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Cloud Readiness

Would you rather start a race from a standing start or with a run up? Would you rather start a DIY project with all the tools you need ready at hand, or hidden away in the darkest corner of the garage? Would you get the builders in to start a house extension without really knowing what you wanted?


3 different analogies, but all representative of choices we have to make when embarking on an ERP programme, where all too often we fail to give ourselves the best chance for success. It may be a cliché, but failing to prepare really is preparing to fail. As the business world moves further into the world of Cloud and SaaS, where older legacy systems are replaced with Cloud ERP products, this thinking is more relevant than ever before.


Getting ready for change

The Cloud ERP marketplace offers many excellent choices that can benefit organisations of all types. A process-centric approach to design and implementation with a strong push to adopt, and not adapt, can pave the way to success; with increased standardisation, lower costs of maintenance and a faster deployment. However, with these benefits come the challenges of Change Management.  This is where a robust commitment is needed to challenge the status quo and to actively transition your business to the more sustainable and scalable ways of working in the Cloud. People, and not technology, will be at the heart of any significant change or transformation in a business. Understanding your company’s culture and identifying the best ways to engage and involve your people in the ERP journey is an important foundation for your programme’s success.


Picking the right tool

If you have made the decision to embark upon an ERP journey, choosing the right product is a critical step in creating the conditions for success. There is a dizzying array of solutions on offer, all with different strengths and weaknesses and some being designed for specific industries and sectors. This is one of the first ‘big’ decisions you will need to make, and choosing the right technology for your business can be a force-multiplier for your project. If you also involve the right people at the right time (i.e. early) in that decision making process, then you can truly turbo-charge your implementation!  


Picking the right Partner

Partner selection is another critical decision that can help to ensure you can optimise the capability of your new technology and maximise your return on investment. So, when the contracts are signed and the teams arrive and they’re ready to go, you don’t want to be the runner with a standing start, the DIY enthusiast without the right tools, or the homeowner who has no vision of the extension they want the builder to build.


The key point is to build the foundations of your project early:

·      Establish your governance structure;

·      Understand your existing business model and enterprise architecture;

·      Begin mapping your core business processes;

·      Allocate your internal resources and secure the backfill you need;

·      Chart the change journey for your people.


Being ready to provide this information to your partner before they arrive will allow you to hit the ground running and will increase your chances of delivering your project on time and within budget. Every day that passes with a lack of direction or unanswered questions is time lost on your investment.


By building a foundation early, one that supports your ability to develop and retain knowledge within the business throughout your ERP journey, so that it doesn’t walk out the door at the end of the programme, something we’ll explore in the next article.


We’d love to hear your views on all of this and any feedback or tales of personal experience you may have, so please engage in the conversation in the comments or reach out to us for a no obligation chat on the potential of your ERP journey.  


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