One of the first tasks Tom Doria was charged with when he was brought on board as CIO of SeneGence International late last year was to evaluate cloud services for ERP. The global manufacturer and multilevel marketing company for womens cosmetics is experiencing tremendous growth and its platform couldnt match the pace needed for the company to remain competitive, says Doria.
We have been using an ERP package that was designed more for a small or medium business market and didnt have the extensibility and scalability capabilities that we were looking for to run a Fortune 500 company, he says.
Doria is in the throes of evaluating all the major players in the ERP space, but has no doubt the cloud is the future home for SeneGences core business apps.
In fact, while he continues his research, as an interim step, Doria has already moved all the companys Acumatica ERP processes into Microsoft Azure to take advantage of what he calls scalability and survivability.
[ Check out our guide to enterprise resource planning (ERP) and learn the 10 early warning signs of ERP disaster. | Get weekly insights by signing up for our CIO Leader newsletter. ]
He has no illusions that a full-blown migration will be a quick or easy process. Implementing an ERP package is not an instantaneous journey; it takes 12 months or potentially longer. But Doria is convinced it will be well worth it and be a panacea for helping SeneGence address the needs of a high-volume business that operates 24/7/365.
SeneGence is by no means alone. By 2020, the organizational norm will be hybrid ERP environments, where a combination of on-premises and cloud-based models will be deployed, according to PwC.
Gartner projects at least half of large enterprises will successfully implement a software-as-a-service strategy by 2025 and run their core ERP systems in the cloud. The reasons mirror why other workloads and apps are steadily being moved to the cloud: scalability, reliability, elasticity and cost savings, to name a few. IT leaders also say maintaining hardware, software and infrastructure is no longer a core part of their business, and freeing up IT resources enables staff to play a more strategic role in helping their organizations be innovative and competitive.
Businesses need to think differently than they did 20 years ago, explains Michael Guay, research director of ERP strategy at Gartner. When it comes to deciding whether to move an ERP system to the cloud or keep it on-premises, Guay tells clients they need to strike a balance between the functionality I get and how much of a good fit is it, versus going with best of breed, which will make my life more complicated because it means more vendors and more products in the mix.
Its not an either-or proposition, he adds. The reason a lot of people were dissatisfied with their ERP system [was because] the decision was not Should I buy from one or two vendors if you were an Oracle shop you bought from Oracle. Often, that meant you had a functional app that didnt suit the needs of the business, so you had to customize a solution and that leads you down a very bad path.
By contrast, most cloud vendors allow you to extend a suite without having to modify the code, Guay adds.
Human resources systems, for example, are a natural fit for the cloud because there is not a tremendous amount of integration required for them to work with other systems, he says. In that case, an organization might opt to buy its financials and HR systems from the same vendor. Its important to look at the functionality the systems provide and determine whether they have so much data flowing between the two that it makes sense to get the components from the same vendor, or if they can buy standalone systems, he says.
The decision to migrate off-premises was clear-cut for the San Diego Tourism Authority, which had been using Oracles basic ERP system for about 10 years. By 2016, the system needed upgrading, but the non-profit organization didnt have the money, says Isabel Sauerbrey, vice president of information technology and operations at the tourism authority.
At the same time, Sauerbrey was tasked with eliminating $200,000 from her operating budget. After looking at systems from a few vendors, the tourism authority opted to migrate to Oracle Cloud. Between servers and hosting, it was much cheaper [to go to the cloud] than what I had, she says. So it really was a financial benefit to us.
The tourism authority was using Sitecore for its website, which was integrated with its Simpleview CRM system, and IT had also done some customizations. The system was hosted by a third-party managed services provider because they didnt have the infrastructure to manage it internally, she says.
We decided everything finance-related wed move to the cloud and integrate data between the website or the CRM system with the Oracle ERP system, using Oracle APIs, she says. At the same time, IT did a major cleanup. After 10 years you have a lot of stuff you think you need but dont, and we were able to simplify a lot of processes, says Sauerbrey. It was a big project. The [move to the] cloud was probably the easiest part.
The hard part was figuring out what data to get rid of and dismantling a massive website in an effort to simplify it by keeping only the most important components, she says. We cut a lot of the customizations we do that were on the website, and CRM features.
The migration process took between five and six months, and Sauerbrey says there were no surprises along the way. I didnt know what to expect, but to be honest, it went better than I expected. I was concerned about Oracle Financials for the cloud being a pretty new product for us.
