Planning Makes Perfect: ERP is Key to Thriving in the Clouds

By Galaxia Martin, Solutions Director

The best place to start when considering ERP migration is to understand and document your motivations for moving to the cloud.

Next, you should establish a working understanding of the apps, databases, and infrastructure in your environment. Taking an inventory before you hit the launch button helps you understand the overall goal for the migration. It is also important to evaluate the potential cost savings for Cloud compared to on-premises. You will want to build a plan for workload priorities, durations, milestones, what resources you will need, and of course funding. Getting the support of your peers and leadership helps.

Along the way, don’t forget to engage experts such as a cloud migration or modernization partner. We’re out there, and we’re here to help you get where you want to go with all your data in order. This will help your organization ensure success.

There are several ways to implement a new ERP system or perform an upgrade. These include phased, parallel, and simultaneous processes. Most organizations opt for a parallel approach to ensure ongoing functionality while migrating deltas.

Whatever the approach, a cross-functional project team that can provide input about different business groups’ requirements and problems is essential for success.  Such a project team typically includes an ERP Architect, a Database Architect, a Cloud Architect, a Network Architect, a Data Analyst, and an Application Developer, as well as Cloud, Network, and Infrastructure Engineers.

ERP migrations always begin with discovery and planning.

Next come:

  • Design
  • Development
  • Testing
  • Deployment
  • Support

Common cloud migration options include:

  1. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) – IaaS is for companies that once housed all their own data center hardware internally and are do a full transfer of their ERP software to the cloud usually in an Infrastructure as a service model. It involves taking the application that your company previously used and shifting the exact same code into the cloud. This is commonly the fastest migration method and creates the least disruption. It allows the company to maintain ownership of their system and move to the cloud quickly.
  2. Software as a Service (SaaS) – SaaS involves outsourcing applications to a cloud service company that specializes in the application itself. The SaaS options reduce the need for on-premises infrastructure and free the staff’s time from IT considerations, so they can focus on other areas of the business.
  3. Application Refactoring. This method involves replicating the organization’s entire ERP application onto cloud software. Because this method allows current applications to run at the same time as new applications, it effectively facilitates a more gradual transition to the cloud. However, because refactoring includes changing the application’s code, it is also the most challenging cloud migration strategy to implement and typically less cost effective. Refactoring always requires additional code changes throughout the application’s lifecycle.

The ERP journey is essentially the same whether you’re migrating from on-premises to an IaaS or a SaaS solution, but SaaS migrations necessitate a bit more detail because of changes to features and functionality in the destination environment. On-premises-to-SaaS migrations may also require additional upgrade paths to even out the process.

If your organization is considering cloud migration, CONTACT US today and see what ERP can do for you!