Tweet it:'ERP tools are evolving. As firms make the leap to cloud, IDC’s Martin Sundblad offers his advice for cloud migration success.'
As margins tighten and clients expect more flexible, responsive services, many professional services (PS) firms are looking for new ways to optimize processes and increase efficiency.
In their search, they often start to consider if moving core Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and production applications to the cloud can help solve their challenges. While the ‘why’ of cloud is increasingly clear for firms, the ‘how’ is not. To simplify the cloud journey and share migration best practices, we recently hosted a webinar alongside Martin Sundblad, Research Manager at IDC Nordics.
In the webinar, Martin shares his extensive knowledge about how PS firms can master the cloud journey to achieve maximum return on investment. In the meantime, this blog will offer a high-level look at some of the key points to consider when adopting a cloud ERP.
Professional service firms – how do you drive your transformation?
PS firms are a diverse group with different goals, focuses, and unique sets of clients. Yet one thing binds them together: an emphasis on optimizing solutions to create a more effective, efficient workforce. A recent IDC Industry Acceleration survey found that 70% of PS providers plan on investing in agile work environment solutions. The message is clear: workforce optimization and transformation are the key priorities for organizations this year.
As firms look to their ERP and production applications to better allocate resources and improve their agility, they find a solution set reaching a tipping point. These firms face a decision: keep core systems of record on-premises, or pursue a more agile, efficient future with cloud ERP.
The destination is set, but which route should you take?
Surveys conducted by IDC in the past have shown that PS leaders are comfortable dealing with cloud solutions. We already see this in the financial and resource tracking cloud solutions many firms have been using for years now.
However, when it comes to ERP, only around half of PS organizations use a cloud system. While this is expected to grow in the coming years, the fact is that right now, a slim majority will be planning their initial journey to cloud ERP. And they’ll need to navigate a complex technology ecosystem and carefully consider how the move will transform their processes and strategy.
The four stages of the cloud ERP journey
IDC recommends firms in the PS industry focus on four key elements when planning their cloud journey:
1. Cloud assessment
In the initial stage, firms should consider whether they need to adopt cloud in the first place and which parts of their IT estate will see the biggest benefit from a move off-premise.
2. Cloud planning
Next, the goal is to decide how your firm will use the cloud – What will go to public cloud, what would work better in a private environment, and is there a need for a hybrid cloud approach?
3. Cloud migration
With a plan in place, PS firms can begin migrating workloads to the cloud, and integrating cloud systems with other resources. During this stage, you’ll migrate, integrate, test, and finally go live with your cloud solutions.
4. Cloud use
Once your system is live, your people will start using it day-to-day, but this doesn’t mean your work is done. From here, it’s vital you continue optimizing cloud usage and costs to get maximum value over the long term.
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Four steps, one missing piece of the puzzle
IDC offers a general cloud journey roadmap through its four steps. While this may quell some concerns about the move to cloud ERP, it doesn’t break down every barrier standing in the way of PS firms.
In particular, IDC’s industry survey found that 45% say the lack of a solution dedicated to the industry is their most significant barrier to replacing their ERP.
Rather than settle for a generic solution, thousands of PS firms like yours are breaking down that barrier by adopting Deltek’s cloud solutions. Deltek provides cloud-based ERP specifically designed to tailor the unique needs of professional services and project-based organizations like yours.
Plan your cloud path – and walk it with the right partner
Martin makes a clear case for PS firms finding success in the cloud – provided they follow IDC’s four steps to successful cloud migration.
Watch the full webinar to discover how PS firms can chart a course to the cloud. You’ll also hear a real world case study from Xlent Consulting Group, who were able to transform their operations by moving to the cloud.
‘To learn more about how Deltek is helping PS firms like yours successfully move to the cloud, get in touch with a Deltek cloud expert.
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