An increasing number of organizations are prioritizing the cloud when it comes to enterprise resource planning (ERP), according to the recent report “Impact of Cloud on ERP” from the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA). In surveying 200 executives and other managerial staff, CSA established that nearly three-quarters of organizations are in the process of moving their ERP application data into a cloud environment.
Given the fact that 96 percent of all organizations now rely on cloud services, it’s no wonder that ERP is the latest business function to engage in a mass exodus from on-premises hardware. For many companies that are making the switch, their ERP applications are in a period of transition. As their software grows out of date or their leases expire, they can choose to either update these apps to harness the latest features or gain access to modern tools through a cloud provider.
However, migrating from your on-premises ERP system to the cloud isn’t as easy as transferring data. If your organization is considering making a switch to the cloud, then there are many things that you will need to know about the migration process. From potential business benefits to the migration process itself, here is everything you should understand about moving your ERP capabilities to the cloud:
Assessing the benefits of cloud-based ERP.
Whether you are running ERP on premises or in the cloud, many of the system’s functionalities will be the same. However, there are numerous benefits to migrating your ERP capabilities to the cloud that you would not otherwise be able to access in an in-house setup.
It’s optimized for the modern enterprise.
It is becoming less common for professionals to work in a traditional office setting. In between traveling and working remotely, these individuals need to be able to access their data from any location. By migrating ERP to the cloud, you can ensure that your team will remain connected to the platforms they need to complete their daily work.
Cloud-based ERP is also ideal for global operations. Instead of needing to rely on disparate systems to facilitate ERP tasks, you can keep your entire organization connected within a single cloud environment.
There’s nothing to maintain in-house.
Cloud providers host your ERP data and applications in their own servers, which eliminates the need for on-premises hardware of your own. In the absence of physical data servers, your team will no longer need to spend time maintaining and updating your infrastructure. This leaves more time for them to focus on mission-critical projects.
Security is a main focus.
ERP data is highly sensitive, so you must be able to guarantee that your system has the correct security measures in place. Cloud-based ERP platforms leverage some of the most stringent protections to keep your data safe. From user access controls to encryption services, these measures ensure that only authorized parties will have access to your data.
It can grow with you.
When looking to scale your on-premises ERP system, you would need to incorporate new hardware and software any time your usage surges. Since your cloud provider will manage your infrastructure on your behalf, you can simply provision additional services and add new users to your system, as needed.
Formulating a plan for migration.
Deciding to move your ERP capabilities to the cloud is only the first step in the process. How you will navigate migration is just as important, if not even more so. You must approach your move to the cloud with a firm plan in place. Without one, the process will be anything but smooth.
Decide how far-reaching the move will be.
Every business migrates to the cloud differently. Whereas some slowly trickle their systems over to a cloud environment, others jump in head-first and move all of their ERP capabilities right away. In deciding which path to take with your own migration, you must determine which apps and components would benefit from the cloud and which would not. For example, some ERP apps may be better off staying on premises because they don’t require much maintenance. Others may need to move to the cloud because too many users rely on them, and they require more consistent management.
You may also determine that it would be most beneficial to move only a few ERP services to the cloud during the initial migration process. Depending on how difficult they will be to move and how critical they are to your business, you may need to transfer some ERP capabilities at a later time or not at all.
Determine which service plan will be right for your organization.
As with traditional cloud services, the ERP cloud is available through numerous service plans. If your organization requires minimal support, then you should look at “knowledge-only” service plans. These plans typically feature basic capabilities in the realms of business analysis and systems oversight. For more diverse services, you should look at “core integration” plans. Through these packages, cloud vendors typically provide maintenance services, data mapping, testing, and other key functionalities.
Implement change management policies.
The cloud is a far stretch from your on-premises setup, which can make it difficult for your team to adjust to such new services. Implementing an effective change management plan will be essential to ensuring that everyone at your company is on the same page throughout the entire migration process. Training will be an instrumental part of this process. This will allow you to relay pertinent information about your new ERP platform to your team and involve them in the process itself. This will result in less opposition to the changes that your new system will bring.