To Cloud or Not to Cloud? That is the Question.
Most ERP vendors provide plenty of affordable options for organizations wanting to migrate to the cloud. In response, an increasing number of organizations are becoming open-minded when it comes to enterprise software deployment options and are finally considering cloud technology. While the cloud may be popular right now, you can’t allow industry hype to determine the technologies your organization adopts. Instead, you should consider whether the cloud meets your business needs.
The Many Faces of the Cloud
As an organization considering cloud ERP software, you should do your due diligence regarding each vendor’s offerings. It’s important to assess a vendor’s maturity in the area of the cloud. While many vendors have offered a SaaS or cloud solution for years, some vendors’ cloud offerings are less mature. These vendors may be relatively early in the process of compiling and consolidating their systems into one, integrated cloud offering. Often, these cloud offerings are not as fully functional as the vendor’s on-premise offerings, so you may want to conduct a gap analysis before purchase.
Hybrid solutions provide another variation on cloud technology. Vendors offering hybrid solutions host part of their system in the cloud and the other part on-premise. For example, supply chain management, warehouse management and transportation management applications are typically deployed on-premise, while HCM modules, accounting modules and the like are typically hosted in the cloud.
The Cloud Transition
So, you’ve weighed the pros and cons, determined your business requirements and selected a cloud offering that fits your organization’s needs. What now? Before transitioning to the cloud, your organization should determine whether your internal IT department is sufficient to handle the implementation or if you will need external resources. You should assess the vendor’s statement of work to understand how your solution is going to be deployed and the level of staffing entailed. In addition to staffing, your organization should consider implementation variables such as your integration strategy, development strategy, data strategy and organizational change management strategy.