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The Dangerous Role of the Accidental NetSuite Admin

Posted by Sean Harmon | 3/28/17 2:09 PM

It’s no secret that the modern business is full of blurred lines. As companies grow and evolve, roles and responsibilities that were once clearly divided can blend into one another.

At ManageForce, our NetSuite sales team has seen it time and time again - situations where there’s no one person in charge of maintaining and managing a company’s NetSuite applications. The shift to a new ways of doing things (like a switch to cloud applications) can create a vacuum of sorts, with no clear answer to the question: Who should own this? In the case of NetSuite, it’s often the one person who “gets it” (even if it’s just a bit more than the rest of the team) who ends up running a company’s NetSuite initiative (whether or not they have the bandwidth to do so). More often than not we see this “Accidental Admin” role being filled by executives and high-level financial and technology leaders who understand the power of the technology and because of their interest are tasked with owning it by default.

Right now you might be wondering, “well if it works, then why not?” The truth is, even if your impromptu admin is keeping your NetSuite cloud services functioning, they likely are lacking the time or expertise to optimize this tool for business efficiency and growth,  (through no fault of the team member tasked with running it...to be clear). This is too important of an investment for your business to just “make it work.” Just getting by may be holding your business growth back whether you realize it or not.

How dangerous is the role of Accidental NetSuite Admin?  Here are just a few ways yours could be hindering your organization.

They don’t know what they don’t know.

As the saying goes, “You don’t know what you don’t know.” Whether it’s full comprehension of NetSuite capabilities, interdepartmental communications, or simply not knowing there’s a better way, the list of things your stand-in NetSuite manager might not know is terrifying and the results of not knowing can be potentially disastrous.

For example, proper security permissions and roles are vital to keeping NetSuite running smoothly and securely. Giving a user too much power can lead to mistakes you may not notice until they’ve grown into massive problems. But with accidental admins, the need to “keep things moving” can often outweigh the time it may take to determine and provide proper permissions. Shortcuts and workarounds can cause real problems and result in a lot more work for everyone.

They’re not improving efficiency, they’re just fixing things.

When it’s running the way that it should, NetSuite cloud services is the stuff of efficiency dreams. It makes all of your business processes run smoother like the well-oiled machine that it is, but achieving that productivity paradise can be a real challenge when this tool is being managed as a secondary task.

A lot of the work that goes into NetSuite is tedious daily administrative tasks that can be easy to pass over for more immediate, pressing, business-driving initiatives. So, more often than not, an accidental admin spends more time “fixing things” than actually driving efficiency.

They’re leaving money on the table.

This one’s the stuff that keeps CFOs up at night, especially when (as is sometimes the case) they’re the ones stuck managing NetSuite. It may seem hyperbolic, but not using NetSuite to its full potential is really just that, it’s not capitalizing on an investment you’ve already made. You’ve put time, money, and effort into this tool, you want to be certain it’s doing everything it can and should be doing to keep your business growing.

The fact is though, many companies don’t fully realize what they’re getting in this deal. And some of this is due to a less than thorough onboarding process. But the fact is, if you don’t work with this tool day in and day out, no (reasonable) amount of training at the onset is going to prepare you for it. A lot of companies we’ve encountered see NetSuite as a QuickBooks replacement, and they’re not wrong, but that’s only the start.

The good news? You can start fixing this now. And no, the solution does not need to involve the expense of another full-time employee who eats, sleeps, and breathes NetSuite. Yes, that is a solution, but for most small businesses, it simply doesn’t make financial sense. Quite frankly a person who eats, sleeps and breathes NetSuite doesn’t exist even if you were willing to pay for it.  While there are advantages to having someone in-house to dedicate all of their time to your NetSuite investment, it’s a role that when you don’t need it, it can be an unnecessary expense. This is a situation where the full service dedicated support of a managed service team can make a world of difference. You get the NetSuite expertise, 24/7 access, and more for well under the cost of adding a full-time employee. But every situation is different, which is why we’d love to learn more about yours. Set up a free 15-minute consultation with ManageForce today and we can get started finding the right solution for you: 

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Written by Sean Harmon

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