Much has been said about the high cost of implementing mid-market software systems, but the real story is more complex than just the dollars. Mid-market projects can be expensive, but it is usually from a limited number of reasons. First and foremost is an almost uncontrollable urge to have the new system mimic the old way of doing things, whether automated or manual.

Blog How to control the cost of your software implementation
This quickly leads to customization or configuration that in many bases is unnecessary. This has immediate and long-term consequences by making both the original implementation and ongoing upgrades more difficult and expensive.

Another factor is letting project scope get out of control, which is usually a reflection of inadequate project management and results in project complexity and risk of failure. There are many other factors but these two will suffice for purposes of our topic.

An Enterprise implementation would be defined as when an organization has compelling reasons for wanting to configure or customize the new system in order to deal with unique business processes, gain competitive advantage, or benefit from processing efficiencies. If these reasons are thoroughly reviewed, the increased implementation cost can be justified for any or all of the above three reasons.

An Express implementation is where speed and low cost of implementation are critical success factors. In this situation, the organization is willing to accept the best business practices built into the software and operates on the premise that the new system is a necessary tool, not a source of competitive advantage. Any enhancement to the software will come from future upgrades as the project evolves to meet the needs of its customers. Any competitive advantage comes from the quality of service, staff, product, etc.

As the leader of a growing and evolving company, you need to ask yourself which path you wish to take. Organizations that see themselves changing significantly can start off on the Express path and move over to Enterprise at a later date. Ask your software reseller or vendor which options they have available.