When searching for the best cloud service provider, it can be overwhelming. There are a lot of options on the market, and finding the one that's right for you can be a challenge. This list has been curated based on the following considerations:

• Size
• Scalability
• Cost
• Reliability
• Market share
• Global presence
• Ease of integration

This top 10 list is based on a global market. There are some vendors not discussed in this report that are still great options, so be sure to do your own due diligence. Even so, this list will enable you to better sift through the options and find the best fit for your organization.

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10. MindSphere

This is a cloud services provider that focuses on Internet of Things, specifically automation of shop floor and other manufacturing functionalities. They're a big player in industry 4.0 since they specialize in pulling together disparate sets of data, allowing for a more efficient and streamlined process flow. If you have robotics on the shop floor or an MES system that you're trying to tie back to your data center, this could be a great option.

9. VMWare

VMWare is a technology agnostic hosting provider. Leveraging VMWare can be beneficial for organizations that have various best-of-breed solutions. In addition, this solution can handle multi-tenancy very well. On the other hand, it can be a bit more complex to set up, but once it's live and ready to go, it's relatively easier to use.

8. Rackspace Cloud

Rackspace Cloud has been a pioneer when it comes to providing cloud solutions, and as a result, they have a more mature foundation in the cloud than some competitors. Rackspace can support a broad and diverse set of software solutions and can host a variety of different technologies. Additionally, customers have been generally pleased with their service and particularly their general reliability. On the other hand, the costs for add-ons can add up, leading to a more expensive solution.

7. Salesforce

Salesforce is known for its CRM software, but they are also a cloud solutions provider to other software companies as well. Salesforce is flexible, enabling unique functionalities depending on your needs. It's also able to integrate with countless other solutions. In addition, it is also a cloud-native product, meaning they are a bit more mature than other on-premise solutions that are migrating to the cloud. The downside? Technical support. Their support team isn't as great as it can be, so as long as you are aware of that, this could be a great solution.

6. Oracle

Oracle is a provider of enterprise applications and databases, but they also provide cloud solutions for companies that want to move their softwares to the cloud. This is a very scalable option due to a heavy investment in their cloud infrastructure. With a focus in research and development, they are able to offer high-quality solutions with a strong uptime.
Another unique advantage of Oracle is that they are focused on analytics and providing business intelligence. The Oracle cloud infrastructure can accommodate various analytical data points, allowing for businesses to make better, data-driven decisions. On the downside, the pricing model is fairly complex with hidden costs that escalate over time, and the integration is not entirely seamless.

5. IBM Cloud

IBM cloud's enterprise tools and business analysis tools are very strong, arguably a leader in the industry. Since they were historically a hardware company, it has a very well-built infrastructure that can support efficient storage and capability. One of the most important elements of IBM cloud is that you are getting secure up-time. Their cybersecurity protocols are strong, and that is incredibly important in today's digital landscape.

4. Alibaba Cloud

Alibaba is a large cloud service provider that provides a high-value free trial. This allows businesses to test out the solution to get a feel of the user interface and different capabilities before making the commitment.
They also have a multi-national support team with representatives that speak various languages, so it's an international solution that can enable growth on a global scale. This is also beneficial for multinational organizations with global locations. Beyond that, Alibaba Cloud is infamous for its resources, with an extensive library of tutorials and training that can walk users through how to optimize their solutions. That is likely because there is a steep learning curve in understanding how to manage the solution. Note that management of this console requires knowledge and experience in coding.

3. Google Cloud

Google provides robust, open cloud hosting solutions. It's open and flexible use of technology allows for integration with various types of software solution. Their data analytics and business intelligence functionalities are also very strong, in addition to the user-friendly attributes that come with it.
On the other side of the coin, it's important to recognize that they have a less extensive portfolio and a smaller market share. They're known to have a lower level of support when compared to other solutions in the market. Similar to Alibaba Cloud, they offer a free trial as well.

2. Microsoft Azure

Microsoft has become a dominant player in the cloud-managed service space. Third-party systems use Microsoft Azure as a cloud hosting solution, just as they can do with Oracle and SalesForce. As with all Microsoft products, one of the biggest benefits is the ease of use due to the familiar Microsoft user interface. In addition, they have an impressive uptime of 99.95%.
This is also a helpful solution when expecting to scale because its offerings can support and scale your growth plans. Beyond that, it provides strong cybersecurity and the ability to pay as you use rather than paying for solutions you don't necessarily need.
On the flip side, Microsoft doesn't enable diversification of where you host your applications. Rather, they push to be the exclusive cloud managing service.

1.Amazon Web Services

Amazon's scale is the allure. AWS is the largest cloud provider in the world, and as a result, it's a global company that supports other global organizations. They also uses cutting-edge and innovative technologies, along with ample training materials to help users learn the system with ease.


The biggest disadvantages are the add-on solutions that can add up and increase the cost over time. In addition, they do not provide a wide variety of SaaS support. They tend to focus on a smaller number of potential solutions.

如果您是一家制造型公司,并且想要提高运营效率,那么了解市场上的各种工具会很有帮助。 

在这之前,首先要确定第三阶段咨询集团是一家与技术无关的独立咨询公司,并且我们与本文中讨论的任何系统没有任何联系或隶属关系。这些排名和产品评价是我们实时更新的结果,可以帮助世界各地的数百个客户为他们的公司应用最适合的技术。 

说到这里,让我们回到正题。 

制造执行软件,或制造执行系统,可以自动执行车间操作。当为您的制造公司制定数字化战略时,此执行系统列表将帮助您了解当今市场上顶级系统的价值和功能。 

以下是2022年十大制造执行系统。 

10. E2 Shop System 

E2 Shop System专注于车间自动化。其功能非常适合制造少量定制产品的公司。如果您是按订单生产或按工程师制造的公司,它可能是最好的选择。 

除此之外,E2 Shop System本身也是一家较小的公司。这样的话,他们就会比这个列表中的大公司提供更好的客户服务。 

另一方面,它的报告功能不如列表中的其他系统强大,并且广度和功能也不那么通用。随着时间的推移,它的成本也会更高。 

9. SAP ME 

SAP 制造执行是更大的SAP产品套件中的一个模块或系统。如果您正在找一个功能更多的系统,除了仓库管理、库存管理、CRM和会计管理等之外,它还可以帮助您管理车间。 

对于更大规模、更复杂的制造环境,这是一个很好的系统。由于其强大的报告功能,它是提供运营可见性的绝佳工具。 

另一方面,SAP是一个功能强大的工具,其用户界面就很复杂,数据存档和数据管理也可能更加困难。由于增加了实现层,用户采用此系统可能是一个更大的挑战。 

该软件不适用于中小型组织,而适用于具有复杂操作的大型制造公司。 

8. Fishbowl Manufacturing 

它适用于中小型制造车间。当涉及到用户界面时,它相对直观,因此用户使用起来更加舒适。即便如此,您仍然需要一个强大的组织变革管理策略,就像我们在任何数字化转型中所做的那样。  

如果是更加复杂的操作,这个系统可能并不是最适合您的公司的。同样重要的是,要了解其报告能力比列表上的其他系统弱。即便如此,这种最佳的软件解决系统是为制造车间而设计和制作的,并且在适用的公司发挥了作用。 

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7. Microsoft D365 

事实上这是微软的产品,使用户使用起来更加舒适,因为其用户界面(UI)类似于许多人用过的所有其他微软产品。它也是一个非常灵活和开放的平台,支持个性化定制,以满足公司的独特需求。 

因为它是一个大型的系统,可能需要时间来运转。运转像Microsoft Dynamics 365这样的大型ERP系统的数字化转型需要的时间要更长一些。另外,成本会比这个清单上的其他产品稍高一些。 

6. Oracle NetSuite 

虽然Oracle NetSuite不被认为是制造系统,但它仍然是一个很好的选择,可以帮助那些想要自动化车间的中小型公司实现运营自动化。该软件不仅能够帮助自动化制造和仓库管理,还可以辅助简化会计、客户关系管理和其他企业功能。 

另一方面,随着时间的推移,成本会逐渐上升。随着交易量的增加,使用这项技术的成本也将增加。 

5. Aptean 

Aptean是一家软件供应商,其核心是制造业。该系统在食品和饮料制造中非常有用,但即使您的行业不属于食品和饮料领域,它仍然可以有一些用途。除了制造业,它还可以用于财务、供应链、会计等工作。 

我们客户的反馈是,在整合方面它可能比预期的更具挑战性。众所周知,在研究和开发方面,它的速度也要慢一些。 

4. Infor 

Infor是世界上最大的软件供应商之一,他们专注于制造业。它的用户界面相对容易学习,可以个性化定制。不断的更新和改进,可以使你的公司与时俱进。它也是一个更好的企业软件系统,如果您想要的不仅仅是仓库自动化,Infor可能是一个很好的选择。 

不过它可能是一个昂贵的选择。随着时间的推移,这个系统的总成本可能比其他公司都高。 

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3. Epicor Advanced MES

Epicor是另一家专注于制造领域的软件供应商。相对于本列表中的其他产品,它相当容易使用。还有一些附加功能可以支持更多的选项,以更好地满足集成解决方案的组织的需要。此外,还有多种部署选项。企业可以选择集成软件的云版本、软件的内部部署版本或混合部署模型,该模型具有以上两者的属性,来为更大的公司提供服务。 

