The Road Less Traveled: How to Build and Maintain a Strategic JDE Roadmap

“Today we are at an inflection point where we have new and mature technologies that can facilitate digitization of information. ERP now enables innovation by being the heart of a truly digital business.” – Lyle Ekdahl, excerpt from “Insights of the ERP Arena” on cioreview.com

It happens to the best of us. We have intentions when it comes to strategic planning, but the reality is our day-to-day tasks and projects get in the way. The “phase two” project becomes a “phase never” project.  It’s completely understandable, but it’s also not too late. Businesses that implement, and stay committed, to a continuous innovation JDE roadmap are able to reap the rewards. One of the most important rewards is being able to align your technology with the overall objectives of the business. If you’re struggling to realize your JDE roadmap, we’ve put together some ideas that we’ve gleaned from over 25 years in the JD Edwards space.

Barriers to Executing a Strategic Roadmap

There are some common reasons why you might be failing to implement a strategic JDE roadmap.

The “If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It” Mentality

Does this sound familiar? While your JDE system might not appear “broken” it doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvements or automations.

When the business isn’t pushing for innovation through the use of technology,  IT needs to be the driver for change. Three ways IT teams can act as the catalyst and push for continuous innovation with JDE include:

  • Awareness. Does it seem like users are operating on “auto-pilot” and just going through the motions to get their job done? Does it take 10 unnecessary steps to do a task that should take one or two? Are there manual processes that can be automated?
  • Requirements. Proactively look for ways to help streamline processes associated with business requirements, especially any processes that drive competitive advantages.
  • Technology. What technology can you leverage for innovation that helps lay the groundwork for a strategic roadmap? How can your business benefit from digital transformation?

Customizations and/or You’re Stuck On an Older Version of JD Edwards

If your JDE system is highly customized, you don’t have the ability to adapt quickly to technology changes. In this scenario you’re dependent on customizations to effectively run your business – so you’re trapped and limited in your ability to adopt continuous improvements.

Having many JDE customizations often goes hand in hand with being on an outdated version of JDE. JDE users on World or outdated versions of EnterpriseOne struggle with:

  • Giving users easy access to the info they need in the software
  • Efficiently delivering important business information from the system
  • Expanding operations – especially globally

Risk

There’s risk associated with change. And unsuccessful technology projects can cause huge problems for businesses. That doesn’t mean it’s not worth it. Two important things to consider when it comes to risk and modernizing JDE:

  1. Have a thorough plan and methodology in place for making big changes – whether the change is an upgrade project or new functionality or process improvements.
  2. There will be rewards. Think of the current pain points you might be experiencing. One example is a client who didn’t upgrade their JDE for years – because every time they did an update their system went down at one of their divisions. After working with us on a successful upgrade project the business is current on tools and technology and is on track with their continuous improvement JDE roadmap.

How to Build and Maintain a Strategic JDE Roadmap

Now that we’ve covered some common barriers – let’s get into steps you can take to initiate continuous innovation for your business.

Your strategic roadmap should encompass plans and initiatives for at least the next one to three years. Below are five components of an effective JDE roadmap strategy.

Look for Ways to Improve Your Current System

You don’t have to do an upgrade immediately in order to start your strategic JDE roadmap. The first phase of your roadmap can happen in your current version, which means there’s very little runway needed to get started. What can be streamlined or enhanced now, without an upgrade?  An IT team can use these improvements as “quick wins” that demonstrate to the business how you can effectively implement change that provides benefits without a major disruption.

Sample JDE Roadmap 2020

Consider an Upgrade

If you’re not on the most recent version of JD Edwards, it’s worth considering. Upgrade projects need to be thoroughly planned out, but it’s important to be aware that the upgrade is only one part of the roadmap. Don’t try to fit everything in the upgrade project.

  • Keep the upgrade project manageable to ensure success
  • Map out what needs to be included in the upgrade project, and what can wait until the next phase on the roadmap
  • If the upgrade project is too long or too complicated, it increases risk for the business

 

A properly scoped, manageable JDE upgrade can provide immediate value to your business. Benefits such as an updated, modern user experience or better information delivery are the byproducts of getting on the latest version and don’t require much effort. Delivering business value and return on investment sooner rather than later helps garner support for continuous improvement.