But Sauerbrey soon found the system to be user-friendly and says it was easy to get staff transitioned. I spent a lot of time with the users to make sure they were comfortable and listened to them and made sure all their requirements were met, so by the time we went live they were pretty familiar with the product.
The ability to eliminate some of the licenses and outside services IT was using helped Sauerbrey reach her $200,000 in budget cuts. System upgrades are free, she says, which is something the tourism authority couldnt do before. Its a big thing for us because now I have faster access to new features, she says.
Access to the latest and greatest technology also held appeal for Wellesley College, which is using Workday Financial Management, Workday HCM, and Workday Student.
When Ravi Ravishanker, CIO and associate provost, came to the college over six years ago, the technology landscape was not up to snuff, he recalls. One of major recurring themes from constituents was the need for something new. Wellesley College was using Ellucian Banners student information system, which was perceived as not serving the community. Getting access to data was cumbersome because of the way the system was originally configured some 25 years ago. It wasnt the fault of the software, he notes.
Consequently, various departments were going out and purchasing new systems on their own and not thinking about the data security implications, Ravishanker says.
When the time came to upgrade, The choices you have in ERP are limited whether in the cloud or on-premises for higher ed, he notes. The major players, he says, are PeopleSoft, Jenzabar, Banner and Workday. Ravishanker felt the first three were not able to satisfy Wellesleys needs when he started looking, because one of his main strategic goals was to move to the cloud as aggressively as we can.
The reason, he says, was simple. I believe that [ITs] contribution to the institution is in educating my clientele on how to use the technology to improve teaching, learning and research and the administrative functions and not run a small technology company. I dont see value in running a data center and servers.
Wellesley College chose Workday in January 2016. If you take Banner or PeopleSoft, their origins are 30 years ago or slightly more recent than that, and its hard to take old, humongous software and radically change it to adapt to the cloud, he explains. By contrast, Workday evolved in the cloud.
Migrating meant offloading the responsibility of upgrades, maintaining infrastructure, uptime and network security. I dont have to offer that high-level of babysitting that these systems require, he says. We have a small staff and keeping up with all the changes in terms of data security is becoming harder and harder.
That sentiment is echoed by Rodney Nobles, chief information officer and chief security officer at Waukesha County Technical College, who has migrated the schools Banner ERP system. We no longer have to worry about our staff keeping the colleges most critical systems up and running, backups, problems or downtime. While Nobles still worries about outages, its in a different way. Now I have a wealth of talent at my fingertips who possess a wide range of knowledge that I do not have to keep inhouse, nor do I have the financial resources to hire.
Wellesley Colleges HR, payroll and benefits systems went live in Workday on Jan. 1, 2017, and the finance system went live on July 1. The third stage, the student module, will be migrated soon.
Between six and eight IT staff and a consultant have been involved in this very big, once in a lifetime undertaking, he says. So far there is high satisfaction among faculty, staff and students.
There havent been any issues with the migration; in fact, Ravishanker says users have been pleasantly surprised by what they could do now, such as submitting expense reports from a mobile device.
For those contemplating whether to move keep their ERP systems on-premises or move them to the cloud, the IT leaders all suggest figuring out what youre looking to accomplish, understand your processes and listen to users.
Goals vary from organization to organization, and far more important than technology is the notion of change management … because no matter what you do, not everyone in the institution is going to be happy, says Ravishanker. So you have to really understand your culture and work with the people who are excited about the migration, but dont forget about people who are worried and anxious.
CIOs need to do their homework and take the time to really understand what the vendors offer, adds Doria. Many of the large providers that have been strong players in the enterprise space are still not fully mature in their cloud service offers, he says. Often, there is not full-feature parity between their legacy enterprise solutions and the new implementations in the public cloud.
Many of the capabilities promoted by sales teams are still wish-list items, he says, and some platforms may have geographic limitations, so what is available in North America might not be in Europe.
Doria says its also critical to learn about providers disaster recovery and business continuity plans, and understand what they really mean when they talk about uptime and availability, their service level agreements and the type of data centers they utilize.
As a CIO, you have to make a conscious decision on whether you want to be in the data services business and create what the large players are doing, or focus your time and attention and scarce resources on whats strategic to the business, Doria says. To continue operating their own infrastructure would consume more time and resources than would be reasonable and would distract from tactical and strategic initiatives IT needs to do to advance the business, he says.
The initial thought about moving to the cloud is its cost savings, he says. The reality is, its not cost that drove me to look at cloud, but the scalability and agility that comes with it, and the ability to take advantage of mature architecture that is ISO compliant, and that would satisfy my business continuity and security needs.
Error: Please check your email address.
More about 24/7GartnerISOLeaderMicrosoftMicrosoft AzureOraclePeopleSoftSitecoreWorkday
View original post here:
Cloud ERP: The rising alternative to hosting your own – CIO Australia
- Google Cloud IoT Reviews and Pricing - 2018 - July 12th, 2018
- Cloud Hosting Plans - Secure & Scalable Services | HostGator - May 18th, 2018
- Best cloud hosting providers in 2018 | TechRadar - May 14th, 2018
- Cloud Hosting - Cloud - Windows - March 2nd, 2018
- Cloud Servers | Cloud Hosting | Web Hosting - Cirrus Hosting - February 20th, 2018
- Managed Dedicated, Cloud and Hosting Services - February 20th, 2018
- What is Cloud Hosting? | Web Hosting Sun - February 12th, 2018
- Cloud Hosting - Managed Cloud Services - January 9th, 2018
- Cloud Hosting by Perry Hosting - December 11th, 2017
- What Is Cloud Hosting? | GoDaddy - YouTube - December 11th, 2017
- Linux VPS | Best Managed Linux Cloud Hosting - RoseHosting - November 24th, 2017
- Cloud hosting platforms. Part one: Pantheon | ADCI Solutions - November 24th, 2017
- Get to know Linode, the new (big) kid in town - Technical.ly - September 7th, 2017
- 500 Cloud Operators, Managed Service Companies and Hosters to Gather at the 13th Annual Hosting & Cloud ... - Benzinga - September 7th, 2017
- Cloud ERP: The rising alternative to hosting your own - Networks Asia - September 7th, 2017
- Melbourne Server Hosting Renamed to iomart - Web Host Industry Review - September 6th, 2017
- Dean Dorton Technology named to Sage Intacct President's Club, Rookie of the Year and New Partner of the Second ... - The Lane Report - September 6th, 2017
- Microsoft Signs Deal to Put More Apps on Huawei's Cloud in China - eWeek - September 6th, 2017
- Cloud Hosting Providers CommsTrader's UK Channel Guide 2017 - CommsTrader - September 5th, 2017
- Huawei announces Microsoft cloud apps partnership - ZDNet - September 5th, 2017
- Trump Effect Could Cost US Cloud Providers Over $10 Billion: Report - Web Host Industry Review - September 2nd, 2017
- Cost Reduction Strategies on Java Cloud Hosting Services - InfoQ.com - August 30th, 2017
- Cloud Native The Perfect Storm for Managed SD-WAN Services - Network World - August 30th, 2017
- Why 2017 is the Year to Understand Cloud Computing - Business 2 Community - August 28th, 2017
- President Trump Could Cost US Cloud Computing Providers More Than $10 billion by 2020 - The Data Center Journal - August 28th, 2017
- What You NEED To Look For In A Cloud Hosting SLA - TG Daily (blog) - August 27th, 2017
- President Trump Could Cost US Cloud Computing Providers More ... - The Data Center Journal - August 27th, 2017
- State of Cloud - 2017 - Read IT Quik - August 22nd, 2017
- President Trump could cost US cloud computing providers more than $10 billion by 2020 - Bdaily - August 22nd, 2017
- Microsoft No Longer a PC Company with Deals Like Halliburton, Says Credit Suisse - Barron's - August 22nd, 2017
- Did Snap Make a Mistake With Its $3 Billion in Cloud Contracts? - Madison.com - August 21st, 2017
- Right Networks continues focus on tech improvement with new CIO - Accounting Today - August 21st, 2017
- Altinity Provides Cloud Version of ClickHouse on Kodiak Data MemCloud - Markets Insider - August 21st, 2017
- NASA calls on cloud for online eclipse streaming - GCN.com - August 21st, 2017
- Cloud Hosting Reviews and Comparisons | Cloud Hosting Directory - August 19th, 2017
- Free cloud hosting: comparing the top providers offer - August 19th, 2017
- Microsoft Expands HPC Cloud Portfolio With Cycle Computing Acquisition - eWeek - August 19th, 2017
- UC San Diego Health: Moving Its EHR to the Cloud, Strategically - Healthcare Informatics - August 19th, 2017
- Rackspace's first in-house attorney for international moves on - San Antonio Business Journal - August 19th, 2017
- Microsoft Acquires Cycle Computing to Bulk Up its HPC Cloud Services - eWeek - August 18th, 2017
- Massive Potential Attracts International Players to Iran's Cloud Computing Market, Despite Challenges - PR Newswire (press release) - August 18th, 2017
