“I’m already quite knowledgeable with the solution, I can handle it”, “The complete documentation is available online”, “I don’t need guidance from an expert” …
These phrases can often be heard when a complex tool implementation is needed in a company. Indeed, some people could be led to feel “too comfortable” with a tool even if it means overestimating their knowledge about it. This false sense of mastery could lead them to attempt an installation without requesting any help. To save a few dollars in service fees, companies that undertake an implementation on their own, expose themselves to much greater financial and technical risks and in certain cases this decision can ultimately cost them more headaches and money. In this article, we will explain why it is often advisable to be supported by subject matter experts for an implementation or upgrade, in addition we will try to demystify some of the misconceptions in this area.
Risks and savings
The complexity and the associated risks often depend on the different interactions that a tool or an application will have with your entire IT infrastructure. It is therefore very important to have a resource with expertise on these different interactions as well as on the tool to be implemented itself. Only an expert with specific training and long-term experience with implementing the solution can efficiently manage a complex tool implementation quickly and efficiently. A well managed implementation can be done in a few weeks, but without this expertise, these timelines can easily be extended to several months! The company would then be exposed to very important delays which would impact project delivery very strongly and even potentially the financial results of the company. We can therefore quickly understand that saving the cost of an expert comes with a risk that one needs to consider.
Loss of time, loss of money, risk to the integrity of your entire infrastructure… These are the dangers to which companies that choose to implement a solution on their own without fully grasping the intricacies of the work to be done expose themselves. Beyond guaranteeing you a good return on investment, the SME (Subject matter expert) can offer you the peace of mind of obtaining a secure implementation by protecting the integrity of your IT infrastructures. The SME will also proactively guide you through the implementation recommending new features that more often can not end up saving you long term costs.
Myths or realities?
The online documentation is very complete for implementations.
TRUE AND FALSE: Indeed, the various documentation materials you can find online are quite complete. However, they can never be exhaustive and will not allow you to overcome any obstacle or problem that may arise during an implementation. Moreover, for a neophyte, reading this documentation can sometimes be a much harder task than it seems, mainly because of the complexity of the language and the terms used. In complex implementations there are interdependencies that need to be understood, an optimal order of things. Knowing this allows for maximum efficiency in the implementation saving you headaches.
I have access to support for the use of the tool, so I will receive assistance during the implementation.
FALSE. What service does your support provide? It probably does not cover and/or the people responsible for support are not trained for implementations, but rather for the use of the tool itself. They cannot, in any case, replace an expert and his real-world experience. Moreover, the tickets opened with your support will have to be treated individually and will therefore only delay the deadlines. You will waste time and money for your company and for the company in charge of your support. Basically, support is a reactive solution to a task requiring proactive action.