If you haven’t moved your enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution to the cloud, it’s time. The benefits are vast and it will save you time and money in the long run. But I’m not writing this to convince you that cloud migration is a good move. You know that already. I’m writing this to remind you that when you make the switch, remember that cloud migration of complex software, like ERP, is much more than a simple item to check off the to-do list.
Anticipating the changes
When it comes to your ERP solution, cloud migration is not just about upgrading to a new way of accessing your system. It’s about change management, both on the technical and the business sides of your organization. Once you make this commitment your model changes. You have to figure out how to operate in a new model, and a new world. And you have to figure it out before you make the change.
Technically, all of the hardware needed to operate your system is moved from on-premise to the cloud so there’s no need to manage infrastructure the way people have historically. How does that look? Well, you go from walking down the hallway and pressing a server button to figuring out how to do it online. But, what happens to the employees whose job it is (was) to manage that infrastructure and push that button? Those are the types of people questions you’ll have to find answers for. The nuances to the IT side of the business is simply a skill change, but another change nonetheless. Everyone will have to learn how to operate differently. Nothing is on your site anymore.
Historically, when the machines are in the basement, the server room, the kitchen closet, you name it, software is installed on those servers and companies have every ability to make changes to their programs, as they see fit. When ERP is in the cloud, making changes to the system isn’t as easy, and often not possible. If you want to change a field or process, the software vendor gathers those requirements and configures changes to the software.
For example, we get updates on our mobile phones and we can decide to upgrade or not. Software vendors, similarly, release updates to their platforms and companies have to figure out if they take it, or delay it and train their users. In this new cloud world, changes to your platform will no longer happen at your discretion, but at the discretion of your software vendor. You’ll be relying on them to define and implement, so carefully consider who you choose as your software vendor, and be sure they align with your business requirements. If the functionality you need isn’t there, you’re going to have to live with it.
Moving an ERP or systems package to the sky is challenging. Initially the pushback was security, but with AWS and Microsoft Azure being well-respected and world class, the concern is more of a people issue. People are going to have change. And change is hard.
At Element Consulting, our consultants are well versed in accelerating ERP cloud migrations and helping you manage the many changes that accompany that shift. We’re here to make the transition smoother, without disrupting your business. Please get in touch if you’re ready to make your cloud transformation work for you.