How To Ensure A Successful Cloud ERP Transition With SC&H

BlogAdvisory & Transformation
Updated on: April 25, 2024

Authored by Harris Gofstein, Director | Oracle EPM Implementation Services

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So, you’ve committed to a cloud ERP transition. That’s a huge step in the right direction, and we know it’s no easy feat getting to this point. Research shows that cloud ERP delivers 4x the ROI of on-premises systems and recovers initial investments 2.5x faster.

We also know cloud ERP transitions are lengthy and complex. And that the right partner(s) is critical to planning, implementation, execution, and transformation success. Our team at SC&H has helped hundreds of organizations optimize their ERP investments and successfully transition to the cloud, and we’re ready to help you. Below is our proven approach for a smooth cloud ERP transition.

Gain an In-depth Understanding of Business Goals

Before diving in, we help leaders take a step back and evaluate the current state of their financial systems, business processes, and data landscape in alignment with the organization’s vision for growth. This is typically achieved by performing an initial ERP and business process assessment to understand current strengths and weaknesses and identify major gaps and areas of opportunity. With this information, we develop a cloud ERP transition plan defining your organization’s go-forward strategy, including:

  • Goals, objectives, and guiding principles
  • Business and technical requirements
  • Resources, efficiency tools, and accelerators for success
  • Realistic budgets, timelines, and a project governance framework
  • Inventory of reporting, data conversions, and integrations to move to the Cloud
  • Areas for business process optimization within a modern Cloud ERP

Provide Comprehensive Cloud ERP Education

Transitioning to the cloud is a demanding process that can take years to complete and requires extensive expertise to navigate. It Is essential that education, knowledge transfer, and enablement are an integral part of the strategy and implementation approach from day one. We help your IT and business stakeholders understand what a successful cloud ERP transition entails, what products are available and appropriate for your needs, and what success looks like throughout the project lifecycle.

We educate your entire team on the cloud ERP transition by:

  • Setting clear expectations and goals so there are no surprises in terms of timeline, budget, process, and contribution. We ensure everyone is continually on the same page with the same end goal.
  • Conducting solution workshops focused on the similarities and differences between on-premises and the Cloud sub-ledgers/modules.
  • Performing solution demonstrations to showcase data collection, reporting, and analytical capabilities, and enable users to get familiar with core tools.
  • Understanding the vendor product roadmap and how your organization can maximize its investment and create an advantage by leveraging new innovations.
  • Establishing centers of excellence where people can share knowledge, learn to upskill, and self-serve. We’ll help you create a community within your organization to foster learning and the transfer of knowledge around the cloud ERP transition.

Establish a Clearly Defined and Agile ERP Strategy

A successful cloud ERP/financial systems strategy needs to be rooted in IT and governance principles with the fluidity and flexibility to address business changes as the project evolves. With a transformation of this size and complexity, things will inevitably occur that might threaten to derail your efforts and your strategy needs to account for this.

We take a proactive approach to address this potential for change by:

  • Designing a Cloud Architecture and application landscape in alignment with the organization’s security, automation, integration, distribution, scheduling, backup, retention, and audit tracking needs.
  • Aligning best-fit technology solutions to ensure that all business functions are being performed with the optimal blend of best practices across processes and systems.
  • Assessing business processes to identify where to adopt out-of-the-box functionality to replace customizations and where to enable automation to gain efficiency.
  • Defining a detailed data strategy to govern the integration and conversion activities and set standards related to data validation and testing.
  • Establishing a reporting framework based on a centralized chart of accounts, enterprise-wide reporting hierarchies, and self-service reporting tools that promote consistency and empower users to perform deeper analysis and own the results.

Obtain Buy-in From Internal and External Stakeholders

Change is hard. Especially change that impacts every facet of your organization as well as external stakeholders such as suppliers, banks, and regulators. You know all the reasons why a cloud ERP is critical, but that doesn’t make getting buy-in easier. We leverage our data-driven expertise, industry knowledge, and best practices to guide stakeholder conversations and highlight how the long-term benefits far outweigh the short-term inconveniences. We’ll work in conjunction with your team to gain buy-in from all pertinent parties, including but not limited to:

  • Your board of directors
  • C-suite/executive team
  • Business unit leadership
  • Functional department heads
  • Auditors and regulators
  • External parties such as suppliers and banks

Closing Thoughts: A Smooth Cloud ERP Transition is Possible

There’s no questioning that a cloud ERP transition is a lengthy process. But it doesn’t have to be intimidating. The best cloud ERP transitions happen via extensive planning and methodical execution. It is essential that you have seasoned resources to guide you, consistently communicate, and ask questions every step of the way. While our role can vary per engagement, we often serve organizations in one of two ways:

  • Lead the end-to-end implementation, leveraging SC&H’s business, technical, and project management expertise and resources as your trusted partner to deploy all components of the new solution.
  • Oversee the implementation process, acting as a quarterback and facilitating project implementation activities across a blended team, as well as enabling business and IT stakeholders to own and operate the solution.

The SC&H ERP Advisory team has helped large enterprises successfully transition to a cloud ERP. None of them regret it, they just wish they’d done it sooner.

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