ERP Cloud: Assessing Readiness and Building the Roadmap

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As enterprises around the world are moving towards transforming to cloud, it’s changing a lot more than just where the data and services of the organization are sitting. The emergence of the cloud is changing the entire way of life inside the IT departments, impacting their strategic thinking and competitive business planning. Cloud computing now […]

As enterprises around the world are moving towards transforming to cloud, it’s changing a lot more than just where the data and services of the organization are sitting. The emergence of the cloud is changing the entire way of life inside the IT departments, impacting their strategic thinking and competitive business planning.

Cloud computing now is a virtualized information communication resource that can dynamically reconfigure to meet the specific needs of your customers. The Cloud computing will enable the enterprises to unleash their potential for innovation via greater comprehension, creativity, efficiency and flexibility, all at reduced cost.

This trend has significantly been seen with Cloud ERP which has generated a high level of interest from organizations. Cloud ERP offers businesses – speedy implementation and lower cost of entry. It is the shortest possible route to a new ERP system. Cloud ERP has good value proposition especially for your customer segment of small enterprises like start-ups, and is simple to deploy as they don’t need to purchase expensive equipment or have an infrastructure to handle the system. Simply downloading a software application onto their computers without any hassles and allowing a hosting company to provide the service works for them!

But, before deciding on what you offer your customers and building a strategic roadmap for them, it is foremost important to first evaluate your customer’s business needs and their challenges. To access their readiness will help in a smooth transition to ERP cloud.

In this perspective, first start with assessing your customer through a careful analysis and try to find answers to the following questions:

  • What is my customer’s industry type and company size?
  • Is it small, big or a big enterprise?
  • What are their business goals and objectives?
  • What Business challenges are they currently facing?
  • What are their security needs?
  • Are they looking for a cost effective solution?
  • How ready are they to adapt to a cloud platform in terms of resources and infrastructure?
  • What are their technical and functional challenges?

How will your ERP cloud solution help your customers to overcome their challenges?

Once you have an answer to most of these questions, the next step will be to help your customers realize the potential of cloud ERP and help them make the right decisions. Make your customers ‘Future- Ready’ by highlighting the following advantages of transforming into ERP cloud:

  • Reduce Cost: Rather than being purchased outright, cloud-based ERP implementations are paid for through a subscription model, which typically includes software as well as the hosting and support costs. This impact the initial capital expenditure required for implementation which is much lower than for traditional systems, lowering the operating costs as well. Overall, the total cost of ownership for a cloud-based solution can be 50 to 60 % less than for traditional solutions over a 10-year period
  • Rapid Deployment: Cloud-based ERP solutions offer a basic configuration with a limited range of options, designed to meet the requirements of most businesses, but this approach can significantly decrease the deployment time while still addressing the most crucial needs of the organization. How long it takes to roll out a cloud-based ERP system is determined by the time needed to update any affected business processes and convert the relevant data. In other words, companies must refurbish their business practices to fit the system, a reversal of traditional ERP implementations that can significantly reduce business intricacies.
  • Flexibility and Scalability: Vendors have been creating new ways for companies to acquire additional software and functionality without going through the usual strenuous software delivery process. This makes cloud-based systems even more convenient and friendly for organizations that are quickly evolving to meet a changing competitive environment.
  • One of the biggest challenges of organizations associated with adopting cloud is – How will my security will be managed?  To answer to that, cloud based solutions have the work around of providing data level security for newer versions and controlled access through row level access. Cloud ERP and cloud ERP data are as secure as traditional on-premise ERP systems. Yes, some of the security issues are different and perhaps less familiar, but once understood, cloud systems can prove to be more secured than poorly run internal applications.
  • ERP will enables them to move quickly into new markets, stay connected to their global network of customers, suppliers and contract manufacturers, and quickly customize and extend your processes.
  • Mid size organization can benefit from ERP cloud by getting features like Quick time-to-value, Ease of use, no hassles of hardware or upgrades and complete mobility. On the other hand big organizations scale up their businesses by having more agility in business processes and more Social collaboration by adopting ERP Cloud.

Building a Transformation Roadmap to help your customers reach their goals

Transformation is never easy. The main success factor for this transformation lies how seamlessly at the same time how aptly it is done.

  • “Keep It Simple” – a Lightweight Approach for Roadmap:  Start with minimum number of tasks that are required for transformation. Slowly build it up based on business requirements and business process. No two businesses are same, so one scale or roadmap cannot fit for two different businesses. It has to be customized for specific business requirements. So idea is to start with skeleton task list and then add tasks as required. Only add tasks that really add value. Avoid unnecessary documentation. Create documentation only wherever required. This accelerates transformation and results in reduced cost.
  • Collaborative approach: Build a roadmap such that customers can be engaged at an early stage. Responsibilities should be clearly defined.  Create environment so that customers can work as your partner. Find solutions as a team and that will help give faster deployment of solutions. This will lead to lesser rework and accelerate the implementation process. Also deploying enterprise level global solution will make it possible with appropriate level of customer engagement. For example: Individual divisions of enterprise may have their own process but at enterprise level only one solution needs to be deployed. This can be done with proper customer engagement.
  • Agile Vs Discipline: Striking balance between Agility and discipline is of prime importance. Extreme Agility will make a project never ending story. So agility needs to be properly managed during creating roadmap. Multiple times – bound iterations of short life cycle need to be incorporated. Solution needs to increment with each iteration. Increase the depth of solution in specific areas based on deeper understanding of requirements..

Forward-thinking businesses want applications with modern functionality hence they are ready to adopt Oracle ERP Cloud solution as they have come to recognize that Cloud computing functionality is comparable to on-premise solutions and more cost effective. The growing popularity is supported by fact that by 2018, 59% of the total cloud workloads will be Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), up from 41% in 2013

In addition to saving costs on infrastructure and maintenance, these businesses are realizing the benefits of modern, mature ERP applications with the ability to easily integrate with new or existing business processes. And when their biggest concern – “SECURITY” is also taken care of, it’s definitely a path worth following.

And thanks to the compatibility of the Oracle ERP Cloud, customers have the power to incrementally modernize their ERP applications by adopting based on their dynamic business needs.

Now is the time to explore the Oracle ERP Cloud and help your business, not when age old systems get to the point where they stand in the way of new opportunities and future growth !

Modernize your ERP @ Oracle Open World ’15 #OOW15

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