Why IT Collaboration is Crucial for a Successful Dynamics 365 CRM Implementation
In the era of on-premise CRM implementations, IT teams often took the lead on these projects but sales and service teams often felt marginalised during the planning and design stages.
In today's cloud-first environment, it's never been easier for business teams to spin up a new CRM app with little, or no, involvement from IT teams.
Neither scenario is healthy for the success of a project. Previously, it wasn't uncommon to encounter IT driven CRM projects where user preferences and business processes hadn't been understood or adequately built into the system. The predictable result was lousy user adoption.
Sadly, this situation does still occur but a more frequent issue seen today is where business teams reach an advanced planning stage before IT teams join the discussion. When IT are eventually involved they are liable to throw a spanner in these works by raising important points about the solution, and / or the system build that weren't previously considered.
We've encountered similar situations which have set back causing delays which could easily have been avoided had there been greater transparency and collaboration between teams.
In some instances these situations may be the result of distrust between teams but exuberance for a new solution within business teams can also be an attributing factor.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 certainly fuels this enthusiasm!
With connected role based apps that can be deployed in the cloud in just a few minutes and are easily configured - who needs the input of internal IT?
The reality is, IT participation brings wider expertise and broader understanding of issues beyond the needs of a single department.
When IT are kept out of the loop it can result in some awkward conversations further down the line by which time a solution has already been chosen and plans have been made.
Depending on the issues identified these points might be swiftly resolved but there is a risk of projects being pushed back or derailed if teams haven't factored in key points which would otherwise have impacted on decisions already made.
In any case, there is a high probability that time and resources will be wasted.
As these examples show, CRM, as with any project, requires collaboration from the outset.
Before embarking on a siloed implementation for a sales or service team, project leaders should engage with IT teams at an early stage to gain their input.
Specifically, IT should be able to share:
- The bigger picture to include what other teams in the business are doing now, and in the future, and checking that the proposed implementation fits in with the organisation's broader IT strategy.
- Security considerations to safeguard company data and ensure that personal data is accessed and shared in line with company policy.
- What will be the plan to extract and transfer legacy data into the new system
- What integrations should be completed to connect the proposed solution with other apps and services
- How the system should be tested in house prior to roll out
- What IT resources are needed to support the implementation, and continued usage internally.
Having these groups working together is undoubtedly beneficial as each learns from the other. Culturally, a sales or service team differs markedly from IT as each deals with their own day to day problems.
Fostering project engagement will increase awareness of wider considerations to develop a productive environment that will ultimately result in a successful deployment of Dynamics 365 with shared goals and collaboration.