Tips for Implementing a Cloud ERP Software Solution
What is ERP software?
Enterprise Resource Planning software, more often referred to simply as ERP software, is a business software solution used by companies to:
- Improve the efficiency of operations
- Boost employee productivity
- Perform in-depth analysis of company data
ERP software is able to provide its benefits primarily by centralizing company data into a single computer database. By doing so, ERP software is able to process company data as a whole rather than in fragments spread across different departments.
Why companies should implement a Cloud ERP software solution
ERP software solutions generally are developed to be either:
- Hosted on premises on company-owned computer servers
- Hosted in the Cloud on servers owned by a Cloud hosting provider
For virtually all companies, regardless of the industry in which the company does business, a modern, Cloud-based ERP software solution is preferable to traditional, on-premises ERP software.
Here are a few benefits that Cloud-based ERP software offers compared to on-premises ERP software:
Lower upfront costs
With Cloud-based ERP software solutions, companies do not have to make a significant upfront investment in expensive IT hardware. The IT hardware needed to run the ERP software is owned and maintained by the Cloud hosting provider.
With ERP software developed to be run on-premises, companies need to invest in enterprise-grade servers and other IT hardware, including networking equipment and storage solutions. Further, there is the ongoing expense of maintaining this hardware.
Cloud-based ERP software solutions are built from the ground up to be accessible over the Internet. They are hosted in the Cloud, which means the ERP software can be used from anywhere in the world where an Internet connection is available.
Traditional, on-premises ERP solutions are not designed to be used over the Internet. As a result, to make the ERP software available to employees working remotely, companies must implement cumbersome technologies such as virtual private networks (VPNs).
Easily scalable resources
In the contemporary business world, demand can change rapidly. Companies using ERP software need to be able to scale resources easily and quickly in response to changes in demand.
Computing resources for Cloud-based ERP software can be scaled up or down with just a few mouse clicks or keystrokes. For example, additional data storage space can be added instantly when existing storage space is running low.
With on-premises ERP software, to scale up resources, additional IT hardware must be purchased. If additional data storage space is needed, hard disk drives (HDDs) or other storage devices will need to be purchased, installed, and configured.
Tips for ERP software implementation
Companies looking to get started with a Cloud-based ERP software solution are wise to follow these tips:
Carefully develop an ERP software implementation plan
Like with any other important business project, a comprehensive plan should be developed before the ERP software implementation process begins.
While there does not exist a single correct way to develop an ERP software implementation plan, most ERP software implementation plans will include the following phases:
- Discovery, to understand the goals of implementing ERP software.
- Planning, to determine what tasks need to be completed in order for the goals of implementing ERP software to be achieved.
- Development, to tailor the ERP software and processes specifically for the company implementing the ERP software.
- Testing, to work the bugs out of the ERP software solution configuration.
- Deployment, to put the ERP software into active daily use by company employees.
- Support, to make sure employees are able to take advantage of all of the benefits that ERP software has to offer.
Create a team responsible for carrying out the ERP software implementation plan
ERP software implementation is best handled by a dedicated team. This team should take full ownership of the responsibility to make sure the ERP software implementation plan is properly and fully executed.
The ERP software implementation team should include employees who will be using the ERP software on a daily basis. These employees know best what is needed out of the ERP software solution and what functionalities in the ERP software would be beneficial.
Establish realistic time frames
When implementing ERP software, it is important that milestones, and time frames for achieving the milestones, be established. These milestones and time frames must be realistic.
One common reason why companies experience trouble when implementing ERP software solutions is because “feature creep” sets in, that is, features keep being developed and added, resulting in the project never being completed.
Be patient to realize all of the benefits of using ERP software
Cloud-based ERP software solutions can significantly transform business operations. Ultimately, these transformations will result in higher efficiency and productivity. But, it can take employees a while to get familiar with an ERP software solution.
Patience should be exercised before positive results from implementing ERP software are seen.
Work with ERP software implementation experts
ERP software implementation experts can help to ensure that an ERP software implementation goes as smoothly as possible.
Experts at implementing ERP software, such as S-Metric, have the experience needed to successfully guide companies through all phases of an ERP software implementation plan.