In recent years, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) business systems have benefitted significantly from a transition to cloud-based platforms, allowing them to become more integrated, data-driven, and user-friendly than ever before.
While the business case for cloud-based ERP systems is strong, the truth is that many organisations have been reluctant to transition away from on-premise systems as they cannot visualise the business benefit of doing so. However, with many ERP providers ending support for legacy systems (such as SAP who will end support entirely for their ECC ERP system by 2030), transitions to cloud-based ERP systems are not a matter of “if” but “when”.
However, these transitions can be risky if not managed correctly. If organisations lack knowledge and underestimate the risk of ERP transformations, then there is a high likelihood that they will fail to meet their objectives. Typically, businesses that are reluctant to move to Cloud ERP potentially have a lack of understanding of the intricacies of this change.
This article attempts to expose these issues in three distinct categories: Understand your business objectives and challenges for change, your team buy in for change, and the technical capabilities and the culture of your preferred ERP technology partner to support your change.
- Understand your business objectives and challenges for change:
- What are the business objectives you plan to achieve from your investment in Cloud ERP?
- Understanding the level of change required within your organisation.
- Who are and what level of competency does your internal ERP project team have? – This is a partnership and if there’s a lack of buy-in from your team then your ERP Cloud transition project will fail.
- Understanding the level of data migration required.
- Your team buy in for change:
- Does your project team have a leader and a collaborative mindset?
- Is there project buy-in and input from the business stakeholders through to project team and end users?
- Have you appointed an overall business process change manager as part of your project team?
- The culture of your preferred ERP technology partner to support your change:
- Does your preferred ERP partner understand your business challenges, compelling reasons for investing in cloud and what business objectives and benefits you are looking to achieve?
- Does your ERP implementation partner really understand your business and have a high level of your respective industry knowledge?
- Has your partner challenged you on your current processes and objectives whilst being prescriptive with their advice?
- Can they reference their successful ERP implementations in your industry with similar companies to yours?
- Avoid partners who advocate heavy customisation and unproven integrations with other business systems.
Your Cloud ERP Journey – The Rewards
Lower costs - With a subscription service, there’s no upfront purchase cost for hardware or ERP software. Ongoing IT and related staff costs are also lower as upgrade and maintenance expenses are handled by the provider. Cost savings can be significant.
Real time insights - Modern cloud ERP systems have been architected to unlock big data so you can access information hidden within large and complex data sets. And while legacy ERP systems provide reporting tools, they do not offer the integrated, real-time analytics available through the cloud – and these are the key to better decision-making. The ability to see trends, predict changes, and automate processes improves resource usage and vastly enhances customer service.
Mobile ERP - Businesses must now provide information access to employees, subcontractors, vendors, and customers – anywhere, at any time. This requires secure mobile device support. Mobile capabilities are built into SaaS ERP products rather than added on as an afterthought. Modern user interfaces (UI) with a responsive design to fit mobile screens are key for users.
World Class Security - With cloud systems, ERP security, data backups, and disaster recovery are handled by full-time, professional security experts. Cloud vendors typically have the best data security available; security breaches in large and midsize companies occur primarily with on-premise systems. Because cloud ERP systems are more complete, connected, and collaborative, they avoid vulnerability at points of integration and reduce risks associated with a multi-vendor landscape.
All major ERP vendors are moving towards cloud-based solutions, which optimise security while providing highly scalable solutions that match their customers’ needs. With mobile and disparate workforces, cloud technology extends access to the ERP solution, giving managers real-time insight while enabling remote workers to use their time more efficiently and improve their customer experience. Companies can reap significant cost savings from the subscription nature of cloud-based solutions, improving cashflow and enabling more strategic use of resources. Cloud-based ERP solutions, and other business software implementations, are inevitable – it is not a case of ‘if’ you implement a cloud-based solution, but when? To find out more about cloud-based SAP Business One, and how it can help you achieve your business objectives, please don’t hesitate to contact our professional and friendly team.