The software world is moving quickly to the Cloud. As the technology leader of your company, you are likely aware of the advantages of moving on-premises ERP applications to a cloud-based model.
How can you convince your Board that a move to the Cloud is the right option, while your company may literally be focused on merely surviving during our economy’s most challenging time?
The Board may hesitate to make the decision due to the numerous changes that will take place when you move to the Cloud. Some of the questions that top management may have regarding this move could include the following:
- Our current ERP is working fine, why do we need to change it?
- How secure will our data be if we move to the Cloud?
- Will our costly ERP customizations survive the move?
- Can our company can afford to invest the time and money into migration in the current situation?
At Columbus, we have been helping our clients digitally transform their businesses over the past three decades, and these are common questions we hear frequently.
Our answer is three-pronged. When building a business case for moving from on-prem ERP to the Cloud, consider the impact it will have on these aspects—technology, business, and people.
This three-pronged approach can help you define the business case for the move, and it can help convince the Board of Directors that it is indeed the right time to make the change.
The technology aspect
When you move from an on-prem ERP to the Cloud, two technology elements become improved:
Seamless, automatic upgradesOften, on-prem solution providers stop providing patches, support and upgrades for aging platforms. Sometimes the process for the upgrades is too complicated and too expensive, and you may find yourself hamstrung by customizations that will not live through a migration. A move to the Cloud may the catalyst you need to do away with outdated customizations. With cloud ERP, automatic enhancements ensure you are always on the most recent release, and they occur with minimum disruption. In fact, most modern cloud ERP solutions are architected such that custom functionality is largely unaffected by updates.
Improved securityWhen you opt for a reputable cloud ERP provider, you can be assured the best defenses are in place for your software. Cloud providers invest countless millions of dollars into cutting edge security—far beyond what a typical company can provide for themselves. Even highly sensitive government information is now often stored in the cloud.
The business aspect
The continuity of the business, and the way you meet customer needs, is an essential aspect of any business. Here are two business considerations that a Cloud migration can help with:
Changing from CapEx to OpExOn-prem ERP is typically a capital expenditure—both for the licenses and the hardware. On the other hand, cloud-based ERP is typically an operating expenditure. What makes more sense for your business? Many companies have concluded that the cloud OpEx model allows them to pay only for what they use in a subscription-based model with a lower up-front cost.
Accurate data for decision-makingIn any business, there comes a time when you need to make quick decisions. One of the inputs that you require to make these decisions is accurate, real-time data. With on-prem ERP, this may not always be the case. Cloud-based ERP solutions typically present data in real-time, and modern reporting tools often can easily pull data from external sources to combine with that from the ERP.
The human aspect
Your people are your most valuable asset. By this, we mean not only your employees, but your customers and vendors as well. Here’s how ERP in the Cloud can improve their experience:
Easy access anywhere at any timeCloud ERP allows access for your team anywhere they have internet connectivity, and from almost any device, 24-7. Beyond that, you can also tailor access based on functional role and team hierarchy to ensure continued security.
Better information sharing to stakeholdersWith the move to the Cloud, it is not just your employees who benefit, but also your other stakeholders. Take, for instance, the way you can improve both customer and vendor experience with self-service portals. This not only takes workload off your employees, but it also can increase profitability by driving volume up, while driving cost down.
Some next steps
Now that you have the right information to present to your Board, you need to be aware of the next steps involved in the process.
- Assess your business for readiness to move to the cloud—think technology, business, and people
- Evaluate cloud ERP solutions to find the best fit
- Find the right partner to support your migration
- Identify the process, and the resources needed for the move to the Cloud
- Consider agile implementation strategy to reduce risk, and to shorten time-to-value