Summary

A DoD Agency engaged Alta Via Consulting to develop a comprehensive strategy to address the planned obsolescence of various instances of its ERP environments and recommend a long-term approach to modernizing its business systems, with the objective of streamlining processes and access to real-time analytics for mission-critical business decisions.

Challenge

A DoD Agency had invested billions of dollars over decades in the development and sustainment of multiple unique instances of an ERP solution to meet its business capabilities.

As the Agency’s system, processes and capabilities matured, the Agency’s ERP solution provider announced an obsolescence date for the application, requiring the Agency to migrate to the latest ERP platform. Concerned with having to undergo yet another major investment in IT and upgrades to its business system platforms, Agency Leadership decided to take a strategic pause to evaluate courses of action to modernize their back office system portfolio.

Alta Via Consulting led the effort to systemically evaluate the alternatives, conduct the funding analysis and produce a recommendation to Agency Leadership.

The Agency worked internally to develop various Courses of Action (COA) to meet its objective of streamlining processes and access to real-time analytics for mission-critical business decisions. However, after further review, Agency Leadership determined that the initial options did not meet the Agency’s requirements or outcomes sought.

Alta Via Consulting was tapped to develop a new COA as a hybrid of the previous COAs in hopes of addressing their shortcomings. Alta Via partnered with over 50 organizations to assess the original COA’s, evaluating the premises and foundational elements from various perspectives. Our recommended COA was critical to informing the Agency’s resourcing strategy for the upcoming budget evaluation process. Any delay in the in the completion of this effort would impact the Agency’s ability to begin this program and address the software’s obsolesce timeline putting the Agency’s IT portfolio at significant cyber risk.

Alta Via Consulting’s recommendation was accepted by Agency Leadership and will set the direction for the next decade of business system modernization efforts across the Agency, providing access to streamlined processes and real time analytics for mission critical business decisions

Approach

Alta Via approached the challenge by adopting the Agency’s established decision-making process and incorporating our experiences and industry best practices to create a tailored framework for a phased analysis. This included:

  1. Strategic assessment of current operating environment
    1. Lead a broad cross-business unit effort to evaluate organization’s usage and customization of its current ERP platforms to gain an understanding of the complexity and duplication of capability in the current environment.
    2. Performed an evaluation of the lower tier business systems within the portfolio to identify systems to be consolidated and retired.
  2. Developed and analyzed COA’s and alternatives
    1. Translated COA definitions into actionable alternatives for the Agency by creating a common taxonomy and understanding of the outcomes desired.
  3. Evaluated risks and benefits of each alternative
    1. Coordinated with over 50 stakeholder organizations to conduct a risk / benefit analysis of each alternative, including an assessment of its viability
    2. Consolidated evaluation results into a balanced scorecard serving as an input into the COA analysis.
    3. Coordinated multiple analysis sessions with original equipment manufacturer (OEM) vendors to identify the viability of non-ERP software solutions to solve the Agency’s business system needs.
  4. Analysis and Recommendations
    1. Alta Via’s recommendation to implement a hybrid alternative was approved Agency Leadership and signed into policy as the direction for ERP modernization across the Agency

Results

Alta Via Consulting synthesized 12 months of inputs, research and analysis into an executable technology roadmap. The roadmap and associated recommendations enabled the Agency to exit their strategic pause and begin modernization of over 500 legacy business systems within a five-year horizon. Coupled with a recommendation on specific business system, processes and resource-specific transformational changes that demonstrated a positive ROI , Alta Via’s recommended organizational structure across the Agency’s functional and program management organizations will allow them to more successfully manage and track the complicated modernization effort, and will result in a 30% reduction in forecasted costs.

In an era of budget constraints and austerity across the Federal sector, requiring tradeoffs between readiness and modernization, Agency Leadership’s acceptance of Alta Via Consulting’s recommendation is critically important in enabling the Agency’s ability to provide a strategic roadmap for its mission critical needs while maintaining an auditable environment.