另一方面,更高级的功能目前尚未完全清楚。报告需要时间来设置,并且系统本身往往会慢一些。 

2. IQMS

这是一家拥有非常庞大的制造基地的软件供应商,它是一个开发性很强的系统。如果您是一家中小型企业,预计未来几年将实现高增长率,那么IQMS将是一个可以入手的好系统。 

注意,这个系统是专门为制造业而建立的,而不是什么都适用。因此,它可能比其他系统贵一些。也有人说,报告功能可以完成这项工作,但还没有达到应有的水平。很多时候,供应商推出的系统更新会给用户带来不便,可能会导致短暂的操作中断。 

1. Plex 

Plex是一款专门为制造业设计的产品,它是仅有的本地云系统之一。随着软件供应商从本地发展到云系统,Plex从一开始就拥有了所有权,从而有了内在的更优化的云功能。 

虽然它位居榜首,但仍有一些下降。有一些工作相关的部分不一定是最直观的。此外,它是一个较小的公司,资源会更少,但它可能拥有良好的客户服务。不过也有可能在代码中出现更多问题。 

正如您所见,无论您选择哪种技术,都有其优缺点。这一切都取决于您的公司更加看重什么功能,并找到最好的方法来完善自己。如果您在软件选择方面有任何问题,请直接与我联系,我很乐意做一个非正式顾问。 

If you are a manufacturing organization and are looking for ways to improve efficiencies in your operations, it’s helpful to understand the various tools on the market that can help you.  

Before I continue, it’s important to first establish that Third Stage Consulting group is a technology-agnostic independent consultancy, and we do not have any ties or affiliations with any of the systems discussed in this article. These rankings and product reviews are a result of our real-time experience in helping hundreds of clients from around the world implement the best fit technologies for their organization.  

With that, let’s get back to it.  

Manufacturing Execution Software, or MES systems, automates shop floor operations. As you define your digital strategy for your manufacturing organization, this list of execution systems should help you understand the value and functionalities of the top systems on the market today.  

Here are the top ten Manufacturing Execution Systems for 2022. 

10. E2 Shop System 

E2 Shop Systems focuses specifically on shop floor automation. Its functionalities fit well for companies manufacturing a low volume of custom products. If you are a made-to-order or made-to-engineer organization, E2 might be the best solution.  

In addition to that, E2 Shop Systems is a smaller company itself. With that, they will inherently provide better customer service than the larger organizations you’ll find on this list.  

On the other hand, the reporting capabilities are not as strong as other systems on this list, and the breadth and capabilities are not as versatile. It's also one that will cost more over time. 

9. SAP ME 

SAP Manufacturing Execution is one module or system within the greater SAP suite of products. If you are looking for a broader solution that will help you manage the shop floor in addition to warehouse management, inventory management, CRM, accounting management, etc.  

This is a good solution for larger-scale, more complex manufacturing environments. It's a great tool to provide visibility into operations due to its strong reporting capabilities.  

On the other hand, SAP is a powerful tool that inherently comes with complexity in its user interface. Data archiving and data management can be more difficult as well. Due to that added layer of implementation, user adoption may be a bigger challenge with this solution.  

This software is not for small to mid-size organizations, but rather a solution for larger manufacturing organizations with complex operations.  

8. Fishbowl Manufacturing  

Fishbowl serves smaller to mid-size manufacturing shops. It's relatively intuitive when it comes to its user interface, so the user adoption more seamless. Even so, you will still need a strong organizational change management strategy as you would with any digital transformation.   

If you are a more complex operation, this system is likely not the best fit for your organization. It’s also important to understand that the reporting capabilities are weaker than others on this list. Even so, this best-of-breed software solution is been designed and crafted to serve the manufacturing floor and does a great job in doing so for the right fit company. 

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7. Microsoft D365 

The fact that this is a Microsoft product makes user adoption a bit more seamless since the user interface (UI) resembles all other Microsoft products that many people have grown accustomed to. It's also a very dynamic and open platform, enabling customizations that can fill your organization's unique needs.  

Now, because it's a broad system, it could take time to implement. Digital transformations implementing larger ERP systems like Microsoft Dynamics 365 will take a bit longer than a best-of-breed implementation. In addition to that, the cost will be a bit higher than other products on this list.  

6. Oracle NetSuite 

Although Oracle NetSuite isn't known as a manufacturing system, it's still a great option that can help automate operations for smaller to mid-size companies that are looking to automate their shop floor. This software has the ability to help automate more than just manufacturing and warehouse management but can also help streamline accounting, customer relationship management, and other enterprise functions.  

On the other hand, there are costs that creep up over time. As transaction volumes increase, the cost to leverage this technology will also increase.  

5. Aptean 

Aptean is a software vendor whose core focus is on manufacturing. This system is particularly useful in a food and beverage manufacturing environment, but even if your industry is outside of food and beverage, it can still drive great results. Beyond just manufacturing, it also does financials, supply chain, accounting, etc. as well. 

The feedback from our clients is that integration can be a bit more of a challenge than expected. It's also known to be a bit slower when it comes to research and development. 

4. Infor 

Infor is one of the largest software vendors in the world, and they focus specifically on manufacturing. It has a relatively easy-to-learn user interface and it is fairly customizable. There are constant updates and improvements that will help your company stay relevant. It's also a greater enterprise software solution, and if you want something that brings more to the table than just warehouse automation, Infor could be a great option.  

With that said, it can be a pricey option. The overall cost of this system can be more expensive over time than other solutions on this list.  

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3. Epicor Advanced MES 

Epicor is another software vendor that focuses heavily on the manufacturing space. This is a product that is fairly easy to use relative to other products on this list. There are also a handful of add-on functionalities that enable more options to better fit the need of the organization integrating the solution. In addition, there are versatile deployment options. A business can choose to integrate the cloud version of the software, the on-premise version of the software, or a hybrid deployment model with attributes of both that serve the greater company.  

On the other hand, the more advanced capabilities are a bit harder to figure out. The reporting takes time to set up and the system itself tends to be a bit slower than other products on this list.  

2. IQMS 

This is a software vendor that has a very large manufacturing base, IQMS is a very scalable solution. If you are a small to mid-size business that projects a high growth rate in the coming years, IQMS will be a good solution that you can grow into.  

It’s important to note that this system has been built specifically for manufacturing rather than trying to be everything to everyone else. With that, it can be a bit more pricey than other systems. There has also been chatter that the reporting functionalities do the job, but aren’t as good as they could be. Many times, people have trouble with updates to the system pushed out by the vendor, and it could potentially result in short operational disruptions.  
 

1. Plex  

Plex is a product that is built specifically for manufacturing, and it is one of the only native cloud solutions. As software vendors migrate from on-premise to the cloud, Plex takes ownership of the fact that they have been there since their inception, leading to inherently more optimal cloud functionality.  

Although it's number one on this list, there are still some downfalls. There are elements of workflows that are not necessarily the most intuitive. In addition, it’s a smaller company with fewer resources. With that will likely come good customer service, but the chance for more bugs in their code.  

As you can see, there are pros and cons no matter the technology you select. It all comes down to your priorities as an organization and finding the best way to bridge the gap between your current and future state. If you have questions when it comes to software selection, feel free to reach out to us. We are always happy to be an informal sounding board.  

There are a handful of critical topics that executives must grasp before embarking on a digital transformation journey. There is often a gap between perception and reality. What we think needs to happen and what actually needs to happen are often in misalignment. Unless we are intentional about marrying the two, the gap could carry through a digital transformation project and lead to ERP failure. Let's discuss how to bridge that gap, and what concept you should focus on mastering as you craft your digital transformation strategy.

Whether you are an executive or a digital transformation project leader, these are the core, fundamental concepts that you must come to terms with before any digital transformation initiatives take place.

This is not a technology upgrade.

The reality is that the technology you select has the least amount of material significance to digital transformation success. There are many elements of digital transformations that are more important than technology. For instance, your business process, your organizational design, your future state, and your overall digital strategy all carry more weight in driving success than the technology itself. Rather than looking at your digital transformation project as a technology upgrade, you should look at it as a grand scale business transformation that will help you get closer to your business strategy.

Change management is harder than you think.

One of the biggest air balls that executives endure is that they believe their team will be able to adapt more easily than they actually will. It is very rare, rather nonexistent, that an executive goes through a transformation and comes out the other end thinking that leading through change was easier or even just as hard as they anticipated it to be. The reality is that change will always be magnified, and it will always be more difficult than meets the eye.

Sure, maybe you have an adaptable, entrepreneurial organizational culture, or your team understands the technology is outdated and they are verbally excited to transition to a new ERP or CRM software, but the reality is, there is so much more to the story that will make or break an organizational shift. That excitement you feel will shine brightly at the beginning of a project, but it will inevitably dwindle as the digital transformation project excels. Any type of digital change requires a cohesive organizational change management strategy that will enable your team to adapt to new business functions.

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You are the only one who can ensure digital transformation success.

Many executives tend to manage their digital transformations through delegation to a project team, a software vendor, an implementation partner, or a third-party consultant. Don't succumb to the idea that you can hire people to do this for you. You must be involved, and you must lead the initiative.

