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In today’s marketplace, the number of companies turning to cloud services is growing rapidly. If your company is currently considering a cloud hosted solution and you are reluctant to make the move, the good news is that migrating to the cloud can be a relatively painless process if you know how to go about it properly.
With the right approach, you will find that the benefits of migrating your ERP to the cloud outweigh the challenges.
1. Understand ERP Hosting and the Scope of Services Required for Hosting ERP Applications
Developing an understanding of what is involved with ERP hosting is the first step toward successfully migrating to the cloud. A reputable cloud services provider can work with you to understand your specific requirements for ERP hosting.
Starting small and understanding the scope of moving infrastructure, applications, data, workflows, and other technology to the cloud will help your business to expand at a pace which correlates with the growth of your organization. Remember that cloud technologies are scalable so it is not necessary to migrate everything at once.
2. Identify the Right Partner
Once you have acquired a solid understanding of ERP hosting, a competent and experienced ERP provider can assist you with your transition to the cloud. A knowledgeable and experienced cloud services provider will ensure there are specific procedures in place that are critical to a successful cloud migration. These procedures should account for data security requirements, service requests, risk management, and ongoing communications throughout the migration process.
With the support of an experienced and knowledgeable cloud services provider, you can start small and focus on your strategic business initiatives, and optimize your cloud coverage along the way.
3. Define the Right Process
Whether you are moving applications to e.g. Syntax’s iSeries cloud, which provides midrange server technology for small to medium sized businesses, or you are a JD Edwards customer migrating to a JD Edwards cloud, or are planning any other type of migration, it is important to develop a solid plan for implementation and ongoing support. Your hosting provider should work with you to develop a solid framework for configuration, modification, and integration. The scope of services including change management and escalation processes must be completely understood in order to ensure a successful and mutually beneficial relationship with your Cloud partner.
4. Understand the Long and Short Term ROI
During the planning phase, it is also important to look at specific migration processes from the perspective of using the cloud as both a cost reduction tool and a platform which leads an organization to improved profitability. Many businesses make the mistake of simply looking at cloud migration as a cost savings tool. Invest the time to look at each process to determine how the cloud can make it more productive.
To ensure you build an accurate business case for ERP hosting and implementation, it is best to have a cost benefit analysis prepared prior to proceeding with an ERP project. This facilitates accurate decision-making and improves the ability to set realistic goals and project deadlines. It also assists with creating a solid foundation and metrics on which to measure the performance of an ERP system.
An incremental and measured plan defines when funding will be needed for each step of the process and the purpose for which it will be used. Then, Return on Investment is calculated by dividing return by the amount invested. In the case of ERP hosting, the window to realize the returns is much shorter than a conventional on-premise ERP implementation mostly due to rapid deployment, and avoiding additional headcount to your internal support teams.
5. Mitigate Risk
An experienced cloud services provider can ensure a seamless process and help mitigate risk by conducting an assessment for production readiness.. This plan should involve: configuration, a schedule of tasks, confirmation of properly functioning interfaces and a final schedule for migration of data.
Once you have identified potential risks and determined probability, you can move on to risk prioritization. Focus on what risks have the most impact on business productivity and daily activities. This requires a team of professionals experienced with risk prioritization and mitigating the high priority risks that can be detrimental to an organization.
A qualified ERP hosting provider can be your best defense for mitigation of risk in a cloud migration. With your partners' qualified team of professionals, your business can take advantage of a broad range of ERP expertise that you would not otherwise have access to with an in-house IT department.