Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS) is an incredibly powerful ERP, but an out-of-the-box solution rarely meets the unique needs of businesses. IT’s job is to work with Oracle EBS to deliver customizations and new capabilities that fulfill business objectives.
That seems simple at first, but IT teams are painfully familiar with the pitfalls of software development. Waterfall methods take months to complete, manual processes are slow and prone to human error, and creating and managing scripts for migrating changes eats up man hours. These and many other challenges make the EBS software delivery lifecycle lengthy and complicated.
But customizing Oracle EBS is essential to ensuring companies’ ERP system meets business needs. IT teams simply need to find ways to improve processes and shorten the development lifecycle, reducing the time it takes to build, test, maintain and update their systems.
Here are three tips to help you do just that.
1. Adopt Agile
IT needs to move faster to keep pace with the demands of the business, its customers, and the market. You and your team need to switch gears quickly to respond to change, creating working solutions through collaboration with your business peers. Yet, too often, software development favors more traditional values that focus on linear, sequential task schedules.
The waterfall approach is a good example – one that is no longer competitive in today’s business environment. Users and consumers are no longer willing to wait months for their systems to improve. Businesses can’t afford to wait. If someone else gets to market before you, or uses their software to gain a competitive advantage, your entire company suffers.
Agile is one of the answers to this problem. Instead of following an inflexible process, teams design, build, test, deploy and maintain solutions in smaller chunks that are dripped into the system as they are ready. With agile, IT teams not only deliver software faster, they also work in short sprints that make it easy to pivot when business needs change. The result is a faster, more competitive IT team that consistently delivers business value.
2. Develop Repeatable, Adaptable Processes
Agile creates a framework for teams to get software to market more quickly, but teams still need to develop their own processes. In fact, the ability to respond faster and more effectively requires a very specific set of processes that can be easily repeated to save time and ensure consistency. Creating formalized processes teams can use as they write and release code and other customizations to different environments will speed up development, reduce errors, and keep different teams on the same page.
Just remember that while repeatable processes save time, they shouldn’t be rigid. They must be created with the ability to adapt. Each project or release comes with its own unique set of variables. So the processes, and the teams following them need the flexibility to adjust not only to the current situation, but the outputs expected.
3. Leverage Automation Tools
Just as repeatable processes can save time throughout the software delivery lifecycle so too can automation. Automating parts of the software delivery lifecycle also leads to more reliable and cost-efficient solutions. Using automated tools can speed up the build stage of Oracle EBS by 80-90 percent.
Used to cover routine tasks like deploying software into a test environment, automation tools like DevOps software can improve quality and reduce errors. In one DevOps tool case study, automation reduced outages by 50 percent. Automation can also be used in the other phases of the software delivery lifecycle, which can free up developers to focus on tasks that require more specialized expertise.
Leverage Technology to Deliver High-Quality Software Faster
Many development teams are already taking advantage of the methods above to shorten the software delivery lifecycle. The right tools, such as DevOps software, make their efforts even more successful by providing automation and facilitating repeatable processes. Consider which of these methods will make the biggest difference to your team, then start phasing in changes and looking for tools that will help you maintain your Oracle EBS system with less time and effort.