It's the executive team that will ultimately determine the success of this project. This comes in the form of setting a clear vision and ensuring alignment across leadership when it comes to the greater business strategy and the digital transformation strategy. It comes in the form of outlining the key performance indicators that will move the needle, and ultimately taking ownership of the digital transformation project rather than passing it to a third party.

At the end of the day, it is your company, your capital, and your future as an entity. To trust that entirely to an outside third party is foolish. The executive team needs to also be bought in on the change management aspect of the digital transformation initiatives. You will be the ones making difficult decisions regarding the future state of the business and blessing the business processes that are pivoting from your current state to your future state.

Don't set the bar too low when it comes to your business goals.

Given the dismal success rate for digital transformations in the past decade, it's easy for executives to set the bar and ensure they don't mess it up. Rather than operating in fear of dropping the ball, pivot your mindset to play offense and determine what will truly enable the organization to propel itself into its future state and drive business innovation.

Sure, it can be uncomfortable when making stretch goals, but it's important. There's a good chance you'll fall short of your goals no matter where you set the finish line, so if you set the finish line too close to the starting point, you won't see the ROI you're after. Find the courage to be the catalyst as your business jumps into the current digital age.

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Take your time to get your digital initiatives right.

Many executives think there is a silver bullet, cookie-cutter best practice when it comes to a digital transformation initiative. The truth is, there is not. Each organization is unique in its business operations and good digital leaders will recognize the distinct, strategic needs that will ultimately drive business value. Take the time upfront to comb through business processes and build a strong implementation plan to understand exactly what needs to happen to drive growth and optimization.

The more time you take upfront to prepare, the better your result will be. Outside consultants can't do things like data migrations, process improvements, and change management as cohesively as you can do it internally. Nobody knows your company like you know your company. Invest time and resources into doing things like scrubbing data, assessing your organization's appetite for change, and process mapping internally before you begin your search for the best software selection.

Invest in Change Management

The more you invest in the change management initiatives, the better your results will be. Get it right from a people perspective. The most successful organizations are the ones that invest in change management. The companies that see digital transformation failure are the ones that don't pour into organizational change management.

Technology is only one piece of the puzzle, and without the people behind it, it will be a dormant machine. In order to reach business goals such as improved customer experience, revenue growth, or simply making sure your organization will remain competitive as the technology landscapes change, you first must start with your people.

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Designing strong digital transformation strategies

If you are considering digital innovations for your organization, feel free to reach out to me directly. Our independent, technology-agnostic consultants are helping organizations large and small across the world in adopting technologies ranging from ERP cloud solutions to artificial intelligence and robotic process automation. We are always here as a sounding board through your digital business transformation. You can also subscribe to our YouTube channel for weekly videos about all things digital strategy.

The beauty of being in the manufacturing and distribution space is that there are many options to choose from when it comes to ERP technologies. First, there are tier one possibilities, like SAP and Oracle. However, there is also a lot of tier two options focusing on manufacturing and distribution. Epicor Kinetic is one of those systems that fits that latter category of focusing on manufacturing and distribution.

Epicor Kinetic is the new name for the Epicor ERP product suite. This may sound familiar as it connects with many of the Epicor products in the past. Over time, the development, and the company itself went through many evolutions, just like many ERP vendors out there. Before beginning the implementation process, it is important to see how Kinetic fits into a potential ERP roadmap.

Focus on Manufacturing & Distribution

The first thing to recognize about Epicor Kinetic is that it is a product that focuses heavily on manufacturing and distribution. When thinking about the needs of a manufacturing distribution company, things like MRP (material resource planning) comes into focus. It is important to know that the ERP system that is being deployed can handle MRP well. The demand planning is within those bills, materials, routing, and everything else that ties together the manufacturing and distribution operations.

Epicor Kinetics biggest strength is that it handles manufacturing exceptionally well. As a complex made-to-order manufacturer, this tends to be where Epicor shines. The reason is because it is a strong product configurator. A lot of manufacturing ERP systems out there, don’t have those product configuration capabilities, which makes Epicor Kinetic a unique yet powerful option for any organization.

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Low-Code Solution

One of the big dilemmas with ERP systems is the fact that there's a tradeoff between extensive rigid ERP systems out there and those smaller systems that are more flexible almost to a fault. It becomes harder to drive any standardization because the systems are practically too flexible. One of the emerging trends in the ERP space is this whole concept of low-code configuration.

The great thing about low-code solutions is that the source code does not get changed which avoids the risk of potentially breaking the technology and the way it is meant to be built. Epicor is becoming somewhat of a pioneer in the no-code concept and mindset, which provides a way to get the best of both worlds.

Implementation Partners

In addition to the product itself, one of the considerations for an ERP evaluation is what kind of implementation partner options are in the marketplace? When evaluating Epicor or any other ERP system, there needs to be an understanding of who are the value-added resellers and system integrators that can support the product and help with the technical implementation of the system.

Epicor, I feel is a mixed bag. Historically, if I go back 10 to 15 years, they had a reasonably robust ecosystem, many different implementation partners, and VARs out there helping resell and implement the software. But somewhere along the way, they went through several changes as an organization through private equity ownership and changing leadership over time. As a result, they became almost exclusively focused on the product itself at the expense of building out the implementation partnership's ecosystem.

There was a rocky road for a while where the ecosystem was not well supported, and Epicor, themselves, were not focusing much on the services or implementation side as they had in the past. That has changed in recent years. In general, that's something to be aware of when evaluating, not just the technology itself and understanding if that's the right fit, but also making sure that there is that comfortable factor in finding a good limitation partner or a technical partner in the end.

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Cost & Value

Epicor is focused so exclusively on manufacturing and distribution, Kinetic can provide a certain amount of cost and value that is not going to be found with other systems. For example, when purchasing SAP S/4HANA, Oracle ERP Cloud, or Microsoft Dynamics 365, the cost of buying too much of these systems can affect the capabilities outside of manufacturing distributions.

In terms of ROI and the high-value areas of manufacturing operations, we find that Epicor customers tend to realize a high amount of value relative to other systems in the marketplace. It is also found that the implementation costs can be a bit lower because of the complexities of all these modules that don't apply to the organization. When it comes to cost and value, Epicor rates are ranked highly, and that is a positive strength of the product and the company itself.

Vendor Viability

When evaluating a big established ERP vendor, like SAP, Oracle, and Microsoft, one of the big names in the industry, there is no need to worry about vendor viability. However, when dealing with a smaller or a second-tier ERP vendor, like Epicor, it is important to think about how viable this company is and how viable the product itself is.

This is an essential consideration for Epicor because five or seven years ago, I would've rated the vendor viability of the company reasonably low. That was something that we had seen declining in the years. Now, there are a few layers of vendor viability to be aware of. The implementation partners and the ecosystem built to support the product are something that cannot be overlooked.

That was healthy 15 years ago, but five or eight years ago, not so much. That's something that's starting to really turn the corner. Epicor, with new leadership, is beginning to focus more on building out that ecosystem and building more robust options within the marketplace. There's also the financial viability to think on.

Many years ago, Epicor had a considerable amount of debt and many financial concerns on their balance sheet. The question now becomes, is this company going to be around for a while? Are they going to be an acquisition target for a big ERP vendor to come in, take over, and cut all their customers off the legacy product to switch them over to the new parent companies’ product?

There is no concern anymore because fresh leadership has been implemented in the last couple of years seems to be setting them in the right direction financially to where those concerns are no longer an issue.

The final layer that's worth thinking about is the leadership team. There are certain points that need to be understood when it comes to the strength of the team.

I feel comfortable having gotten to know some new leadership within the Epicor organization. In many cases, I've learned many people through other organizations, other ERP vendors, and more significant ERP vendors that they've acquired or brought onto the leadership team at Epicor. They have a robust leadership team, and I could not have said that five or eight years ago and that does seem to be another consideration with vendor viability.

Overall, vendor viability is on the up and coming. It's an improving area, but it's still something that companies are making up lost time for.

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Functional Weaknesses

With the product itself, the focus is on the functional strengths and some of the things to consider that are strong within the capabilities of the technology. Just like any ERP system out there, Epicor Kinetic has its weaknesses. The biggest one to think about is the manufacturing distribution organization. There is a high value in other parts of the operations like CRM, human capital management, or human resources but not so much in manufacturing.

If the sole focus is manufacturing operations, then Epicor Kinetic is absolutely a reasonable consideration for you. If there is a high emphasis on human capital management or CRM, it may be in the best interest to want to look at other systems out there that do those things better than Epicor Kinetic.

Resources

Epicor Kinetic has some great strengths and weaknesses to consider. I encourage you to check out some resources including our 2021 Digital Transformation Report. This report talks about independent technology, agnostic, best practices related to digital transformation, including manufacturing and distribution within Epicor, among other methods.

If you have questions regarding more on Epicor Kinetic, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly. I am happy to be an informal sounding board as you move through your digital transformation journey.

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Qualsiasi trasformazione digitale è gravata da rischi, ma molti possono essere evitati se si capiscono in anticipo. Ci sono rischi da evitare quando si è inesperti. Alcuni dei quali potrebbero portare al fallimento completo del progetto e avere un impatto finanziario significativo. Vorrei affrontare i rischi specifici che sono più comuni nelle trasformazioni digitali e fornire indicazioni su come mitigarli.

