maintaining erp applications

How to Overcome the Talent Costs of Maintaining ERP Applications

Find out how companies can conquer the challenges and costs of finding talented and skilled IT professionals to manage mission-critical SAP and Oracle applications.

One of the most business-critical applications at your company is your enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications of SAP and Oracle. These software programs or suite of related software programs must function continuously for your business or segment of a business to be successful.

Managing and supporting these mission-critical applications can become overwhelming to any organization because they need to run smoothly around the clock and need specialized expertise for certain tasks and processes.

Let’s take a look at each of them and what is required in maintaining ERP applications:

  • SAP – SAP customers are faced with more than 50 different functional SAP modules such as finance, sales, human resources, and production. Each module requires its own specialized skill set and knowledge bank to be effective.
  • Oracle JDE – Oracle JD Edwards (JDE) customers face the complexity of multiple different modules, ranging from sales to supply chain, manufacturing, human capital management, financials, and beyond. Each one requires specialty knowledge to fully utilize and support.
  • Oracle EBS – Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS) customers face complexity that extends beyond enterprise resource planning (ERP) to supply chain management (SCM), customer relationship management (CRM), human resources (HR), finance, logistics and more. Each area requires specialists.

If you have one or all of these ERP applications in your IT environment, it is important to do an assessment of your application support to determine the cost and the return on investment (ROI).

Questions to Ask to Assess Your Application Support

To assess your current application support solution, here are 10 questions you should ask yourself and your organization:

  1. What is your fully loaded cost for full-time employees who support them?
  2. Can you sustain this talent cost going forward?
  3. Are you able to fill open positions needed to administer and support them?
  4. If you can’t find talent, what impact does that have on your organization?
  5. Do these resources provide adequate application support in a timely manner?
  6. Is the current level of support sufficient to remain competitive?
  7. Are you vulnerable to an employee leaving or going out on temporary leave?
  8. How thorough is your documentation and does that knowledge reside with a handful of key employees?
  9. Will your application support team be ready to take on new strategic projects?
  10. How can your ERP apps better support the entire organization?

Hopefully, your organization can respond to these questions above. If not, it is worth examining so you find out the answers to these questions and determine the total cost of your application support.

Finding the Right IT Talent at the Right Price

Surveying 2,800 IT decision makers across 28 major U.S. markets, Robert Half Technology found 89% had difficulty finding skilled IT professionals. A lack of IT talent leads to unfilled positions, negatively impacting the consistent and timely support of ERP applications.

If you’re fortunate enough to find the right specialized IT professionals to support your ERP applications, securing this talent brings its own challenge in the form of cost. When you factor in the cost of hiring, training, retaining, salary, and benefits, you’ll get sticker shock. A typical functional full-time employee in the United States is $125,000 to $175,000 a year.

To overcome some of the costs of human capital, organizations are partnering with application managed services (AMS) providers to maximize their application support model and maximize their ROI.

What is Application Managed Services?

Application managed services (AMS) is outsourcing the task of ongoing application support to an external, third-party provider. The support focuses on application monitoring, managing the app performance, and the quality of services of business transactions. Think of AMS as giving you on-demand access to a team of certified subject matter experts for mission-critical ERP applications.

If you correctly set up an AMS model, you can utilize a pool of named, experienced specialists outside of your own organization and benefit from:

  • Cost savings through shared expertise. With a shared model, you’re no longer paying for underutilized, full-time talent for each area of specialty.
  • Consistent and timely support. Comprehensive AMS support across specialties allows for better response time and consistency in providing answers to business users.
  • Predictable budget. Knowing what the application functional and technical development costs will be on a recurring basis simplifies your budgeting.
  • Flexibility to scale up or down. As your business changes, you can avoid hiring delays and the costs associated with a fluctuating workforce.
Moving Past Real-World Constraints

Given the breadth and depth of today’s mission-critical enterprise applications, combined with the shrinking talent pool of specialty IT resources, organizations are facing a new reality.

Relying solely on internal resources to maintain and advance their business-critical applications is no longer viable. Even the best intentions can’t overcome the lack of adequate specialized talent in the marketplace to fill the need.

Next Steps

Learn more about how application managed services (AMS) can help you fill a critical void and better understand how IT leaders can proactively take steps to help their organizations thrive.

In this on-demand webinar, find out how to best choose an application managed services (AMS) partner and the different types of partner support models available in the marketplace.

Contact us now to learn how Syntax delivers global AMS reach for mission-critical ERP applications.