One of the biggest changes to ERP systems in the last decade has been the move from traditional on-premise ERP solutions to cloud-based systems. This has been driven by continuingly better internet access and the popularity of the software as a service (SAAS) market, where high set-up costs could be replaced with lower monthly subscription costs.
Many companies have been faced with the task of moving from their existing on-premise solution to a cloud solution as vendors have started to withdraw support for these legacy systems. This can be difficult for some companies as it can cause new issues that haven’t been experienced before.
That is why we are covering some top tips today to ensure you know how to prepare for moving to a cloud-based ERP.
Take a Strategic Approach
The first step of moving to a cloud-based ERP should always be ensuring you’re taking a strategic approach to the changes. This comes in many ways but the first should be ensuring you have buy-in at the highest level of your company. Spend time to ensure that all relevant department heads or board members understand why the project is taking place, your expectations from them, and the benefits that are going to be achieved. Doing this early can help secure funding and resources for the project, giving it the best chance of success.
Once you have the buy-in it is time to fully understand what success looks like for your company. We would recommend looking at your current ways of working, what we call your “As Is”. Map out how the current system is used, how team members rely on it for their job, and where bottlenecks currently exist. Knowing this early is important as it can impact on what solutions are available to your organisation without having to undertake custom configuration. This also helps by capturing what data is going in and out of your current ERP system that will need to be migrated to the new platform.
Finally, you want to build a team that can help you deliver the move to a cloud-based ERP. You want to have subject matter experts from all departments that are going to be impacted by the transition. This way they can ensure the necessary features are available and help to keep staff in support of the project.
Focus on the People Aspect
Our next tip is to make sure you focus on the people aspect of the transition. It is easy to get caught up in the system side of things since you’re moving to a cloud-based ERP system, but the success of projects comes down to the people.
One of the smartest decisions you can make is setting clear expectations from the outset. Spend time explaining to staff why the change is happening, what it means for them, how you’re going to support them, and what you need in return. This gives team members the chance to voice concerns and feel part of the process, rather than seeing their job and company change around them.
This helps build staff buy-in to the project which is key during and after the project. It is one thing getting the new cloud-based system into the company, but you need the staff to utilise the new features and functions that come with it. Ultimately it should help to make their job easier, with newer and more efficient ways of working over the on-premise software. But failing to get staff onside is a sure way to see a poor return on the investment as they resort to time consuming manual workarounds.
The last thing to remember when it comes to team members is ensuring they get proper training. You may have a system from a different vendor but even upgrading with the same provider the software is likely to have changed. Not only does this help them get used to using the new ERP system but it allows you to ensure all team members have the right training for them to complete their work.
If you would like to see what support we can offer to help you transition to a cloud-based ERP, then get in touch with the team.