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Cloud ERP migration – From small process to big part of the solution

from  October 27, 2020 | 4 min read

I’ve always felt that to get the most out of your cloud ERP benefits; you have to go beyond simply moving your existing on-premises ERP solution to a cloud environment. Yes, a well-implemented SaaS approach can inform and enhance your ERP, but if pushed further, it will evolve your approach to other resources within your organization.

What are the biggest cloud ERP advantages?

Chief among these is the time the IT team can reclaim. No longer will they be tied to and consumed by maintaining your on-premise ERP infrastructure. But how can you now use their technical skills to drive the core business, now they're no longer tied up by the day-to-day? And what does this mean for your business?

I wanted to understand the answer to these questions. So with the help of Computing Research, we undertook some detailed research into the impacts of ERP on people and processes.

And we’re discussing that research in our latest webinar, where an expert panel discusses the significance of our findings on the rapidly changing cloud ERP market. In it, we dig deeper into what cloud ERP will mean to tomorrow’s IT teams and whether the benefits of moving hold up. You can watch the full webinar here.

But where do we begin?

My view of the possibilities of ERP cloud migration

For me, the most exciting thing about ERP cloud migration is not what it can do but how it transforms organizations. When you move your solution to the cloud, you elevate your solution and capabilities. But you also free people, relieving them from dealing with a lot of minutiae required by on-premise solutions.

No longer are IT teams maintaining infrastructures. No longer are people doing pointless data entry. The list goes on.

What’s more, this ‘elevation,’ for want of a better phrase, lets you extend the reach of your solution in the cloud. Opening up an enormous breadth of tools and technologies that can help your people use this freedom to drive your end-to-end business processes.

This is amazing when you consider an ERPs impact over its position. Your ERP probably only makes up maybe 25-30% of your systems. But its impact can encompass your entire organization.

And for your people, this elevation also means elevation. Instead of ‘IT guys’ dealing with the day-to-day, they become ‘citizen developers.’ Now free to focus on what the business needs most and bridging these gaps using this extremely powerful low-code/no-code technology.

The cloud takes the handbrake off productivity

I’m not the only one who sees the potential of cloud ERP for organizations. Our other panelist, Richard Arthur Hinton, Head of Technology Solutions at the Natural History Museum, has a lot to say on the subject.

Richard believes, “Modern cloud ERPs can take the handbrake off of productivity. They let you kill off low-value activities like running and maintaining the infrastructure behind systems, freeing up people, and business functions to focus more on their roles' value-add parts.”

For Richard, Cloud ERPs give IT teams the opportunity to become solution brokers within your organization. Helping them educate and inspire people with how technology trends and evolutions can complement the business's demands—putting them at the heart of powering the business's future.

To see what else Richard has to say, watch the full webinar here.

Cloud ERP benefits: Fact or fiction?

But is all this true or just our opinion? What did our research tell us about the impact of the cloud on people and processes?

The research and discussion cover topics including cloud ERP trends like:

  • SaaS ERP maturity: to discover just how far organizations have come on their journeys, how many are still yet to take the dive, and what lies in between.
  • Broader organizational transformation: Is this shift to SaaS ERP part of a more comprehensive transformation of people and processes in the cloud and why.
  • Cloud ERP value add: Looking at whether or not cloud-based ERP solutions deliver transformation across organizations.
  • Challenges vs. Benefits: Looking at whether the expense and challenges involved outweigh the long-term benefits you get when moving to the cloud. And which areas of the business it impacts most.
  • IT Workload Impact: Trying to understand just how much time moving your ERP to the cloud will save your IT teams once fully migrated and how your organization can use this time.
  • Vendor lock-in scenarios: Why is this becoming the new norm, and how locked-in is too locked in? And could the right ERP and API choices be the solution by building in natural ease of migration?
  • The future of IT teams: Analysing how tomorrow's IT teams will go beyond maintenance, helping influence drive core business functions into the future.
  • The SaaS transformation decency: revealing how and why SaaS success dependent on the transformation of processes and strategy across the business.

Get the most from your ERP cloud migration with Unit4

We help you create a better place to work and a better way to work, freeing your people to focus on what matters: their success and yours. Giving you a solution purpose-built for people-focus businesses. A solution that frees you to spend more time doing the work that matters. It’s how work should feel.

See how Unit4 ERP helps you elevate your business with cloud ERP.

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Photo of Claus Jepsen, Unit4 Chief Product and Technology Officer

Claus Jepsen

Unit4 Chief Product and Technology Officer

I’ve been fascinated by technology since age 14: from my first Tandy TRS Model 1, through to developing cloud-based, super-scalable solutions and bringing innovative technologies such as AI, chatbots, and predictive analytics to ERP. We really can now have better, non-invasive and pervasive solutions — to improve People Experience and help us focus on what we truly love.

My spare time is spent with family and friends. I can often be found road biking to stay in shape, and I love experiencing different cultures through traveling.