You share many of your IT colleagues’ pain points whether you realize it or not. Like you, IT must learn to do more with fewer resources – and at a lower cost, of course. Production cycles are shrinking, time-to-market windows are closing faster than ever before, and all the while, you and your company’s IT department must make sense of this brave new world. To illustrate how enterprise quality management software reduces IT burden, this post covers key benefits for your IT team.
Reduced Overall Systems Complexity
Your IT department may not completely understand what an enterprise quality management system entails “under the hood,” so IT’s pain points may not resonate with your daily challenges. However, both you and IT deal with a complex, integrated portfolio of point solutions and rely on the IT infrastructure that supports everything. With multiple manufacturing sites, often distributed around the world, IT has to find a way to manage this complexity without devouring its entire budget in a few months.
As one example, it’s not uncommon for multiple instances of enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions and product life-cycle management (PLM) solutions to require integration after a merger. Too often, the interoperability challenges in this scenario are a nightmare for IT teams. Enterprise quality management software speaks to this pain point by offering IT a way to limit complexity with a scalable, off-the-shelf approach, which is contrary to highly customized, proprietary (i.e., expensive) ERP deployments.
Improved Service Delivery
Service delivery may be where you and IT depart ways (concerning pain points, that is). To do your job right the first time, you need the right data at your disposal. The trouble is that from IT’s perspective, “business critical” systems tend to require attention first, which means that IT must transition as a service provider to the enterprise as a whole to meet demand. Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions are a good example of how IT is searching for ways to improve service delivery at a low cost.
It’s easier to deploy SaaS solutions: you find a solution you like, pay as you go along, and leverage the benefits of point-and-click services via the web with limited needs from your IT staff. IT, however, has to consider the interoperability and reliability of the software that you have just added to its list of responsibilities. If your company already uses several SaaS programs, interoperability pain points can mount quickly, which may introduce more complexity, not less. Quality management software aligns with IT service delivery in a holistic solution that is purposely designed with integration pain points in mind.
Today, your company may utilize other database systems to consolidate all of your documents. The trouble is that you need more than just an enormous database to do your job well. IT has a wide swath of solutions that have to be designed, implemented and maintained throughout their life cycle. All too often, companies just build a giant database cluster on standardized hardware with open-source solutions, which works great for Google and Facebook, but may not work well for you. In a typical scenario, IT must maximize the value of computer, storage and network resources that encompass a huge investment in infrastructure. Open-source software and standardizing infrastructure on commodity hardware is in vogue as a means to give IT more flexibility. As such, the quality management solution you choose must be flexible and agile enough to complement, not burden, your company’s existing technology stack.
Less Maintenance and Support
In enterprise IT, software solutions come and go with regularity. In fact, change is the only constant you and IT can count on. You understand this pain all too well since you too have maintenance and support considerations to bear in mind on the shop floor.
ERP and PLM solutions occasionally require customized code to meet business demands, so once deployed, these customized systems have to be maintained throughout their life cycles, requiring more and more code with each update. Even if your IT department has invested in expensive, customized business manufacturing software, quality management software can alleviate IT’s maintenance and support pain points through data integration. Integration is a primary feature of the top QMS solutions today. Managing the life cycle of software goes hand in hand with integration since maximizing investments in technology depends so heavily on how these solutions reach their full potential.
Enterprise quality management software is an agile tool that IT can leverage to enable the capabilities you need with every refresh of technology. At first look, you may not realize that you and IT actually share many pain points, but you do, albeit from different sides of the equation. Benefiting both quality and IT, quality management software can reduce complexity, improve service delivery and resource flexibility, and simplify maintenance over the software’s life cycle.
To help you on your journey to quality and operational excellence, we’ve put together this sample RFP template It will help you ask the right questions to select the best solution for your organization: