Higher education organizations encounter distinct challenges when migrating to cloud-based ERP systems. Unlike the commercial sector, which has rapidly adopted cloud ERP, higher education institutions face unique hurdles, such as the presence of legacy applications that rely on client-server network architecture and are usually housed in on-premises data centers.
When determining which components of the ERP stack should be migrated to the cloud or substituted with cloud-based alternatives, there are four critical factors higher education institutions should take into consideration—cost, timing, security, and software innovation.
Cost: Determine the Cost and ROI of the ERP Cloud Solution for Your Institution
What are the existing license and lease obligations associated with the institution’s current on-premise or non-cloud applications? What new costs are associated with cloud-based applications? Conducting a thorough cost analysis will be instrumental in determining whether a new budget will be required to support the decision to migrate to an ERP cloud or if there may be an opportunity to reallocate funds elsewhere within the institution.
It is also essential to identify the qualitative benefits of remaining with the status quo as well as migrating to the ERP cloud. For example, migrating applications to the ERP cloud typically enable the technical staff currently managing manual processes to focus on more strategic tasks such as employee retention. Not only do ERP cloud solutions help new employees onboard and get up-to-speed quickly compared to legacy labor-intensive systems, but they also can improve employee retention rates by supplying key metrics and predictive analytics that can identify employees at risk of leaving the organization.
Timing: Plan Your ERP Cloud Migration Appropriately for Your Institution’s Needs
Which applications need to be migrated to the new ERP cloud first? Which applications cannot be migrated at all and must remain either on the legacy system or be replaced? And what is the ideal order for the application needing to be migrated? Professionals experienced in ERP cloud migration projects, like Attain Partners, can help your institution address these questions to ensure a smooth and timely migration.
Security: Maintain Your Institution’s Data Security
Security is of utmost importance when migrating data to a new system. It is imperative you perform a complete security analysis in conjunction with your ERP cloud migration to ensure that the same level of access should be assigned to the new cloud applications. If your staff isn’t equipped to conduct this level of security analysis accurately, hire an expert—you won’t regret it.
Software Innovation: Choose an ERP Cloud that Matches Your Institution’s Desire for Innovation and Change Management
When hundreds or thousands of organizations all share the same software code line (as is common in multi-tenant cloud solutions), it allows the software providers to innovate much more rapidly. Large cloud providers such as Workday, Amazon, and Salesforce are designed this way to serve the masses from a single code line while dedicating considerable resources to providing innovation in features and functionality.
This, in turn, places a demand on the customers to digest and adopt the new features. Your higher education staff should be prepared to align with this regular update cadence, which may necessitate more frequent training and change management activities.
Successful ERP Cloud Migration Relies Heavily on Your Institution’s Preparation and Expert Resources
Higher education institutions can benefit from a thorough analysis of their solution costs, timing and order of data migration, data security needs, and the organization’s readiness to move to an ERP cloud. Attain Partners specializes in this type of consulting, assisting our clients with Cloud Readiness Assessments, roadmaps, PMO and Change Management support, and ERP deployment process analysis.
Learn More – Enterprise Resource Planning
As your institution begins the journey of selecting a new ERP, Attain Partners understands the importance of delivering the new system on time and within budget. We have the knowledge, experience, and technical expertise to guide you and your team through the implementation process for lasting success.
Discover how Attain Partners can help make the most out of your ERP system. Learn more about our services here.
About the Author
Wesley Bertch has an extensive background in both legacy on-premise and cloud ERP. He was an early cloud ERP adopter and has worked with most ERP vendors’ systems as a customer, alliance partner, and employee. Mr. Bertch is a Principal at Attain Partners, where he provides consulting services to the higher education, state and local, and nonprofit sectors.
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