- These Inventors Need To Conquer Cryptocurrency To Change Cloud Computing - Celebrity Net Worth - August 18th, 2017
- 360 Cloud Solutions now offers Adaptive Insights - Accounting Today - August 18th, 2017
- Hackers breach third party cloud vendor TekLinks - Healthcare IT News - August 18th, 2017
- Stronger security and disaster planning fuel healthcare's migration to the cloud - Healthcare IT News - August 16th, 2017
- Hackers hit dermatology practice through cloud vendor - Information Management - August 16th, 2017
- Hackers hit dermatology practice through cloud vendor - Health Data Management - August 15th, 2017
- Unisecure Hybrid Cloud Hosting Introduces New Integration And Collaboration Support. - HostReview.com (press release) - August 14th, 2017
- CenterGrid Names Kevin Westendorf As Chief Technology Officer - Markets Insider - August 14th, 2017
- Earth911.com - Earth911.com - August 14th, 2017
- Commerce Department Plans to Move Cybersecurity to the Cloud - FedTech Magazine - August 13th, 2017
- Snap CEO Evan Spiegel Makes A Case For Slow User Growth - Fortune - August 11th, 2017
- RiverMeadow and WSM Announce Agreement to Facilitate Cloud Migrations - GlobeNewswire (press release) - August 11th, 2017
- Driving operational excellence with your cloud vendors - Network World - August 10th, 2017
- Amazon jumps on Kubernetes bandwagon - ZDNet - August 10th, 2017
- Epic Move: UC San Diego Health Transitions to Cloud Technology - UC San Diego Health - August 10th, 2017
- St. Cloud to Host Summer Sizzler Downtown Art Crawl - WJON News - August 10th, 2017
- Cloud management platforms offer a unified approach to hybrid IT - TechTarget - August 10th, 2017
- CA Health System Begins Cloud-Based Epic EHR Implementation - EHRIntelligence.com - August 10th, 2017
- Home Office seeks partner for AWS switch after current hosting ... - www.channelweb.co.uk - August 9th, 2017
- Planning Your Journey to the Cloud - TV Technology - August 9th, 2017
- Marias Technology adds Microsoft Azure to its Hosting Services - GlobeNewswire (press release) - August 9th, 2017
- IBM CIO leaves for AWS and Big Blue flings sueball to stop him - The Register - August 9th, 2017
- How To Win at Cloud Hosting in a Microsoft-AWS-Google World - Redmond Channel Partner - August 8th, 2017
- Epic Move: UC San Diego Health Transitions to Cloud Technology - Newswise (press release) - August 8th, 2017
- Global Health wins contract to deploy cloud system at Sydney hospital - Proactive Investors Australia - August 8th, 2017
- As Tech Execs Rally Around Kushner, Government Cloud Adoption Still Has Ways to Go - Windows IT Pro - August 8th, 2017
- Heavy clouds in IT world make it rain gold for UPS box manufacturers - The Register - August 8th, 2017
- Project Manager - Amazon, Google, Microsoft Cloud Hosting - Dorking and Leatherhead Advertiser - August 6th, 2017
- From Public Cloud to Hybrid IT Straight From the Horse's Mouth - InfoWorld - August 6th, 2017
- How companies can boost their website in China's clouded market - Cloud Tech - August 4th, 2017
- Cloud computing facility launched - Times of India - August 4th, 2017
- Aerohive Achieves Unmatched Scale and Flexibility in Cloud-Managed Networking - Patch.com - August 4th, 2017
- 'UK cloud services are strong and ready to compete with the world's best tech economies', Cloudreach CEO says as ... - Data Economy - August 3rd, 2017
- Marijuana startup Lemonhaze leverages Bizspark to jump from AWS to Azure - OnMSFT (blog) - August 3rd, 2017
- US retailers increasingly switching to public cloud hosting to free up resources to develop new services - InternetRetailing.net - August 2nd, 2017
- Mozilla's Send is basically the Snapchat of file sharing - The Verge - August 2nd, 2017
- Why Facebook Is Withdrawing WhatsApp from the IBM Cloud - Market Realist - August 2nd, 2017
- You need a cloud exit plan, even for AWS, Google, Microsoft, or IBM ... - InfoWorld - August 2nd, 2017
- Cloud Hosting - Cloud Web Hosting Services - Bluehost - August 1st, 2017