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This book describes the intrinsic factors of IT Operation and its set-up during the software implementation phase. Based on the author’s long-term experience in managing IT for more than 100 clients over nearly 25 years, the book examines the needed knowledge and execution management capabilities to implement and run IT environments successfully for all sizes of enterprises. Many real-world examples provide insight into typical IT challenges and recipes to turn common pitfalls of implementation and operation into best practices. In order to dominate information technology and not be dominated by it, readers will understand how to identify the most common risk factors during implementations and how to initiate successful risk-mitigation measures. The goal of this book is to arm the reader to completely prevent The 5 Pitfalls of Software Implementation by using the right programmatic design and execution.
After an introduction to the book, individual chapters examine the vision of a Perfect IT and how Design Thinking and innovation contributes to it. The core chapters conveys The Five Pitfalls of Software Implementation, including Underestimation of System Performance Issues, Weak Program Governance and Leadership, and Operational Un-Readiness. The challenges surrounding implementations of cloud applications, are presented separately. Final chapters describe the preparation of the IT Operation along with a number of dos and don’ts (i.e. ‘Best Practices’ and ‘Worst Practices’). The book concludes by presenting some Digital Strategies of companies, to dominate information technology.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. Introduction

Abstract
All the years I worked within the IT business, the business leaders of companies did not speak and communicate with their IT departments, and vice versa. It was a dominant problem back in the 90s, and it’s a dominant problem until today. The Great Divide, as I call it, costs companies significant money and employees’ enthusiasm. Moreover, by not communicating properly, it slows their companies down significantly on their path to innovation and transformation.
Andreas Graesser

Chapter 2. Digital Vision

Abstract
Possessing a “Digital Vision” is essential for business leaders across all industries. I’m not aware of industry segments that are agnostic of digital. Many companies still work on the realization of their “MobileFirst” strategy, while this should have been realized already many years ago. Today, Artificial Intelligence requires all of our attention. And, the game is on: dominate––or being dominated. Getting into the driver seat, employing your own Digital Vision is a key success factor. Its realization requires innovative approaches. Design Thinking is the creative methodology to unleash innovation. It is able to answer the question of how to use AI platforms and existing capabilities to transform business processes toward digital. The knowledge of the technology foundation and the creativity to apply its capabilities gets the business and IT leaders to the position of dominating Information Technology. It’s the magic triangle: vision––innovation––knowledge.
Andreas Graesser

Chapter 3. The Five Pitfalls of Software Implementations

Abstract
Graesser’s study on failures of software implementations (conducted in 2018) revealed five failure clusters, in the following, called the “Five Pitfalls of Software Implementations”. The list is topped by the “Underestimation of System Performance Issues” along the course of software implementation. Usually, system performance impacted the usability of software applications severely. The “Weak Program Governance and Leadership” comprises the second-ranked failure block. The major root cause was the absence of qualified leaders and experienced governance people sitting on the steering committee. The operational topics, such as “Operational Unreadiness”, the “Mismanagement of Missing Software Features”, and the large area of “Testing and Defect Resolution” conclude the list of the five pitfalls for software implementation. The results of these patterns include the absence of proactive system monitoring, poorly managed test execution, and defect resolution not handled efficiently.
Andreas Graesser

Chapter 4. Implementation of Cloud Applications

Abstract
The companies’ move towards cloud applications and cloud solutions is not only a shortsighted trend. It is a clear strategy of the business leaders to “get more bang for the buck”. It is more and faster innovation, more flexibility, more interchangeability of software providers, more focus to the end-customers and end-users, less technology dependency, and it’s cheaper in the long run. The subscription model includes all technology and its operation 24x7; many of the topics that made implementation programs fail in the past (see the previous chapter) are no risk factors during cloud implementation programs. One risk area is dominant: the integration between different cloud solutions and the integration to backend systems on-premise need to be managed with technical knowledge and operational experience as we know from a data center operation.
Andreas Graesser

Chapter 5. Preparing the IT Operation for Production

Abstract
Any successful software implementation, be it on-premise or in the cloud, includes the preparation for production. Layers of the support organization might have to be established and prepared. Particularly, the cutover phase and the HyperCare phase require special attention. While the project implementation organization might be still available for a short period of time, all their skills and experiences from the implementation phase will dissolve together with the project. The long-term focus and the strategic charter of the support organization come into the center to ensure an incident management process for quick problem resolutions during the HyperCare phase and the Standard IT Operations phase. It provides a smooth IT operation and some fantastic end-user experiences.
Andreas Graesser

Chapter 6. Best Practices—And More

Abstract
Best Practices are highly valuable advice from people and their experiences. Best Practices often result in learnings from ‘worst practices’ and failure situations. While I describe Best Practices for program management, cut-over projects, and huge transition projects, I also added a short paragraph with regards to “worst practices”. The reader, however, can pull significant value from the sign-off criteria for go-live. The complete checklist “IT Transformation” provides all project items, that need to be ticked off to run a successful massive transformation program.
Andreas Graesser

Chapter 7. Digital Strategies

Abstract
The domination of information technology starts with the vision and strategy about specific usage scenarios. And I mean here explicitly business scenarios that benefit from technology. From the technology side, everything is possible. Therefore, to avoid that you drown in a technology lake, I provide some examples of companies and their businesses. In my strong opinion, the Personas who obtain the ultimate benefit from any digitization need to be in the center of all attention. Read here about industry examples from insurance, high tech, fashion, and retail. And learn about specific business process examples such as eCommerce, marketing, and digital boardroom.
Andreas Graesser

Chapter 8. Conclusion and Outlook

Abstract
Following the advice given in this book to tackle and to prevent the Five Pitfalls of Software Implementations might save companies and its implementation partners good chunks of money, independent of location, on-premise or in the cloud. The areas of system performance and program leadership are the two areas to watch closely in every transformation program. And of course, ensuring thorough testing and preparedness for cut-over along the implementation stages will smoothen the road to success.
Andreas Graesser

Backmatter

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