Costo totale di proprietà

Uno dei primi e più comuni rischi che le organizzazioni affrontano durante le loro trasformazioni digitali è il costo totale di proprietà.

Questo include:

Tutti i punti di cui sopra entrano nella trasformazione digitale e alla fine influenzano il costo totale di proprietà di qualsiasi nuova tecnologia. Sembra abbastanza semplice, ma la maggior parte delle organizzazioni ha problemi a gestire i costi, e in genere i progetti di trasformazione digitale superano il budget iniziale in una misura significativa. La sfida principale che le organizzazioni devono affrontare è come distribuire la tecnologia entro un costo totale di proprietà prevedibile.

La chiave principale per mitigare questo rischio è avere aspettative realistiche sul prezzo. Certamente è un grande punto cieco per molte organizzazioni perché non capiscono tutti i diversi costi per l'implementazione e finiscono per sottostimare il costo.

Inoltre, avere una forte governance di progetto per gestire strettamente le risorse e il budget sarà una tattica per gestire un budget. Supponiamo che ci sia un'espansione di causa, causando l'implementazione di moduli aggiuntivi. Qualsiasi aumento della spesa complessiva dovrebbe appoggiarsi alla governance e a un solido processo decisionale.

Essere consapevoli e gestire il costo totale di proprietà è il principale punto per evitare il fallimento all'interno di qualsiasi trasformazione tecnologica.

Interruzione dell'attività

Il secondo rischio significativo che le trasformazioni digitali affrontano è molto più considerevole, è il costo e il rischio di interruzione operativa. Cosa succede quando al go-live, il prodotto non può essere spedito o non può piazzare gli ordini dei clienti? Questi sono problemi epocali che possono costare alle organizzazioni un'enorme quantità di denaro.

Degli studi hanno scoperto che il costo delle interruzioni operative spesso nanizza il costo effettivo dell'implementazione. In altre parole, se un'organizzazione implementa una soluzione per 10 milioni di dollari, ma sperimenta 20 milioni di dollari in rischi operativi, questo è ovviamente un aumento molto significativo delle spese aziendali del progetto. Non solo, ma è dirompente per la soddisfazione del cliente, il morale dei dipendenti e l'operazione complessiva.

Oltre il 50% delle organizzazioni sperimenta qualche interruzione operativa materiale, e l'impatto medio dei costi sul progetto complessivo è in media un ulteriore 50% - 300%. C'è una vasta gamma, a seconda della gravità dell'interruzione.

Questa strategia di mitigazione del rischio assicura che ci sia una forte governance del progetto che viene seguita per distribuire la tecnologia.

Le altre interruzioni operative fondamentali che devono essere affrontate sono tutte le componenti non tecnologiche della trasformazione, la gestione del cambiamento organizzativo e il miglioramento dei processi aziendali. Evitare le interruzioni operative è fondamentale per realizzare qualsiasi progetto di successo e, per farlo, questi scenari di rischio devono essere pianificati in anticipo.

Morale dei dipendenti e attrito

Un rischio comunemente trascurato e sconosciuto nella trasformazione digitale è il suo impatto sul morale dei dipendenti e l'attrito. Non riguarda tanto che l'implementazione della tecnologia in sé ha un impatto diretto sul morale dei dipendenti, ma quando diventa un casino o un punto dolente nell'esperienza della forza lavoro. Questa percezione porta a una minore fiducia nel progetto e, in definitiva, nella leadership aziendale.

Inoltre, qualsiasi disorganizzazione si traduce spesso in attrito e i dipendenti lasciano l'azienda perché la cultura diventa stressante e caotica. Oppure non sentono di avere il supporto necessario per fare il loro lavoro al meglio.

Questo ci riporta alla gestione del cambiamento organizzativo e al perché è così essenziale. I processi OCM affrontano questi rischi e aiutano a riconoscere i potenziali benefici di business che i cambiamenti digitali possono portare al tavolo. Queste strategie si concentrano anche su come comunicare questo valore di business all'intera impresa.

Quando si pianifica una trasformazione digitale, bisogna assicurarsi che ci siano flussi di lavoro che aiutino a mitigare i rischi di un morale più basso. Se non affrontato in modo appropriato, ci sarà un aumento di attrito o turnover tra il personale a causa del progetto. Soprattutto nell'attuale periodo di "Grande Dimissione" dove le aziende stanno lottando per trovare dipendenti di qualità in generale.

Diluire il vantaggio competitivo

Un altro rischio comunemente trascurato delle trasformazioni digitali è la perdita di vantaggio competitivo. La maggior parte delle organizzazioni entrano nelle trasformazioni digitali aspettandosi che la nuova tecnologia, i cambiamenti di processo e i recenti cambiamenti organizzativi forniscano nuove capacità che le rendano più competitive.

Questo può essere vero, tuttavia, se il vantaggio competitivo è unico, è improbabile trovare un software commerciale off-the-shelf che possa supportare questi processi unici. La domanda allora diventa: cosa può fare l'azienda? Sapendo che c'è un potenziale di annacquamento di quel vantaggio competitivo, c'è bisogno di cambiare il business per adattarlo al software?

L'altra possibilità qui è quella di trovare un sistema bolt-on di terze parti che risponda meglio alle esigenze di quel vantaggio competitivo. Nel qual caso, ora c'è un aumento del rischio di integrazione e di coerenza dei dati.

L'obiettivo è che ogni vantaggio competitivo deve essere preservato, ma la decisione su come raggiungere al meglio questa protezione deve essere considerata nei processi di pianificazione al fine di garantire l'allineamento e il successo del progetto.

Mancanza di ROI

L'ultimo rischio che coprirò è la mancanza di ritorno sugli investimenti durante una trasformazione digitale. Ora, il ROI è un grande secchio che può includere molte cose diverse, a seconda dell'organizzazione e degli obiettivi strategici. Potrebbe essere tutto, dalla riduzione dell'inventario, al miglioramento dell'efficienza, all'aumento delle entrate, all'esperienza del cliente, all'esperienza dei dipendenti, e così via. Tutte queste iniziative possono essere tradotte in metriche specifiche e intangibili utilizzate per misurare i risultati effettivi della trasformazione.

Il problema è che la maggior parte delle organizzazioni o non definisce quali sono queste metriche o non riesce a realizzarle. Uno dei rischi più significativi che le organizzazioni affrontano è il concetto di realizzazione dei benefici. Le aziende hanno bisogno di stabilire delle aspettative chiare e allegare delle metriche ai flussi di lavoro che possono essere tracciati.

Ci sono diversi video sul mio canale YouTube che affrontano questo esatto argomento su come ottenere più valore dalla trasformazione digitale.

Risorse

Spero che questa lettura abbia aiutato a mettere le cose in prospettiva quando si tratta delle insidie della trasformazione digitale che ogni organizzazione attraversa. Poiché cominciano a verificarsi altri fallimenti, vi incoraggio a scaricare il nostro rapporto annuale sulla trasformazione digitale del 2021, che fornisce le migliori pratiche su come distribuire la tecnologia e anche un elenco più ampio di sistemi ERP, CRM e HCM. Questa potrebbe essere l'esatta risorsa necessaria per evitare potenziali fallimenti in futuro.

Se avete domande su potenziali punti di fallimento in particolare o qualsiasi aggiunta/feedback, non esitate a contattarmi direttamente. Sono felice di essere una cassa di risonanza informale mentre vi muovete nel vostro viaggio di trasformazione digitale.

Most digital transformations fail to deliver on time, budget, and business value. There are several KPIs or (key performance indicators) that can be used to manage and monitor any digital transformations that problems can be avoided.

Oftentimes, when transformations fail or neglect to deliver the expected results, it's a surprise to the organizations. In some extreme cases, the negative impact on operations wasn’t expected or planned for. The key is understanding why disruptions happen and ultimately deploying KPIs throughout the journey as well as post-project.

The end goal is to ensure that the implementation is on time and budget, but also minimize operational disruption and maximize potential business value.

Implementation Time and Cost

The first, and probably most obvious, is overall implementation cost and timing. There are some key questions that may need to be answered before beginning implementations like:

The key to mitigating any risk of overruns on budget and time is to install strong governance and track the process. It is important to establish limits on time and budget by truly mapping the entire project. A lot of organizations don't consider the magnitude of different workstreams and budgetary line items within the project plan and strategy.

It's a matter of appreciating the impact is of the timeline and overall budget. Any organization should be able to identify when a project is moving off track, well before it’s finished.

If the company is 25% through the project but has spent 50% of the budget, chances are high that the overall budget will need to be increased. Strong governance and controls along with regular project status reporting will raise the red flag on any potential issues sooner than later.

This seems like project management 101, but there's also an art to understanding digital transformations and anticipating risks regarding time and cost.

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Operational Readiness

Another key KPI is the overall operational readiness of the organization. Assuming the business processes and requirements in the future state are defined, there should be a measurement system to quantify success and identify any breakdowns in the business operations. Consider user acceptance testing and conference room pilots. It is important to think beyond how the technology functions and address the full business processes through the different scenarios.

During the testing of different scenarios and while running through business simulations, certain things are going to work fine, and others are going to fail or create problems along the way. Operational readiness is an important part of understanding how well the business processes and the technologies are aligned before go-live.

