Running an Effective Fit-Gap Analysis - Abraic

Running an Effective Fit/Gap Analysis

Commercial, off-the-shelf (COTS) software—not custom software—continues to be the preferred option for many firms, especially for ERP and CRM solutions.

The benefits of COTS solutions have been publicized widely and revolve around reduced time to deploy, cost avoidance, standards based, best practices included, solution maturity and platform flexibility, to name a few. However, many COTS deployments end up being disappointments, if not failures, once in production. Thus, many of the touted benefits are not being realized.

A critical success factor in a COTS solution deployment is the fit/gap analysis. COTS solutions are not ‘plug and play’, no matter what their marketing materials say. During the fit/gap analysis phase, decisions need to be made about customizations and functional configurations.

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The $12,000 Porsche: A Critical Lesson in IT Project Cost Control

I love Porsches. They always captured my attention as a child, and I told myself I’d own one someday. The sound, the quirky design, everything about them is perfect. One of my favorites is the 944, in production until 1991. It was a departure from Porsche’s typical design, so it isn’t terribly desirable to hardcore Porsche collectors. Some are listed for as low as $1,500—an attainable price point for me!

Recently, I went to check out a 944 for sale and priced on the low end. I found little things here and there that would require repair. After some research, I learned these small items would cost a significant amount of time, money and effort to fix, even if I did my own work.

The story was the same with other cars I saw in the same price range. One needed a timing belt replacement ($1,900 at a shop). Another needed a cooling system overhaul (between $1,100 and $1,600). Even discounting labor, the parts alone would completely blow my budget.

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Improving Business Processes: How to Run a Value Stream Mapping Workshop

Value Stream Mapping (VSM) has its origin in manufacturing, but has been successfully adopted for business processes. Why should IT consider conducting a VSM workshop?

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The Case For Customizing Software

The Case for Customizing Software

There is ample evidence that, in general, “software customizations are bad.” (So much so you might have nightmares where software customizations are vampires, haunting you, refusing to die in peace.)

But consider the other side of the coin: the risk of an organization going along with canned software functionality. This can downgrade an organization’s business practices to “average,” causing them to lose out on opportunities to improve performance.

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Why Projects Fail to Deliver Business Value

What stands in the way of business value? Business executives often feel that their organizations’ IT departments simply don’t deliver what’s needed from expensive projects and programs. Sometimes they will say “Well, it took a long time, but we finally have a system that is making a difference for us,” or, “It cost us double what was originally promised, but it’s a night-and-day improvement over what we had before.” These are actually positive comments because they speak to the overall success of a project.

Unfortunately, more often than not, we hear that a solution fell below expectations – the business did not get what they paid for.

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