Thought Leadership

Defining Business Transformation Implementation and Upgrade

Quote on Transformation

Peter Drucker is credited with the quote, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” Business or Technology Transformation leads to Cultural change which in turn creates a Strategic Impact. Transformation is a topic that I deal with on a daily basis with multiple customers. Most customers I visit, have a clear understanding of the direction the business is headed and how IT needs to support. The challenge lies in vendor selection and clear definition of how to define the scope of a Transformation program. Let us take the case of Upgrades. In the world of JD Edwards, there are three types of Upgrades: Technical, Functional and Transformational. How do we clearly differentiate between the three?

Here’s an Upgrade Continuum that helps with these definitions:

Upgrade Continuum

For customers considering a Technical Upgrade, there are several methodologies that can be applied, including Oracle’s own 100 day Upgrade program. However, when we move into Functional and more importantly Transformational upgrade programs, the cost impact is often not very clearly defined. Programs often go over budget because customers think they are dealing with a Functional Upgrade, but in reality the business was expecting Transformational Upgrades.

This leads to a different question. What are the cost drivers or levers for an Upgrade Program? What are the factors that could increase or decrease the price of an Upgrade program? Here’s a point of view that I would like to share.

Cost Levers for Upgrade

The last question that often comes up is, how do we determine the most optimal Upgrade Program – Technical, Functional or Transformational? Let’s define these alternatives and their benefits that eventually will help build the case for the right upgrade alternative.

Upgrade Alternatives



Clients who build a business case to address the right upgrade alternatives are more successful in getting funding for the right program and also keeping their projects within budget. It is often a leading practice to work with Systems Integration partners who understand this entire spectrum of alternatives and can help them put together a business case. This business case ends up being Phase Zero of the Upgrade Program with deliverables that result in setting up of the right governance framework for a successful Transformation implementation.



Oracle Digital Transformation Leader

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