Organizational Readiness

Like operational readiness, it is also important to measure organizational readiness. How ready are the people within the organization and how will changes affect them? Like operational readiness, there is a need to quantify how close the company is getting in terms of where we expect people to be before go-live. This could manifest in several different ways.

One example might be to go through scenarios with user acceptance, testing, and conference certain pilots. It is key to measure how well people understand those business processes. In other words, the business processes and the systems may work from a technical perspective, but do the people understand how those processes work? It is essential to demonstrate some level of competency in performing those processes within the new system.

It's critical to measure what percentage of the organization has been fully trained on the different modules, and what percentage has demonstrated the competency to perform end-to-end business processes.

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Business Value and ROI

The next performance metric to look at is business value and ROI or return on investment. These expected business benefits are important to understand.

Before we get there, let me back up and point out that it's also essential to measure operational risk. What happens if, during go-live, not only are the expected business benefits not achieved but also, basic operations are disruptive. What is the magnitude of that potential negative benefit?

This is something we hope that we don't have to measure, but there is a need to identify and quantify the level of tolerance. For example, not being able to ship products. If the product can’t be shipped for a certain amount of time, is that an acceptable delay? Now, again, if you do everything right during the transformation and are following best practices throughout the transformation, this becomes less of an issue.

It is important to be thinking about how to maximize business value and get the full ROI out of the system or systems. An organization can quantify measures around what it is we expect.

It could be inventory levels, optimizing inventory through better planning to reduce inventory by a certain percentage, or it could be that we are to increase revenue by X% due to new sales enablement tools.

All these are examples of things that might drive revenue enhancements. The question becomes then, what do we expect the revenue enhancements to be?

I have a whole video out of my YouTube channel that talks about the Top 10 Business Benefits of Digital Transformations. In general, it is imperative to evaluate business benefits and quantify them to ensure people are held accountable.

Resources

For more information on this and other best practices, I encourage you to download our annual 2021 Digital Transformation Report. This report talks about independent technology, agnostic, best practices related to digital transformation, including several potential business benefits and KPIs.

If you have questions regarding digital transformation KPIs and performance metrics, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly. I am happy to be an informal sounding board as you move through your digital transformation journey.

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Je suis consultant depuis 25 ans maintenant, et je suis ici pour vous dire que ce n'est pas ce que vous pensez. À la fin des années 1990, j'ai commencé ma carrière, sans le vouloir, en tant que consultant. J'ai trouvé un emploi chez Price Waterhouse à la fin de mes études supérieures, et il s'est avéré que j'aimais vraiment le conseil. Cela dit, il y a beaucoup de raisons pour lesquelles vous ne devriez pas être consultant, mais pour être juste, il y a aussi beaucoup de raisons pour lesquelles vous devriez l'être.

Avantage : vous avez un impact

Pour commencer, parlons des aspects positifs du métier de consultant. Tout d'abord, être consultant, c'est avoir un impact important sur les organisations. Travailler en interne dans une organisation et avoir les mêmes compétences vous donnera un avantage sur l'équipe interne. Si vous êtes un consultant externe avec les mêmes compétences, vous êtes l'expert.

Les entreprises font généralement appel à des consultants parce que elles veulent passer par une sorte de changement, et elles recherchent une direction et des conseils. À travers cette transformation de l'entreprise, elles ont besoin d'un coach.

En tant que consultant, vous aurez un impact sur le fonctionnement des organisations importantes, massives et influentes du monde entier. Cela peut être très excitant.

Par exemple, bon nombre des clients avec lesquels nous travaillons à Third Stage sont des entreprises à but lucratif qui produisent d'excellentes ressources. Ils fabriquent des produits étonnants. D'autres sont des organisations à but non lucratif qui font avancer la société, et des entités gouvernementales qui aident les gens. Il y a beaucoup de résultats finaux indirects qui sont bénéfiques dans ce rôle et cette carrière.

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Avantage : Un défi à relever et une récompense

La plupart des problèmes que les consultants sont appelés à résoudre sont très difficiles mais gratifiants. Des problèmes complexes doivent être résolus, presque toujours en cours d'emploi. L'apprentissage constant des nouvelles industries, du fonctionnement des entreprises, des dynamiques opérationnelles, organisationnelles et technologiques donne un avantage sur la concurrence. Il s'agit vraiment d'un domaine dont la maîtrise peut ne jamais être complète, mais le fait d'avoir de l'expérience et de travailler avec toutes sortes de personnes est très utile.

Les avantages dépassent le coût.

Avantage : Une base pour la croissance future de la carrière

Le fait d'être consultant permet souvent de jeter les bases d'une carrière réussie, quelle qu'elle soit, après le conseil. Si vous avez travaillé en aidant des organisations de premier plan dans le monde entier à résoudre des problèmes complexes, vous serez beaucoup plus commercialisable et désirable pour d'autres entreprises. Il est possible qu'à l'avenir vous ne vouliez plus être consultant. Les voyages sont fatigants, le stress est écrasant, et les longues heures vous rattrapent, quel que soit le cas, le bagage est important.

Avantage : Trend Setting Technologies

Si, comme moi, vous êtes intrigué par les technologies émergentes, le conseil peut être fascinant à apprendre. Comme je l'ai déjà mentionné, vous êtes constamment en train d'apprendre sur de nouvelles industries, entreprises et cultures. Qu'il s'agisse d'intelligence artificielle, d'analyse de données, de robotique, d'apprentissage automatique ou de systèmes ERP, vous êtes constamment obligé d'apprendre afin de pouvoir disposer de ces connaissances pour faire progresser vos compétences.

Il est très important, pour devenir un consultant efficace, d'être à la pointe de l'évolution de la technologie et de comprendre comment celle-ci fonctionne dans des organisations complexes.

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Inconvénient : travail difficile

Je viens d'évoquer certains des aspects positifs du métier de consultant, mais il existe également de nombreux inconvénients et risques associés à ce parcours professionnel. Tout d'abord, c'est un travail très difficile.

Les professionnels qui n'ont pas une forte éthique de travail ou qui ne peuvent pas supporter de longues heures ne réussissent généralement pas dans le conseil. Si vous appréciez les semaines de travail de 40 heures, l'équilibre entre le travail et la vie privée de 8 à 17 heures, les week-ends et les jours fériés, le conseil n'est peut-être pas le meilleur choix.

Il y a aussi beaucoup de pression qui accompagne ce travail. Les exigences des clients peuvent vous rattraper et si vous n'êtes pas préparé à cela, ou si vous ne voulez pas travailler dur, ce ne sera pas un bon choix pour vous. Si vous recherchez vraiment l'équilibre entre le mode de vie et le travail, plutôt que l'exposition à la carrière et le potentiel de croissance à long terme, le conseil n'est pas le bon choix pour vous.

Inconvénient : Politique

Si vous regardez mes vidéos depuis un certain temps, ou si vous vous êtes plongé dans ma chaîne YouTube, vous m'avez probablement vu parler de certaines de mes expériences de travail pour les grands intégrateurs de systèmes. Un inconvénient, à mon avis, serait les grandes sociétés de conseil dans l'industrie. Si je devais résumer certains de ces défis, je dirais qu'il s'agit en grande partie de politique, surtout pour les grandes sociétés de conseil comme Deloitte, Accenture, KPMG et Capgemini.

Il y a une dynamique politique profonde qui peut être très malsaine et stressante. Ce qui était le cas pour moi. C'est la principale raison pour laquelle j'ai quitté les grandes sociétés de conseil. Ils sont généralement axés sur la protection des flux de revenus importants avec des clients et des projets importants. Quand il y a autant d'argent en jeu, cela entraîne beaucoup de dynamiques politiques malsaines en interne dans l'organisation de conseil.

Pour vous donner quelques exemples, il arrive souvent que vous ne soyez pas totalement transparent avec les clients parce que cette source de revenus doit être protégée. Je sais que j'ai passé beaucoup d'heures et de réunions avec d'autres membres de l'équipe à essayer de trouver comment donner une tournure positive à de très mauvaises nouvelles. Nous avons consacré la plupart de nos ressources à essayer de nous mettre en valeur, au lieu de nous concentrer sur la façon de résoudre les problèmes du client.

Cela peut être très stressant si vous n'êtes pas prêt pour cela, ou si vous n'aimez pas ce genre d'écosystème. Dans mon cas, je n'aimais pas ça, c'est pourquoi je suis parti. La politique et le stress qui en découle peuvent suffire à vous tenir à l'écart, ce qui est compréhensible pour certaines personnes.

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Inconvénient : les problèmes des clients sont vos problèmes

Aussi irrationnel que cela puisse paraître, lorsqu'un client a un problème, il devient votre problème. En tant que consultant, les attentes sont élevées. Les clients ont une sorte de problème qu'ils n'ont pas l'impression de pouvoir résoudre eux-mêmes, donc ils vous engagent en tant que consultant.

Souvent, cette situation est très difficile et stressante parce que le client a d'autres dynamiques en jeu qui sapent ses capacités à résoudre ce problème spécifique.

Par exemple, les organisations qui essaient de mettre en œuvre de nouvelles technologies ne savent pas comment les déployer. Ce n'est pas parce que les consultants ne savent pas non plus comment déployer la technologie, c'est en fait parce qu'il y a des combats internes, politiques, et une culture malsaine.

