Cloud based ERP – get the most out of it
I often hear people refer to the cloud as a strategy – it is not. It is more a tool, a facilitator or enabler for ERP strategy and potentially for your infrastructure strategy as well. When that is said, it is an amazing tool, that can give impressive results, if only by freeing up IT costs. If you want your cloud based ERP solution to enable the expected benefits, it has to be anchored in broader and deeper thinking and it has to be a part of your overall ERP strategy.
Moving to Cloud based ERP:
When that is in place, you will be able to look into the details of your move to the cloud. For example:
- Technical considerations: While the cloud can allow you to separate the ERP system from the rest of the infrastructure and thereby reduce the complexity and simplify the maintenance of your existing infrastructure, you will have to make sure that your cloud-based solution guarantees the security of your data. You will also have to discuss whether to go for a SAAS or private cloud-hosted solution: a wrong decision can become expensive or limit your company’s level of responsiveness to market demands.
- Staffing considerations: How will it affect your personnel? Moving to a Cloud-based ERP can give you an opportunity to revisit your staffing. You can, for example, use the external cloud service providers as an extension to your own support and maintenance team. Or even, if that suits your business needs, let them take over the full spectrum of your support and maintenance activities.
- Partner selection: As a general rule, I would advise against selecting a generic cloud service provider for business-critical applications. A generic hosting center quite often has no clue as to your business application and therefore will use third parties to support you. Instead, let your external support center pick their preferred hosting center where they guarantee a minimum response time.
With these few tips you should be set for a good start…
So, good luck with your trip to cloud transformation, and remember never to take the benefits of cloud-based ERP for granted. The move to the cloud itself will NOT automatically reduce costs and improve your business. You will have to earn it with strategic thinking and detailed considerations – but at the end of the day you will find that every effort was worth making.