More and more C-level executives are moving toward cloud-based ERP. In fact, according to a recent survey, 60% of technology professionals said they expected their companies’ approach to IT to be focused on off-premises cloud solutions.
Cloud ERP software integrates all departments, locations, and subsidiaries to allow for streamlined workflows, enabling businesses to run more efficiently. It can be adapted based on long-term growth projections and provides solutions far more comprehensive than what traditional on-premise software solutions can provide.
If you have done your research and are confident that migrating to a cloud-based ERP is the best solution for your business, it’s important to understand both the immediate and long-term goals for your business, the number of resources the implementation will require, and if you will need to bring on additional help. Here are some things to consider and questions to ask before implementing cloud ERP software at your business.
Review Your Processes
Take the pulse on your operations by reviewing all existing processes.
- Are your current processes accomplishing what they are designed to do?
- Where do bottlenecks exist?
- Are bottlenecks a result of people, processes, or technology?
- Have you requested feedback from employees on day-to-day workflows?
Having a 360-degree understanding of how your business is running today will help determine the steps you need to take to make it better for the future. The last thing you’ll want to do is transfer old processes blindly over to a new system without considering how they could be improved. Which leads us to the next step…
What’s the Goal?
New software implementations often fall flat because no goal was identified and agreed upon. Though migrating to the cloud does present a host of benefits for a business, you first need to identify “the why.”
- What do you hope to accomplish?
- What specific problems do you hope to solve?
- How will a cloud solution save you money, time, and resources; how will it help boost revenue?
- Do you have a budget allocated for the implementation?
- What is your timeline?
Before you commit to and invest in this major initiative, be sure you have all the answers to these questions as they will form the framework of the implementation.
Do You Have Adequate Resources?
Implementing a cloud ERP solution can take a considerable amount of resources if you want to do it right and stick to your timeline.
- Which teams will be impacted by the software switch?
- Are there any staff members or teams who don’t use the current software but would utilize the new solution?
- Do you have an internal IT department? If so, would they be responsible for heading up the implementation?
- Is anyone on the team experienced in leading a cloud ERP implementation?
- Do you have a project management professional to help manage the plan, timeline, and budget?
Monetary resources aside, it’s important to determine which internal teams or individual staff members will need to take time away from their normal duties to evaluate vendors and products, or if you’ll need assistance from an external partner.
Bringing in External Help
If you don’t have the internal resources or expertise to handle a cloud ERP implementation in-house, it’s generally advised to bring on a third-party partner. Here are some questions to ask prospective partners to see if they may be the right fit for your project.
- Do you have experience implementing cloud ERP software in the [your industry] industry?
- Can we speak to any of your current or recent clients, ideally in our industry, who can tell us about their experience with you?
- How will cloud ERP software improve efficiencies, generate income, streamline current processes, and help us improve business decisions?
- How long will the migration process take? What tasks/responsibilities will be handled by your team? What falls to us?
- What are your requirements around server/network prep? Installation? Integration with other data systems? Security and alerts? Reporting?
- Can you describe testing, user acceptance, and training protocols?
- What project management methodologies do you utilize?
Finding a trusted partner to help you implement a cloud ERP solution can make or break the project. As we discuss here, make sure the vendor takes the time to learn about your business, strategy and needs so they can not only meet but help you exceed your goals.
Researching and preparing questions in advance—for both your internal teams and any external partners—is the best way to ensure an expedient and successful cloud ERP implementation process. The more prepared and educated you and your team are before your ERP software upgrade, the more time and money you will save during the process and the happier you will be with the final result.
Could NetSuite be the right cloud ERP solution for you?