Il y a des processus opérationnels brisés et des choses qui ne vont pas dans l'organisation, ce qui n'est pas nécessairement la faute du consultant, mais cela devient son problème parce que maintenant vous devez trouver comment résoudre ce problème que vous n'avez pas créé et sur lequel vous avez peu de contrôle.

De nombreux consultants ont vraiment du mal à gérer cette dynamique. J'essaie toujours de fixer des attentes aux consultants que nous engageons, en leur disant que si vous voulez être un bon consultant, et que vous voulez être efficace, vous devez réfléchir à la façon dont vous pouvez être un meilleur thérapeute pour vos clients.

En définitive, la valeur du conseil réside dans l'écoute et la compréhension des problèmes de votre client.

Inconvénient : compétences générales

L'une des principales clés du succès est ce que j'appelle souvent la finesse du conseil. C'est plus un art qu'une science. C'est le savoir-être du conseil.

Lorsque j'ai commencé ma carrière de consultant au début de la vingtaine, il y a beaucoup de choses que je ne savais pas. Il y a encore beaucoup de choses que je ne savais pas, mais j'en savais encore moins à l'époque. L'une des façons dont j'ai surmonté ce manque de connaissances et d'expérience, c'est en maîtrisant vraiment ma finesse et en sachant poser des questions, lire les clients, et devenir en quelque sorte un caméléon capable de s'adapter efficacement à différentes situations.

Ces compétences non techniques sont très difficiles à enseigner et si vous ne les possédez pas, il peut être très difficile de les maîtriser ou de les développer. C'est comme essayer d'apprendre à quelqu'un à devenir un bon chanteur. On peut répéter, apprendre à lire la musique, etc. - mais en fin de compte, il faut qu'il ait un certain talent naturel.

C'est très bien d'avoir les compétences techniques, tangibles et dures, ainsi que la compréhension des processus d'entreprise, mais avez-vous aussi les compétences générales ? Si vous manquez de compétences non techniques, ou si vous ne savez pas les démontrer, vous devriez peut-être repenser à une carrière dans le conseil.

Inconvénient : rythme de progression lent

Maintenant, le dernier inconvénient que je vais souligner ici est le fait que pour beaucoup de grandes sociétés de conseil, le rythme de l'avancement est très lent. Vous devez justifier d'un certain nombre d'années d'ancienneté avant de pouvoir progresser au sein de l'organisation. En fait, je suis devenu très impatient, surtout au début ou au milieu de la vingtaine, au début de ma carrière, lorsque j'ai senti que je pouvais faire beaucoup plus que ce que l'on me permettait de faire dans l'une des grandes sociétés de conseil.

Si vous envisagez de travailler pour l'une de ces grandes sociétés de conseil et que vous souhaitez bénéficier d'un avancement rapide, assurez-vous de bien réfléchir à cette dynamique. Les grandes sociétés de conseil sont conçues pour s'assurer que personne n'échoue dans le projet.

Ils sont passés maîtres dans l'art de faire venir des diplômés de l'université qui ne savent pas ce qu'ils font et de les mettre dans une position où ils ne peuvent pas échouer. Une partie de ce processus d'assurance consiste à ralentir le mouvement ascendant des employés. Les grandes entreprises technologiques vont s'assurer que vous n'accédez à un poste supérieur qu'après avoir été préparé à 100 % à l'étape suivante du processus. Si cela vous semble peu attrayant ou si vous aimez vous lancer des défis, la bonne nouvelle est qu'il existe une option. Vous pouvez aller dans un cabinet de conseil plus petit ou de niveau intermédiaire.

Le problème, bien sûr, est que si vous n'avez pas d'expérience en matière de conseil, il sera plus difficile de trouver un emploi dans l'une de ces entreprises. C'est un élément à garder à l'esprit lorsque vous envisagez une carrière dans le conseil.

La ligne de fond : Le conseil est-il fait pour moi ?

Tout cela soulève la question suivante : le conseil est-il fait pour moi ? Honnêtement, cela dépend (comme le ferait un vrai consultant) de votre personnalité et de vos objectifs. Si vous aimez travailler dur, si vous avez les compétences générales qui vous aident à être un consultant efficace, si vous aimez apprendre, si vous vous intéressez à différents types d'entreprises et à la résolution de problèmes, le conseil peut être une excellente carrière.

Toutefois, si vous êtes davantage attiré par la prévisibilité et les environnements de travail stables, le conseil n'est peut-être pas une bonne carrière pour vous.

Ressources

J'espère que cela vous a permis de savoir si le métier de consultant est fait pour vous. Si vous souhaitez en savoir plus sur le métier de consultant dans une entreprise comme Third Stage, je vous encourage à consulter nos coordonnées de recrutement ici. Pour plus d'informations sur le conseil et ce qu'il faut faire pour devenir consultant, vous pouvez consulter notre rapport sur la transformation numérique en 2021. Si vous avez des questions concernant le conseil ou votre parcours professionnel, n'hésitez pas à me contacter directement. Je suis heureux d'être une caisse de résonance informelle tout au long de votre parcours de transformation numérique.

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For small and mid-size organizations looking for ERP systems, NetSuite and Odoo are two common options. These are two very distinct products with pros and cons that will be sure to help any organization achieve strategic goals.

One of the biggest evaluations that Third Stage support is helping our clients choose between NetSuite and Odoo, especially in the small and mid-market. A lot of smaller organizations use one or both products to introduce their organizations to ERP software. The key question becomes, what are the points of differentiation and ultimately, which is the best in the end?

Flexibility

Many organizations deploy new technology to become more flexible because they want to either build or retain a certain amount of elasticity in the operating or overall business model. NetSuite and Odoo are very different regarding flexibility.

Odoo is generally considered a more flexible product in that it is an open-source technology. This structure offers more access to configure and change the source code, which may not be possible with other types of products like NetSuite and other ERP systems.

Also, Odoo offers thousands of different applications that can be added to the core ERP functionality. If suppleness is a high priority, Odoo may be a very effective fit for the organization.

In contrast, if the organization is trying to build efficiency, standardization, scale, and a repeatable set of business processes, NetSuite might be a better fit because it's a software as a service cloud solution. Which means there's less opportunity to change the software. Some might view that as a negative, but it also is a positive. A lot of organizations we work with want that sort of standardization.

In the end, the off-the-shelf capability may help organizations scale for growth. This trade-off needs to be considered when evaluating NetSuite and Odoo.

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Modularity

Another distinct difference between these two products is the level of modularity. For example, NetSuite is an integrated, complete ERP solution. It provides several integrated modules, and it can be hard to deploy bits and pieces with other parts of the technology.

With Odoo, it's easier to implement a phased approach because of the modular structure of the product. Agriculture is meant to be pulled apart with different modules to tie together integration. It's almost designed to be put together piece by piece if needed.

Again, these implementation offerings need to be considered, Odoo may seem easier however, NetSuite is certainly more standardized.

Total Cost of Ownership

Most organizations that Third Stage works with are usually concerned about the total cost of ownership, as they should be. How we address this is - first, both systems are significant investments.

NetSuite is generally going to be a more expensive solution. Mostly because it's not an open-source solution, which makes Odoo a lower cost pricing model and NetSuite with a higher cost for subscriptions and licensees.

The real kicker for NetSuite that adds to the total cost of ownership is in their contracts and subscription agreements. Many clauses in these agreements cause the potential cost of a subscription to increase over time. From transaction volume to the number of users, additional modules, or all the above. Costs will generally creep up a bit faster with NetSuite vs. Odoo.

On the flip side, the software license costs might be lower with Odoo. There are frequently additional added costs in terms of implementation and long-term maintenance of the software. Odoo often requires a certain amount of technical competency and internal IT capabilities that cost money.

Most importantly, organizations should consider all costs when evaluating potential software as all systems' pricing system is different.

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Complexity

Another consideration between these two products is the level of complexity or simplicity of the products. NetSuite is generally a more straightforward type of product as a single SaaS solution that is fully integrated. Naturally, a lot of it cannot be changed, which could be a negative aspect. However, could be viewed as a positive because it is more accessible.

Odoo is modular because it must tie all together. This creates a certain amount of complexity that might be challenging for some organizations to manage, especially without strong internal IT capabilities. Not having those solid internal IT capabilities or having no intention of having those capabilities longer-term, may cause NetSuite to be a more straightforward option.

Business Value

Ultimately, everything comes down to business value. The way to determine business value is to look at all the things we've talked about in terms of cost, flexibility, and the simplicity of each product. The product that best fits the needs and is aligned with the vision of the organization will likely deliver the most business value.

It is still important to identify detailed business requirements, business process workflows, and future state needs as an organization. These will be the main evaluation points for any system. Hopefully, the general criteria above will help determine the business value relative to the cost of these two solutions.

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Resources

I hope this has helped put things into perspective when it comes to comparing NetSuite and Odoo. With that said, I also encourage you to look into downloading our 2021 Annual Digital Transformation Report which provides best practices for how to deploy technology and also a more extensive list of ERP, CRM, and HCM systems.

If you have questions regarding more ERP comparisons or any additions/feedback, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly. I am happy to be an informal sounding board as you move through your digital transformation journey.

