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5 Best Practices for Taking Your ERP to the Cloud

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There are great enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions out there. Thanks to Software as a Service (SaaS), there are solutions that can bring the whole team together, no matter which devices they use or where they work–and much of it is in the cloud.
Better collaboration, better data and better data and better service to your customers are all possibilities thanks to these cloud-based ERP systems. The problem is taking the leap. It is all pretty straightforward if you are starting a business or division and can initiate a cloud-based ERP solution from the beginning. But what if you have an established business and network and want to enjoy the advantages of cloud-based solutions? You will have to migrate your operations to the cloud.
It sounds easy, but like changes to any new system, enterprise cloud migration has its challenges. In fact, there could be significant problems changing to a cloud-based ERP system. Avoid potential issues by following these best practices for taking your ERP to the cloud.
1. Remember the Total Cost of Ownership
ERP clouds are very cost-efficient, but they aren’t free. One of the biggest mistakes companies make in enterprise cloud migration is neglecting to budget for these costs and allocate resources appropriately. Always remember that just because a cloud-based ERP solution can offer some cost savings, they may not always be cheaper than other options–especially at first when additional funds may need to be allocated for training or database conversion.
2. Enterprise Cloud Migration Is Not All or Nothing
Secondly, remember that enterprise cloud migration doesn’t have to be complete. According to Forbes, most companies will pilot a cloud-based ERP solution in a subsidiary or division before rolling it out to the group en masse. Even then, many companies will adopt a hybrid enterprise cloud/on-premises model after introducing cloud-based solutions to the business. This helps the company roll out business processes incrementally.
3. Compatibility Is Everything
This leads to the third point. If you need your cloud-based ERP to work with existing systems, integrate with another solution or work with another software, make sure the two are compatible before you do anything. Otherwise, you risk the information you import not being consolidated in a useful way, which could lead to inaccurate financial statements, confused billing or a plethora of other issues that could hit your business in the long run. Pre-digital systems are especially vulnerable to compatibility issues, but this problem can happen anytime. Be aware and be prepared.
4. Hardware Counts, Too
Likewise, check your hardware to make sure there is not an issue. This is something that happens more with older equipment, but lower-end equipment can also have compatibility problems. You will save yourself money and frustration if you make sure everything is compatible before trying to implement a cloud-based ERP solution.
5. Policies, Procedures and Security First
Cloud-based ERP is a whole new world, so treat it like one. Develop protocols and systems so your business processes are in alignment with the capabilities of your enterprise cloud. Also, before your company introduces any cloud-based ERP, make sure the system is secure and have a set of policies and procedures worked out in advance so everyone is on the same page. Cover what behavior is allowed, what to do when something goes wrong and how to keep the whole thing secure.
Migrating your enterprise resource planning to the cloud could be one of the smartest decisions you ever make for your company. However, if you aren’t careful about the details, you could create more problems than you solve. Take the time to plan your enterprise cloud migration and follow these best practices for a successful integration.

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