Cloud is no more the buzzword, rather it is slowly getting into the horizon of being ubiquitous just like the word technology! Today’s business executives have taken charge using “Cloud” technology as a catalyst to meet up with their business needs. Cloud ERP has been one of the most revolutionary pivots on which business has been transformed and Oracle NetSuite has been rated as the #1 Cloud ERP by leading analyst firms. By leveraging Cloud’s on demand infrastructure, elasticity to meet with varied demands, support and administer varied parts of the operations the organization has been able to boost productive, stretch their budgets and in the same context stay nimble. Based on our decade plus experience working with global business executives using Cloud ERP, please find enclosed the key aspects to consider to make a Cloud ERP Implementation project successful:-
Best Practices to follow before implementing a cloud-based ERP system:
- Buy in from the management and their involvement
Always seek visible and demonstrated buy-in support from the CXO level to make the transition easier and faster. This is essential for the stages before, during and after implementation of the cloud ERP solution. The greater the involvement in all stages of ERP adoption: from consideration to purchase to implementation, the greater are the chances of business success. It will ensure there are fewer bottlenecks and arguments down the road.
- Choose the Right Consultant for your Implementation
The most important decision you will make is to choose the right consultant organization to implement your ERP project. It is important to understand and evaluate them on their core values, industry domains they have worked, longetivity and breadth of their project experience, crisis management strategy and their ownership for the success of the project.
- Evaluate your implementation team’s methodology
A thoughtful implementation approach is critical for the Cloud ERP success and it’s important to fully vet if they will use a guided implementation approach or a full service one. For example, do they plan to spend time understanding your existing business processes? Will the implementation be tailored to your specific business needs? Are you being assigned to one subject matter expert or will you have a full team supporting you?
Best Practices to ensure a successful ERP implementation:
- Understanding Needs vis a vis solution capability
A mismatch between needs and solution capability could be costly and cause irreparable damage to your business that you may find difficult to recover from. An assessment of needs and evaluation of new ERP system capabilities is a must to avoid the mismatch.
- Resource Realignment
When an ERP system is implemented, you may discover that certain tasks are not required while new roles may be created. We may need to reallocate resources and skills after a cloud ERP implementation.
- Maintain Control
Your ERP implementation project should somewhat depend on schedules and timelines. This way, it is much easier to track your progress and adjust accordingly. Determine benchmarks that define success or failure, it’s unrealistic to expect any software implementation to proceed perfectly. However, that doesn’t mean you should ignore the scope or scale of mistakes and setbacks. Is there a good project plan with identified stages and a regular schedule of collaborative calls with all the team members involved?
- Dry runs before going live
After the system is configured and ready for use, do a series of dry runs before you actually go live. This may help you locate bottlenecks/glitches in the new system and some issues too that may have been missed.
- Build Awareness
Introduce your employees and help them understand the software in the best manner possible. Using videos to build awareness is a good way to consume content and refer to it.
Data from your previous solution would be required in your new ERP system. Ease of migration should be a key feature for the new cloud ERP solution. The solution vendor should provide a seamless migration to the new solution.
- Seeking perfection may be a barrier
While you should expect a glitch free solution, complete perfection could be a pipe dream. The quality of dedicated support by the solution provider is a key criterion for selection of the solution. Checking with customer references in a similar business domain is a good way to find out the quality of support.
In summary, Cloud ERP flexibility can be a good thing as your business evolves and your needs change. But it can become a liability when it comes time to standardize operations or enforce standard business operations across global business processes. Be sure to limit customization and integration to legacy systems to situations that require it. Cloud ERP implementation success isn’t something that should be left to chance. Your odds of success increase dramatically by simply adopting these and other implementation best practices.
About the Author
Biswas Nair is the Founder and Managing Director of Inspirria Cloudtech Pvt. Ltd. He has completed his Electronics Engineering from Nagpur University and MBA from Pune University. He has been one of the pioneers in Cloud based enterprise applications in India & Middle East. His passion of introducing path breaking and innovative technology solutions for the Indian enterprises motivated him to establish Inspirria Cloudtech. Today, Biswas is spearheading the vision to make Inspirria Cloudtech a leading Cloud Aggregator organisation. His other passion in life is penning Urdu Poetry and he is an ardent lover of the Urdu language.