Enterprise Risk Management Software Implementation Best Practices
Enterprise risk management software implementation can be very complex, especially when you consider the large number of third-party integrations that are commonly required. Without these integrations, your enterprise risk management (ERM) platform may fall short of reaching its full potential, especially when it comes to return on investment (ROI).
The complexity and broad scope of this kind of digital transformation project mean it’s prone to challenges and pitfalls. This is especially true when it comes to the actual implementation and deployment phase of the software development process. But these pain points can be largely avoided if the client and developers alike have a good awareness and understanding of the industry’s enterprise risk management software implementation best practices.
How is Implementation Different from Deployment? And What are the Best Practices for ERM Software?
The implementation and deployment processes are often lumped together when discussing ERM software development. But these are two distinct — and very important — process flows.
You can think of the implementation stage as one that focuses on the final preparations that are required to set the ERM platform live. Implementation includes a variety of processes, such as integrations with other platforms and data sources, performance testing, user training, configuration work to suit the company’s unique needs and workflows, and the final rounds of user testing. The best practice here is to take a thorough and careful approach to implementation, with lots of emphasis on user training.
Deployment refers to the actual rollout process when the enterprise risk management software is “turned on” and put to use. Deployment can be very disruptive to a company’s operations so lots of pre-planning and preparation is considered a best practice that ensures the ERM deployment goes smoothly.
Enterprise software deployment requires a fair amount of support, especially if users are transitioning from one platform to another. This is another important best practice. The stakes are even higher if you’re deploying a mission-critical platform or one that affects operations. Fortunately, ERM software can often be deployed with minimal operational disruption since it’s not considered mission-critical and there are relatively few operational connections, so to speak.
Remember, though, that no amount of training is ever enough and you should expect to encounter a few snares on deployment day. But preparation will position you to overcome challenges with relative ease. That brings us to another best practice: be prepared with support resources on-hand as you go into deployment day. Prepare and expect the worst-case scenario; this way, you’ll be ready to roll if the need arises.
Software deployments can be performed in one burst or a company may opt for a phased deployment over time. In the case of the latter, the platform may be rolled out to groups of users within the organization over the span of several days or weeks. This limits any complications and thus, limits the adverse operational impact. For ERMs, best practice is usually a single phase.
In the case of an ERM software system deployment, a phased rollout generally doesn’t bring much benefit since there are a relatively limited number of individuals who are actually using the platform. It would be possible to phase in new integrations, although this typically occurs during the implementation phase. For this reason, a single-phase deployment is usually regarded as the best practice for ERM platforms.
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What are the Best Practices for the Enterprise Risk Management Software Implementation Phase?
ERM software implementation is a comprehensive, multifaceted process that can span many weeks or even months, depending upon the size and complexity of the platform in question. To understand the industry’s best practices for ERM software implementation, let’s take a look at the different processes and tasks that occur during this development phase.
Configuration – Enterprise risk management software systems typically feature multiple modules which may need to be fine-tuned to suit a company’s unique needs and workflows. This configuration process may be more extensive in cases where an ERM developer has a standard default platform which is then customized and expanded to suit each client’s exact needs. A best practice is to take a careful, planned approach, with plenty of testing and verification along the way.
Integrations – An ERM software platform will have multiple integrations with third-party platforms and enterprise platforms, such as cloud data platforms, CRMs, and ERP software systems. These integrations are essential because they allow data to flow between the ERM software and the various platforms in real time. The best practice is to identify and evaluate the company’s ERM integration needs right out of the gate. If integrations are necessary, this is an opportunity to determine if there’s a publicly-available API or whether additional development work is necessary. The latter can easily add to a project’s development timeframe, but by identifying the need for custom integration code early in the process, you can pull in more resources to avoid delay.
User Training – User training is essential for success in the deployment phase. Otherwise, your users will be unable to leverage the ERM platform to its full potential — or at all. It’s difficult to convey the importance of user training. Without it, you’ll be unable to leverage the enterprise risk management software to its full potential, leading to a poor ROI and a higher risk level overall. The best practice is to offer in-depth training to users and others who will be affected by the ERM software deployment. By selecting, training, and using “super users,” you can ease the transition since these highly-trained users can help guide colleagues during the deployment.
User Testing – User testing is a critical component of the implementation phase because the actual end users will have the ability to identify issues that may not have been apparent to seasoned QA testers during the prior development phase. The best practice is for actual end users to interact with the software platform to offer feedback on the issues and challenges that they encounter. This allows for another best practice: implementing the aforementioned updates before the platform is deployed to the company at large.
Performance Evaluation – The enterprise risk management software implementation phase includes an in-depth performance evaluation to ensure that everything is working as expected. Typically, you’ll have performance targets or objectives that were established earlier in the development process. Actual performance metrics are usually compared to these performance targets to determine if pre-deployment modifications will be necessary.
A successful enterprise risk management software implementation demands more than just a methodical and strategic approach. You need a development partner who believes in collaboration and has the technical expertise required to get the job done right.
At iTech, enterprise solutions — including enterprise risk management software platforms — are amongst our specialties. We understand the complex challenges confronting our clients as they strive to increase profits and dominate their respective industries. Whether your objective is to minimize threats, vulnerabilities, and risk factors across the board, or you’re working to achieve some other risk mitigation goal, the iTech team is here to help.
The iTech team develops innovative enterprise risk management solutions that are architected with low overhead and the potential for a solid ROI. We work with clients in a variety of different business sectors and industries. We invite you to reach out to the iTech team today so we can begin a dialogue on your company’s enterprise risk management strategy.