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Hay muchas razones por las que las transformaciones digitales fracasan. Sin embargo, la causa raíz más común puede resultar sorprendente.

A menudo, cuando los proyectos fracasan, aspectos como la mala gestión de proyectos, la personalización de la tecnología y la falta de recursos salen a relucir. Por desgracia, muchas organizaciones no entienden que el problema central de estos fracasos es el comportamiento humano.

Exceso de optimismo

Los seres humanos son optimistas, especialmente cuando avanzan dentro de una organización. Aunque una actitud positiva es un activo importante, debe haber un nivel de racionalidad y una conciencia general de los retos de las tecnologías cambiantes.

Por poner un ejemplo, si un equipo está revisando posibles tecnologías, integradores de sistemas, propuestas de implantación, etc. Los representantes de ventas de software comunicarán en exceso el optimismo con el fin de cosechar el compromiso de una organización. Aunque esto no sea exactamente actuado.

Aunque el optimismo es una buena señal en la superficie, los riesgos pueden surgir en cualquier momento durante la transformación digital. Puede sonar contraintuitivo e incómodo, pero es esencial mantenerse con los pies en la tierra y dentro de la realidad de las capacidades reales.

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Confiar en los expertos

Cuando la mayoría de las organizaciones pasan por transformaciones digitales, la falta de habilidades dentro de un equipo es notable.  Lo más probable es que no sea interno, y es entonces cuando hay que recurrir a los expertos. Lamentablemente, lo que acaba ocurriendo es un exceso de optimismo al confiar en los expertos en un alto grado.

En primer lugar, queremos definir "experto". Aunque un proveedor de software o un integrador de sistemas puede ser un experto en el sistema, no lo es cuando se trata de su negocio. Estos expertos van a decir que la implantación va a llevar menos tiempo, menos dinero, menos recursos y menos riesgo. El problema con esto es que, sin el conocimiento y la experiencia de la industria en la empresa, es imposible señalar este exceso de optimismo.

Confiar en los expertos es bueno cuando se hace con moderación, pero hay que asegurarse de cuestionarlos. Es fundamental hacer lo que es mejor para la organización y ser realista sobre lo que va a tener más sentido para el futuro.

Algunas de las formas de hacerlo serían estos puntos clave:

Todas estas dimensiones son sólo algunos ejemplos de lo que determinará el calendario, el costo, el perfil de riesgo y los compromisos de recursos.

Sesgo interno y externo

Los seres humanos padecen este fenómeno de audición selectiva. En consecuencia, existen sesgos personales, y esto es cierto tanto para los consultores externos como para los vendedores de software que intentan vender productos y servicios.

También puede ser el caso del equipo interno. También tienen limitaciones de conocimiento y mantienen sus propios prejuicios de cosas que han visto funcionar ahora y en el pasado. Estas lagunas crean distracciones a la hora de tomar una decisión importante sobre cómo se ejecuta la estrategia general. Cuidado con este tipo de sesgos porque es algo que puede ser muy destructivo y muy perjudicial para una transformación digital.

Por poner un ejemplo, tenemos clientes que buscan desplegar sistemas ERP únicos para toda la empresa. Su objetivo es automatizar todo de principio a fin. Supuestamente están proporcionando la bala de plata que resolverá esos problemas. Esto crea un sesgo y un punto ciego a la hora de ejecutar esa estrategia.

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Pensamiento de grupo

Otro punto de tensión habitual desde el punto de vista humano es el concepto de pensamiento grupal. Las organizaciones tienden a escuchar de varias personas lo mismo. Esta mentalidad de rebaño puede causar información errónea y estrategias ineficaces. Puede haber un equipo de proyecto que esté en la sala de guerra durante meses o incluso años y, sin saberlo, el equipo empieza a alimentarse de los demás y sólo escucha las perspectivas de los que le rodean.

El mismo ciclo también puede provenir de múltiples consultores, integradores de sistemas y proveedores de software. Empiezan a transmitir un mensaje omnipresente que los apoya y les beneficia. Esto se convierte en la realidad percibida, incluso cuando no es el caso.

Esta percepción hace que no se vean otros riesgos debido al pensamiento de grupo. Todo el mundo está entusiasmado con el proyecto y, al trabajar en el diseño y las cuestiones técnicas, la perspectiva general de transformación se desajusta. Como resultado, la probabilidad de fracaso aumenta.

En ese momento, normalmente esos riesgos no tienen solución. Es esencial escarbar bajo la superficie de lo que está ocurriendo fuera de las cuatro paredes con el equipo del proyecto y comprender algunas trampas de los procesos de pensamiento unilateral.

"C.Y.A"

Otro componente del comportamiento humano que está en juego en muchas transformaciones digitales y que puede llevar al fracaso es esta dinámica de cubrir su propia - a%$.

Por ejemplo, si soy un CIO o un director de proyecto y superviso una transformación, quiero que yo y mi equipo quedemos bien y, por lo tanto, me motiva mostrar una imagen demasiado positiva del proyecto. Lo más probable es que le reste importancia a los riesgos e intente tratarlos en secreto para mitigar cualquier punto de preocupación o temor dentro de la organización, especialmente entre los compañeros y los superiores. Este modelo de C.Y.A. se ve en todas las organizaciones. Puede ser muy perjudicial y es un gran punto ciego para las organizaciones.

No ver el panorama general

Cuando se piensa en las transformaciones digitales en toda la empresa, hay nueve cuestiones que hay que tener en cuenta para garantizar que los equipos de proyecto comprendan el panorama general:

Esta lista debe ser ejecutada como parte de una transformación digital, y si no lo es, va a haber un problema. Es demasiado para que cualquier persona o incluso un equipo lo gestione. Uno de los puntos de fracaso en relación con el comportamiento humano es la dificultad para comprender todas las diferentes partes móviles y entender el panorama general de la vinculación de todas ellas.

El papel vital que desempeñamos a menudo con los clientes es ayudarlos a saber cuál es ese panorama general, cómo las decisiones que toman pueden afectar a las opciones posteriores, cómo se mitigan los riesgos, los fallos en un área, etc. A veces, el simple hecho de tener esa experiencia y previsión para entender lo que está ocurriendo dentro del panorama general, es donde está la mejora en última instancia.

El pensamiento global es otra dinámica familiar que vemos en el comportamiento humano. La dinámica humana más significativa en el fracaso de la transformación digital es que el cambio no es divertido. No importa el grado de implicación en la gestión del cambio. En general, la realidad es que, como humanos, luchamos con el cambio.

La naturaleza central de los humanos es trabajar para adaptarse al cambio. La gestión del cambio organizativo es el aspecto más crítico que debe abordarse como parte de la transformación digital. Por lo general, nos resistimos al cambio, aunque sea de forma no intencionada: simplemente, el cambio es incómodo por naturaleza.

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Recursos

Espero que esto haya ayudado a poner algunas cosas en perspectiva cuando se trata de los defectos humanos y la transformación digital. Estos son sólo algunos consejos para tener en cuenta al comenzar a implementar la nueva tecnología. Te animo a que descargues la Guía para la gestión del cambio organizativo. Es algo muy importante si eres un profesional del cambio, o si estás tratando de entender el lado humano del cambio.

Por favor, descarga también nuestro Informe de Transformación Digital 2021, que proporciona las mejores prácticas para el despliegue de la tecnología, incluyendo el cambio organizativo. Si tiene alguna pregunta sobre el lado humano de la transformación digital, no dude en ponerse en contacto conmigo directamente. Estoy encantado de ser una caja de resonancia informal mientras avanzas en tu viaje de transformación digital.

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Any digital transformation is heavy with risk, but many can be avoided if understood. There are risks if inexperienced. Some of which could result in full project failure and carry a significant financial impact. I’d like to address specific risks that are most common in digital transformations and provide insight on how to mitigate them.

Total Cost of Ownership

One of the first and most common risks that organizations face during their digital transformations is the total cost of ownership.

This includes:

All the points above go into digital transformation and ultimately influence the total cost of ownership of any new technology. It sounds simple enough, however, most organizations have trouble managing costs, and typically digital transformation projects exceed their initial budget by a significant amount. The primary challenge that organizations face is how to deploy technology within a predictable total cost of ownership.

The main key to mitigating this risk is having realistic expectations about the price. This is a big blind spot for many organizations because they do not understand all the different costs that go into implementation and end up underestimating the cost.

Also, having strong project governance to tightly manage the resources and budget will be a tactic to managing a budget. Suppose there is an expansion to scope, causing additional modules to be deployed. Any increase in overall spending should lean on governance and firm decision-making.

Being aware of and managing the total cost of ownership is the main failure point within any technology transformation.

Operational Disruption

The second significant risk that digital transformations face is much more considerable, is the cost and the risk of operational disruption. What happens when at go-live, the product cannot be shipped or cannot place customer orders? Those are momentous issues that can cost organizations a huge amount of money.

Studies found that the cost of operational disruption frequently dwarfs the actual implementation cost. In other words, if an organization implements a solution for $10 million, but experience $20 million in operational risks, this is obviously a very significant increase in project business expenses. Not only that, but it is disruptive to customer satisfaction, employee morale, and the overall operation.

