In the announcement of Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2016, Wayne Morris, Microsoft software executive, highlighted the solution’s cloud capabilities. The updated system improves the software’s ability to connect devices through the cloud and expands extensibility. Cloud-deployed solutions allow companies to conveniently and quickly process data from anywhere their business takes them. Offsite data storage and processing is a great solution for small organizations that need up-to-date information procedures but don’t have extensive IT resources.
The cloud is not a cure-all, though. It is a modern tool that facilitates optimum business performance when offices handle implementation correctly. In their enthusiasm for the cloud, many companies rush adoption and make all-too-common mistakes. Here are a few ways to avoid the normal pitfalls of cloud ERP implementation:
Create a cloud team
Whenever a company introduces a new software solution, business practice or plan that could shift normal operations, all stakeholders must be aware. The organization has to prepare every employee affected by cloud adoption and tell them what to expect from new functionality and why the change is important. People at the very top of the company should offer consultation during adoption and represent companywide support.
It’s a best practice to form a cloud implementation team. A company should bring together a collection of employees who speak for different sections of the business invested in cloud success. Organizations should make decisions with input from IT staff, managers of different departments and employees who will use the new software on their phones and tablets.
Decide why the company needs the cloud
The cloud offers numerous benefits, but a company shouldn’t try and pursue every advantage cloud ERP solutions provide right away. Firstpost Business said each company should audit current ERP software and data storage procedures to discover where the cloud best fits into current practices. A company should have the ability to explain exactly how the new strategy will enable positive effects to specific business activities.
A hybrid implementation is usually wise. A company should migrate a few procedures and datasets off-premise and explore functionality. The cloud implementation team can select a few tasks or data operations perfect for cloud-deployment.
List attainable goals
Once a company knows where its system needs help, it should describe the goals for the new cloud-deployed solution in detail. Nothing can go unspoken. The cloud implementation team should have a list of specific needs for the new system.
These goals should be attainable and measurable. When negotiating with a cloud partner, it’s essential the implementation team can clearly communicate company demands. The prospective vendor should demonstrate the cloud-deployed performance of the features a business needs most before the two agree on a deal.
Find the right cloud partner
Computer World said working with the wrong ERP cloud consultant and provider is a common reason companies do not get the ROI they expected from cloud deployment. Some organizations rush into an ERP service contract without thinking about the future.
One of the primary benefits of software-as-a-service subscriptions is that the system provides automatic updates. Instead of a change causing business disruption, cloud-deployed software like automatically adopts new features that can integrate easily into existing performance. An ERP partner ensures the company is aware and ready to adopt updates into daily practices.
When selecting an ERP consultant, a company wants to find a partner for the long haul. The implementation team should explore options that meet current demands and prepare for future needs. An organization must find a partner that provides assistance during implementation and is ready to continue offering advice as the technology changes.
Focus on security
Some businesses are hesitant to move data offsite for fear of a security breach. The cloud can be just as safe, if not safer, than on-premise hosting if the company finds the right partner. Eweek advised companies to inquire about the cloud provider’s security rating and procedures for data restriction.
Even when an implementation team does find a partner with optimal security performance, the company’s IT department is still responsible for internal safety. A business’s privacy programs must be highly valued by the cloud-deployed ERP consultant and normal offices, and both parties need consistent language and practices for restriction.
Test, test, test
The company shouldn’t wait for the go-live date to determine if the new solution works. Businesses should have a mock go-live date and other scheduled time to experiment with functionality. A proper consultant must have options to explore cloud-deployed ERP services side-by-side with the implementation team. Every employee should have time to train with the new software, preferably using tactics introduced by the ERP expert.
Too many companies adopt a solution without setting aside enough time for implementation. First of all, the project team needs to schedule plenty of opportunities for testing, revaluation and extra training. Second, the go-live date may have to change to accommodate discoveries and unforeseen obstacles. It’s better to take extra time at the beginning, then it is to make poor performance a regular part of business practices.