Are you ready to make the shift to a modern Cloud-based ERP system?
While legacy ERP systems were great, most modern businesses need to shift to cloud applications to scale their business and help it grow. After all, the Cloud is the future. And legacy systems…are well, a legacy now…best left in the past.
Modern ERP cloud applications support new digital technologies to handle your business’ evolving ERP needs. And this becomes even more crucial when you run a project-driven business. It becomes imperative that you invest in an ERP that is designed specifically to cater to the constantly evolving needs of project-centric businesses, as these are designed to help you track the progress of each project. Which ensures you make well-informed decisions with improved clarity on the status of your corporate plus project financial information.
However, that doesn’t mean this shift is without its challenges. So, what can you do to make this transition to modern ERP smoother?
A successful ERP Cloud transformation starts with the right strategy.
The best way to transition to modern ERP is to have a deployment team dedicated to Cloud Transformation. With the right team of implementation partner(s) and Cloud service staff working in conjunction with projects team, IT, finance, HR and other department experts, you have a fool-proof strategy to make a smooth transition to ERP Cloud.
We have put together these 5 steps that ensure a smooth and successful ERP Cloud Transformation.
Step 1: Define Project Goals Clearly
This might seem easy but usually gets neglected. We recommend that you start your cloud transformation by choosing KPIs to measure business benefits. Some examples would be – productivity, infrastructure cost, financial close rate etc. By measuring KPIs, you can align strategies, define outcomes, and create consensus for approvals without a hitch.
Step 2: Document Processes Carefully
Make sure your business is prepared for cloud ERP transition by creating a complete map of your IT infrastructure. Document processes and all inventory systems including in-house as well as third-party solutions. Factor in all integration points and redundant systems too, so your implementation partner can better guide you on how to make the transition to Cloud.
Doing this step helps you:
Understand how the business works on the ground.
Where processes go beyond what’s existing in the system so you know where your current ERP is lacking.
Clear documentation of organizational structure to match data ownership with how its managed and used.
This includes documenting risk, audit, compliance, and business continuity information.
All this helps you achieve ONE goal – to create a single source of truth for data before the ERP cloud transformation is implemented.
Step 3: Ensure Strong Executive Backing
Executive sponsorship is key, and it is best to opt for ongoing high-level support throughout the lifecycle of the project. Employee updates and executive commitment to ERP modernisation are important to ensure project success.
Step 4: Employ Modern Best Practices
Since you are undertaking your cloud ERP transformation journey, now is the time to employ built-in, standard best practices. These simple steps make it safe, effective and easy to transition from legacy software and its outdated processes to the modern Cloud.
The good news is that modern ERP comes with 80% built-in common business processes standardisation – so make the best use of them.
Step 5: Test Reporting And Analytics Immediately
With Cloud ERP, you have real-time access to business insights. By defining and testing reporting and analytics early on, you can start to generate useful, integrated and informative reports as soon as your cloud ERP goes live.
It’s also a good idea to make change management part of your ERP implementation plan and overall approach so that they can track and update all changes to prepare your business for what’s new and different with this transformation.
Here Are Some Bonus Tips….
Moving your project-driven business to a cloud ERP platform will forever change the way your people perform everyday work and consume data. With that in mind, we also have for you a simple list of To-Dos that further simplify the process.
Do allow for time. It is foolhardy to underestimate the time it takes for the data conversion process to be successful.
Do pay special emphasis to Testing. Application testing works best when you involve all teams.
Do involve even partners and suppliers like banks and vendors in the testing process to ensure files are in the right formats. This allows them to plan and coordinate with your internal teams right from the get-go.
Do test the application for extremes. Because as we all know - peak demand is real and happens. Check how your ERP system handles heavy transaction loads while running reports simultaneously.
Do involve all top management in the process so they are always aware of how the system transitions.
Do involve the change management team to identify change risks and barriers right from the start.
Do dedicate staff full-time to project roles. Dedicated testing resources make sure project deadlines can be met - so do involve accounting, IT, reporting, projects teams and business partners as and when their modules get implemented.
Do create a checklist for all testing and document sign-offs.
Do add cloud implementation partner and vendor staff to your team for all design and problem-solving sessions. Their deep involvement helps resolve testing issues and train your staff to use the ERP successfully.
Do engage your Internet and Infrastructure teams in the process so that all implementation activities and testing don’t conflict with other projects or activities planned. Things like big data conversions can affect cloud migration if you aren’t prepared.
Do prepare for compelling events. Be it accommodating new services or high-priority projects, preparing for compelling events helps you stay ahead of the curve.
In the end, Cloud ERP transformation is always a better solution for project-driven enterprises needing rapid changes and additions. So go ahead, and use our guide to be better prepared for your transition. Good Luck!
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About Projects Expert
Projects Expert is the first-of-its-kind Oracle partner that specialises in Project Centric Enterprise Solutions. We aim to deliver sustainable, robust, and business-friendly Oracle solutions for Projects driven organisations.