With the implementation of cloud ERP comes a whole host of internal decisions and issues that need to be overcome. What can put off many smaller companies in particular is the additional stress and organisational changes implementing cloud ERP into their company will bring.

The advantages cloud ERP can add to most businesses is clear but what are the key stages to cover to ensure it is set-up correctly? Below are ten steps to successfully migrate to a cloud ERP system.

Collective planning

Once you have identified the need to move to cloud ERP, all the stakeholders should be brought together to discuss the next steps. This will include deciding on the software to purchase, the implementation process, transferring of all existing data and how to deal with any issues that may arise so they can be overcome quickly and effectively.

System analysis

Not all IT applications will be suitable for the cloud and these need to be identified at an early stage. This also involves assessing the pros, cons and potential threats of moving to a cloud ERP system. Process mapping will enable you to find the applications most suitable for transferring, making a more streamlined system that is more compatible with cloud ERP software.

Choosing the right supplier

There are a wide range of cloud ERP solutions on the market and the challenge is finding the right one that best suits your needs. Not only should you ensure the supplier is a certified Cloud solution provider but test the softare matches the organisation scale, provides flexibility, is cost effective and has acceptable workload standards that meet your expectations.

Manage internal resources

Migrating to cloud ERP means the existing structure of your current IT set-up is due for a big change. What this means in real terms is decisions have to be made about what to do with hardware and software presently in use once the transfer occurs. How much of it can still be put to use with the cloud ERP and what will be left remaining? This will not only let you control budget and expenditure but also ensure a smooth handover to the cloud.

Plan the next steps

There will be a number of steps and stages to pass through before the cloud ERP is up and running successfully, and planning them in detail with clear deadlines will make it a lot easier to successfully achieve. Wherever possible try to have alternative solutions available as not everything will go according to plan A. Cloud ERP’s can also be heavily customised before implementation, so it is important to discuss this with the supplier beforehand, rather than paying for these changes at a later date, creating further complications.

Create back-up solutions

Before the transfer to cloud ERP has occurred, it makes sense to back-up your data to avoid any big mistakes. This is because once implemented, the data will no longer be stored on your local servers but securely and safely in the cloud. Ensure your ERP supplier is able to not only back-up but also data batch and replicate. This is not a stage to rush through, as the movement of data is one of the most important steps to get right.

Installation of the system

The IT infrastructure needs to be prepared for the arrival of cloud ERP before going live. This will mean running as many tests as necessary to ensure it provides the most efficient functionality and there are no significant issues that affect performance levels.

System monitoring

Once the changeover has occurred you will need to keep a close eye on how the cloud ERP is performing. A plan to cover this should have been identified at an early stage to ensure technical hitches are addressed and evaluated as soon as they appear. This should also include not only the management but those who will be using the system on a regular basis, creating a varied range of reports to form a bigger picture of overall performance.

The full handover

With all of the above covered, the time will have arrived to fully move to the cloud ERP system. Using the supplier’s advice this can be done gradually rather than all at once, making it easier for the staff members to take on board. Training should also become a key part of this process to ensure the full benefits of the system are felt within the organisation as quickly as possible.