Over 50% of organizations experience some material operational disruption, and the average cost impact to the overall project is an additional 50% to 300% on average. There is a wide range, depending on the severity of the disruption.

This risk mitigation strategy if again, ensures that there is strong project governance that is followed to deploy the technology.

The other fundamental operation disruptions that need to be addressed are any non-technology components of transformation, organizational change management, and business process improvement. Avoiding operational disruption is critical to achieving any successful project and, in order to do so, these risk scenarios need to be planned in advance.

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Employee Morale and Attrition

A commonly overlooked and unknown risk with digital transformation is its impact on employee morale and attrition. It is not so much that the technology deployment itself is has a direct impact on employee morale, it is when it becomes a mess or a pain point within the workforce experience. This perception leads to lower confidence in the project and ultimately, the business leadership.

In addition, any disorganization frequently results in attrition and employees leaving the company because the culture becomes stressful and chaotic. Or they do not feel like they have the support to do their jobs.

This brings us back to organizational change management and why it is so essential. OCM processes address these risks and help recognize the potential business benefits that digital changes can bring to the table. These strategies also focus on how to communicate this business value to the entire enterprise.

When planning for a digital transformation, make sure there are workstreams that will help mitigate risks of lower morale. If not addressed appropriately, there will be an increase in attrition or turnover among the staff due to the project. Especially in the current, “Great Resignation” where companies are struggling to find quality employees in general.

Diluting Competitive Advantage

Another commonly overlooked risk of digital transformations is a loss of competitive advantage. Most organizations go into the digital transformations expecting that the new technology, process changes, and recent organizational changes will deliver new capabilities that make them more competitive.

This may be true, however, if the competitive advantage is unique, it’s unlikely to find commercial off-the-shelf software that can support these one-of-kind processes. The question then becomes, what can the company do about it? Knowing that there is a potential of watering down that competitive advantage, does there need to be changed in the business to fit the software?

The other possibility here is to find a third-party bolt-on system that better addresses the needs of that competitive advantage. In which case, now there is an increase in the risk of integration and data consistency.

The goal is that any competitive advantage needs to be preserved, but deciding on how to best achieve this protection needs to be considered in the planning processes in order to ensure alignment and project success.

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Lack of ROI

The final risk I will cover is the lack of return on investment during a digital transformation. Now, ROI is a big bucket that can include many different things, depending on the organization and strategic goals. It could be everything from inventory reductions, improved efficiency, increased revenue, customer experience, employee experience, and so on. All these initiatives can be translated into specific, intangible metrics used to measure the actual results of the transformation.

The problem is most organizations either do not define what those metrics are or fail to realize those metrics. One of the most significant risks that organizations face is the concept of benefits realization. Companies need to set clear expectations and attach metrics to workstreams that can be tracked.

There are several different videos on my YouTube channel that address this exact topic of how to get more value out of digital transformation.

Resources

I hope this has helped put things into perspective when it comes to digital transformation pitfalls that every organization goes through. As more failures begin to arise, I encourage you to look into downloading our 2021 Annual Digital Transformation Report which provides best practices for how to deploy technology and also a more extensive list of ERP, CRM, and HCM systems. This could be the exact resource needed to avoid potential failure in the future.

If you have questions regarding potential failure points specifically or any additions/feedback, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly. I am happy to be an informal sounding board as you move through your digital transformation journey.

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Technology is one of the hottest industries within today’s current climate. Opportunities only continue to grow and increase in demand and popularity. Below I highlight seven technology career paths that provide the most lucrative future opportunities to organizations.

1. Functionality & Technical Consulting

Starting in specific no order, functional and technical consulting is one career path to start with. In the world of technology, there are two types of consultants that help other organizations deploy technologies.

  1. Functional Consultants- Business-minded, still technical, but focused on helping define how technology can fit with those business processes and functions.
  2. Technical Consultants- Focused more on the development, customization, and technical aspect of consulting.

In many cases, there are hybrid roles that cover both areas.

Consulting is an immensely popular area to begin and develop a career. There are opportunities to work for small to large consulting organizations throughout the world that focus on digital transformation and technology consulting.

Examples included well-known companies like Accenture and Deloitte. There are software vendors and system-specific consulting firms that help deploy certain types of technology like SAP, Microsoft, or Oracle.

This is a broad universe of options. There are consultants that specialize in different things but consulting, in general, can be a productive place to start a career in technology.

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2. Solution Architect

 An area that is becoming increasingly popular and in-demand is Solution architects. For lack of a better word, Solution architects are people that tie together multiple systems and figure out how to piece together different technologies. In the world we live in right now, technology is proliferating at a speed beyond control. As a result, new technologies are in development by organizations, consumers, and individuals.

Solution architects can figure out how to streamline all this information and data together in one place or strategy. The demand for this skill set is exceptionally high. The beauty of being a solution architect is that it is a very technical role. It is critical to understand integration, APIs, and how data flows between systems.

On the other hand, it is also essential to know the business exceptionally well. Solution architecture can be a terrific way to dip your toes in both the technical and business aspects of technology.

3. Data Scientists

 Just as solution architects are in very high demand, there is also an expansion of data or big data. Think about phones or wearable devices, both track all this personal data. There are also organizational systems, corporate applications, and business applications that continuously capture data. From the types of products and services sold to financial information. The shop floor is constantly watched through a system, and products are moving throughout an assembly line in a warehouse are all data points.

Commonly, organizations have mass amounts of data, but it’s very difficult to interpret or create strategies. Businesses that do have actionable data management secure an extremely highly competitive advantage. That is the core reason why the discipline of data science is in such high demand right now.

People who understand data are the catalyst to making use of it. Data is the foundation of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and the internet of things. This can be a fantastic way to pursue a career in technology!

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4. Tech Sales

 For a sales-minded individual, maybe less technical or not interested in technology's hard sciences, sales can be a great career path. In other words, selling technology to other organizations or even at the consumer level. These roles earn high-end commissions on selling large corporate applications. This is also a great space for those interested in general sales.

Technology sales are also in high demand right now. The explosion of new technologies and the fact that organizations and corporations worldwide are investing heavily in new systems shows a saturated buyer marketplace. The fact that consumer technologies are changing quickly and becoming more innovative, means a more technological world is absolutely the clear future. People who can sell that technology and position technical solutions better than others will do very well in this field.

5. Supply Chain Management

 Another sought-after area within the world of tech is supply chain management. Anything to do with the supply chain is a hot trend in the 2020s. There are many bottlenecks and breakdowns that have put a stranglehold on organizations doing business with places all around the world. Fixing broken supply chains is a top priority strategy for most organizations.

Supply chain practitioners, either as a consultant or internal supply chain experts, can help improve some of these challenges. In addition, there are suppliers deploying technologies to provide their raw materials to other manufacturers or producers. A stakeholder that can consume this data from a variety of sources and optimize supply chain-based processes is extremely valuable to a business. All the different players involved in the supply chain need technology support. Process improvements, big data, vendor management, inventory structure, etc. are all data-focused initiatives involved in supply chain management.

If you are interested in supply chain management, have a knack for operations, and really enjoy that business-oriented side of things, but want to pursue a career in technology, supply chain management might be a great place to do so start.

*The reason this is included in one of the 7 career paths in technology is because supply chain management has become very technologically driven. Supply chain management technologies automate the supply chain. There is big data, which is also captured throughout the supply chain.

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6. Program Management

 As technology becomes more complex, challenging to implement, riskier, and costly - project management becomes even more critical. Technology program management, or project management, is critical to the success of any organization. Candidates who figure out how to effectively deploy technologies deliver real value.

In the past, organizations often would deploy technology just because they had to. Clear issues like, financials had to be automated as part of inventory management. It was not easy, but it was a lot more straightforward than it is now. Today, there are best-of-breed solutions like artificial intelligence, machine learning, the internet of things, and big data. And a huge variety of different components and moving parts when it comes to technological transformation.

People who have strong program and or project management skills are extremely popular within the business community. For more about project management, I have a video on my YouTube channel that talks about project management and program management. It differentiates between the two and outlines the discipline. In general, this is an area that I would consider one of the top tech careers in the 2020s.

7. Change Management

The last role on this list is something that may sound the least technical, organizational change management. Business operations and understanding how to manage organizational change effectively is a powerful skill to have. It is a deadly combination but in the most effective way.

If there are opportunities to help organizations with employee adoption, organizational design, identify any areas of resistance, etc. within a digital transformation project, I would highly suggest pursuing that career path.

An organizational change skillset is very hard to find, and it’s prevalent in today’s technology environment. That is a potent combination, that can balance technical and soft skills of organizational change management.

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Resources

I hope this has given some guidance in pursuing a career in technology, or at least some of the areas to consider. If interested in a tech career, I encourage you to submit your resume and bio toThird Stage. We are constantly growing our team, and continually adding to our team worldwide. We have four central international offices, USA, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Africa. I encourage you to please reach out to us. We would love to hear from you.

For more information on career paths in technology, I also encourage you to download our annualDigital Transformation Report. This is a report that covers digital transformation trends and best practices, as well as independent software rankings and reviews for diverse types of technologies that might help enable digital transformations.

If you have any questions regarding technology or if you have additions/feedback, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly. I am happy to be an informal sounding board as you move through your digital transformation career journey.

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