issues as they emerge but extends all the way to CRM health check, training and other managed services. Also, unlike internal IT teams, there are no off-hours or no-shows with professional technology consultancy as they have a team of experts for uninterrupted client service.
  • Access to premium resources: Professional consultants use cutting-edge technology and innovative techniques. So, working with professional consultants means you have access to premium resources that may give your company the perfect competitive advantage that it needs. Along with that, the professional consultancies have highly experienced specialists for all the relevant areas so that you can be fully assured about getting a proper CRM/ERP solution at your organisation. Additionally, these consultancies have direct contact with the CRM/ERP providers, which means they can immediately reach out to Microsoft or Salesforce whenever you come across any issues.
  • Opportunity to learn: Your internal technology department undoubtedly gets to collaborate with professional consultants. This gives your internal staff more exposure and opportunity to learn from the industry experts with years of experience working with diverse clients, which, in turn, allows your own team to grow stronger.

 

Cons:

  • Communication: Since professional IT consultants are usually not stationed within your company, you will have fewer face-to-face meetings and more conference calls where a thing or two might get lost in the conversation. Also, you might want to check up on how frequently these professional experts follow up with you or your internal team to ensure an easy and seamless flow of information.
  • Finding the right consultants: It is definitely a challenge to find a professional technology consultancy that’s just right for your company. And, to make it worse, there are many that claim to provide the best-fit IT solution. This is where you will have to put in a few hours of careful research. Maybe pull up their website and find out about their recent clientele and get some testimonials from them. Perhaps, ask your peers from other companies about who they relied on for similar technological transformation at their place.

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  • On-site support: Since things are mostly cloud-based these days, not all businesses need on-site support. But for those that do, troubleshooting unexpected hardware issues can be a little challenging as the technical experts are stationed off-site.

What’s the right decision?

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It can sometimes be tough to see a clear picture when deciding on hiring the services of a professional technology consultancy, especially if you already have an internal technology department.

Generally speaking, it all boils down to sustainable use of your company resources. If you have limitations on the number of experts, time, money and infrastructure, it is perhaps a resourceful strategy to get the professional experts involved. That way, you will not only save valuable resources for your other business activities but also achieve the complete technological transformation that your business truly deserves.

Ready to talk with the experts?

Our team of professional technology consultants will help you find the perfect solution for all your technological needs. Just call us on 01296 328 689 or email us at  info@dogmagroup.co.uk for a no-obligation consultation.

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