Digital transformation is a term that has received a lot of air time lately, and not surprisingly, it has also received a fair amount of suspicion. This should not be surprising, from the dawn of the written word, people have been suspicious of change.
In the Roman era, Ovid’s metamorphoses cataloged various characters of ancient myth, characters who, for one reason or another, were transformed by circumstance: The changing of a young man into a deer, for instance, or the turning of a young woman into a tree.
An in Ovid’s work, the transformation invariably was from a higher form to a lower form—radical change, for Ovid was essentially a bad thing. I wouldn’t mind being a tree, for instance, at least until the nearest roman tree surgeon came lumbering by.
In the 20th century Kafka’s own metamorphosis chronicled a similar transformation—this time, of one individual from an everyday man to a monstrous hideous beetle. One day you’re squelching the bugs underfoot, and the next day you’re the squelch! I see now why Kafka had such a hard time finding dates on Saturday evenings.
In this way, writers and thinkers over the years have been suspicious of change. Such types are often in search of the timeless, the eternal, the constant, and transformation has no place to stand among these pillars of persistence. It should also be noted too that Socrates was a lousy businessman. Just ask Asclepius about the rooster he had coming to him.
Now business rarely fit neatly into a literary narrative—businesses can be rough, and jumbled, sometimes tedious, sometimes unpredictable. But what businesses understand is that they cannot afford the stability and stasis that our literati longed for. Stasis just does keep the lights on for long
I met once with a small company in the mist of expanding its operations and they said to me that they were trying to move from being a big-little company to a little big company. That they had to change the way they did business, in order to sale up its operations and grow, and was making adjustments to its ERP system configuration to support these changes.
Another company I met was in the middle of a rocky new ERP system implementation, as it worked to replace the decades of paper-based processes that just didn’t work in the digital age. The processes and procedures that they had developed just no longer could support the work they needed to do. Their world had changed—their suppliers, their customers, and they knew that they needed to undergo a similar conversion.
For these companies, ERP digital transformation isn’t a literary reflection—it’s a simple necessity. What they’ve been doing up until now just cant support what they need to do, in order to hold onto what they have, or reach out for new opportunities. And our work at the Estes group was to support their reinventions utilizing the new ERP system implementation and the fine-tuning of their enterprise systems as the catalysts.
At the Estes group, we realize that the necessity of change comes with technical and organizational challenges, and we work with our clients to blend different approaches to ERP digital transformation in order to help our clients reshape themselves to better compete with an ever changing landscape.
A new ERP system implementation or changing your application architecture, surprisingly, is a lot like a caterpillar sewing itself up in a cocoon. There is a period of quiet but intense effort, and then the hope is that what emerges out of this effort is a butterfly, an not just another beetle.