In his recent article, Are we back to the ‘70s yet? , Nigel looked at the historical context for Cloud Migration concluding that, although there are some immediate similarities with the old style ‘computer bureau’ firms of the past, there are also significant differences.
Enterprise technology solutions such as ERP/HCM/CRM/EAM have gone full circle from restricted capabilities limited by technology – through customisable functionality driven by the customer’s ways of working – to optimal functionality enabled by millions of implementations and user experiences. Underpinning this transition is the move to Cloud.
But what about my customisations that are critical to our business, you may ask.
Today, Cloud Service providers supporting ERP applications offer considerably more scope for systems support and tailoring a business solution around a standardised industry template than in the past.
Earlier versions of ERP software had very limited configuration and extensibility capabilities, but modern systems have been driven by several decades of customer demands, market competition and hefty sums spent on R&D. The earlier need for additions/customisations to core functions has now significantly reduced and there is a significant demand for standard solutions.
The Main Issue
Many business mindsets are still locked into ‘customisation’ of technology solutions to ‘reflect the way we work’. This leads to complex, diverse and often unpredictable costs to maintain and operate solutions. Having dug this hole many are entrenched in a customised nightmare and, when their vendor announces that their support for the platform will soon end, many feel betrayed that the promise of being looked after is no longer available. An offer of migrating to the latest Cloud version of the software is often not considered based on the merits of doing so.
In effect, servicing the technical debt of prior decisions becomes more expensive, more reliant on extended support policies of the vendors and creates a high level of perceived risk when considering moving away from an older platform.
Is there are way of moving forward with our mission critical enterprise solutions that can overcome this dilemma?
The solution lies in taking a different perspective of your enterprise solution. Many customers have already made this step – to embrace a Cloud solution that, based on decades of development, now reflects the best practice solution for vertical markets.
Why is this the case? The benefits from most technology solutions come from using that solution efficiently and effectively, not in having some small technical differences with respect to your competitors. Using standard industry vertical solutions frees up an organisation to compete in other areas: few of your customers are concerned with the structure or elegance of your IT solutions. Most are only concerned when it fails. Also, better value can be obtained from using external data analysis tools to better understand your customer base and the profitability of each line of business. Finally, the solution will be cheaper to maintain and use… and will be upgraded as the market demands new functions.
The main difference is that the software supplier will have paid for the R&D rather than your business.
So, what is the first step? K2CP have recently launched a market wide Cloud Migration survey. This is being sent to all types of roles in the ERP solutions sector – employees of businesses, IT implementation consultants, members of IT departments, etc. – in addition to organisations on obsolete software platforms now dependent on ‘extended’ or ‘sustaining’ support. For all of those who respond and wish to receive the results we will make available the core findings.
Having provided your views, you will receive the aggregate results of all of those responding at the end of the survey period, which is currently set for March 31st. A less detailed summary of the results will also be shared via the K2CP web site once the survey period is closed.
There will also be the option of contacting us – at your convenience – to discuss how your views differ from those in similar roles and/or industry sectors.
The link to our survey is here