Get Involved in the Oracle JD Edwards Community

One of the biggest benefits of getting involved with networking opportunities or user driven events is the opportunity to speak to other JDE customers. It’s an excellent way to find out how other organizations have managed to stay current, or have built an IT roadmap that includes more than an upgrade. Networking with other users can help you validate (or modify) your JDE plan, and can also give you assurance that your strategic roadmap is achievable.

Align Your JDE Roadmap with the Business Strategy

What is the short and long-term strategy for your organization? Align your JDE roadmap with important business objectives. This is something to factor into your upgrade as well – make sure during and after the upgrade you have IT processes in place to support business goals.

Examples of this alignment include:

  • Customer Experience: Are there initiatives for the business to improve the customer experience and customer satisfaction? How can you use JDE to achieve this?
  • Onboarding: Make sure employees have the ability to quickly learn the tools and business processes in place so they can work effectively within JDE.
  • User Experience: Know your options for improving the JDE user experience to foster productivity and working smarter across various departments in your organization. This can include implementing the latest UX One tools in JDE, as well as mobile applications.
  • Market Share Growth: If your company plans to grow organically and aims to gain market share – how can you leverage JDE to support that growth?
  • Growth Through Acquisitions: In this case you’ll need a JDE rollout strategy to quickly deploy ERP at new businesses. You’ll also need a good training program.
IT Business Relationship
In the past, IT sat outside of the business and was more of a support channel – often providing custom solutions if and when the business asked for something. Today, IT is more involved in decisions to help support the growth and strategy of the business. It’s the responsibility of IT to leverage the correct technology to support the people, process and systems of an organization.

Identify Opportunities for Next-Level Tech

The Latest with EnterpriseOne

Next-level tech with JD Edwards E1 could include Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, or connecting JDE to machines. How can you use JDE to improve processes even further? What opportunities are there for automation? Some current EnterpriseOne features and functionality include:

  • JD Edwards EnterpriseOne Orchestrator Studio. Orchestrator Studio is one of the most significant enhancements to JD Edwards EnterpriseOne – and can transform how you use your entire JD Edwards system.  Using IoT capabilities, orchestrator leverages business logic and your system configurations at the EnterpriseOne application layer to help automate, integrate, and streamline business processes.
  • UX One. JD Edwards UX One gives you control by providing you options to personalize and configure your user experience. From improved interfaces to CafeOne composite applications to E1 pages in JDE – the benefits of UX One include: an enhanced user experience, new abilities to Alert/Analyze/Act, minimized customizations, more personalization, minimized retrofits, increased efficiency through automation, JD Edwards E1 pages, Cafe One, better reporting, and more.
  • Learn more about the latest tools release and application enhancements.

JD Edwards and the Cloud

There are options when it comes to JDE and the cloud. Many organizations are now hosting JDE in the cloud – whether that is Oracle Cloud, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, or another service. Moving JDE to cloud hosting allows you to enable more innovation, save money on hardware, and stay current with regular tool and application updates.

Businesses today are also integrating Oracle Cloud applications with JD Edwards. Oracle is continually building out, and investing in, their large suite of cloud applications. Oracle cloud has the following applications (as well as many more): Procurement, Enterprise Performance Management, Supply Chain Management, Financials, Analytics, Customer Experience (CX), Human Capital Management (HCM), Manufacturing.

Building and Maintaining Your Roadmap

Your JDE roadmap should have realistic timelines in order for you to continue to stay current and leverage the latest technology. This is something that has to be reviewed on a regular basis – so it’s important to have a short and long-term roadmap. This leaves room to adapt and change priorities as needed. Someone in a leadership position within your organization should “own” the roadmap, but there should also be a team across levels and roles that supports the vision and helps execute the plan.

Learn More About Our JDE Roadmap Workshops

JDE roadmap

Written by Dan Barford, Vice President and Laurel Nock, Marketing Manager