As 2010 comes to a close, there is more optimism in the air regarding 2011 and the prospects for an increase in technology spending and enterprise application projects. But are we ‘there’ yet? And what will ‘there’ look like when we arrive?
If we look back over the past couple of years, the economy has all but halted spending on enterprise applications. However, as with the past economic cycles, the combination of technology and market influences creates an inflection points for technology projects and implementations. The inflection point occurs when organizations are financially ready to reinvest in enterprise systems and realize that upgrading the application may cost almost as much as implementing it in the first place.
The inflection point raises the following questions:
- Should we upgrade or find a new system?
- Is this a business we want to be in or should we outsource the business process, our infrastructure or evaluate software as a service?
- Do we need to change how we do business and consider a business transformation project by evaluating systems as part of larger business processes?
How current your systems were before the downturn or how your organization weathered the storm will be good predictors of the type and size of your inflection point and the projects that are forthcoming. If you were behind on applications versions in 2008 and have just keep the lights on over the last couple of years, you may be facing projects that will be larger in scope and may require multi-version upgrades. If you have keep relatively current, it may be a good opportunity to invest in software and/or services as recession based incentives will soon come to an end as the economy improves. In either case, it is a good time to step back and look more strategically at enterprise application projects and start developing your road map for the future.