Guest Post: Doug Johnson, VP Product Management at Acumatica
IDC’s guide offers recommendations from organizations that have experienced SaaS ERP implementations. Their advice can help you successfully get through your own ERP evaluation, selection, and implementation process.
IDC, the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services and events for the information and technology industry, has released a new PeerScape report: “Practices for Implementing SaaS and Cloud Services.” In it, IDC reveals what 60 line-of-business and IT buyers they surveyed had to say about cloud ERP implementations now that a decade has passed since they first began.
Advice on ERP evaluation, ERP selection, and ERP implementations
Every business that has chosen a cloud and SaaS solution went through the step-by-step process found in the ERP implementation life cycle. They started with ERP research, asking themselves such questions as: What features of an ERP system do we need to get the functionality and value out of our investment? Why would SaaS and cloud ERP software be the best choice for our business needs? And will cloud ERP really benefit our organization in the long run?
Finding that the answers pointed to the efficacy of SaaS ERP systems, they took the next steps of ERP evaluation and ERP software selection. Finally, they dove into the ERP implementation process.
This new study by IDC offers CIOs and other business executives three best practices for cloud ERP implementations. The best practices were gleaned from 60+ companies that have been through their own successful implementations.
IDC’s report tackles the challenges of:
- Selecting the right SaaS and implementation partners
- Achieving smooth cloud implementations
- Addressing post go-live issues that may arise
The report then offers peer-inspired guidance. Let’s take a brief look at an example of one of these challenges:
IDC points out that cloud and SaaS solutions were initially encouraged as a way of reducing application costs. Some organizations found this to be true while others, says IDC, found the solutions to be “more expensive than an on-premises equivalent,” but the value was (and is) found in the agility and functionality of cloud and SaaS technology.
Once an organization decides to implement a SaaS application based on these virtues, IDC says business-wide transformation is needed to avoid creating a new “island of innovation.” The challenge, then, is knowing how to fully utilize the SaaS application to help produce this transformation.
IDC also delves into why ERP implementations fail and how to prevent this failure, which includes having a SaaS and cloud-enabled package with integration capabilities and taking the needs of your employees into account as you progress through your ERP implementation. More detailed information and advice for dealing with these challenges are in IDC’s report.
Successful SaaS ERP Implementations
“One of the joys of SaaS and cloud is the continuous flow of new features and functionality being pushed out by the vendors. If you stay up to date, you get new, potentially value-creating functionality delivered into your organization far faster than you would with most traditional software packages,” writes IDC.
The benefits of SaaS and cloud ERP software are numerous. SaaS adopters who spoke with IDC recommend taking a proactive approach beginning with the sales cycle and continuing throughout the implementation and rollout of new releases and features.
This is also great advice regarding IDC’s “Practices for Implementing SaaS and Cloud Services” report. The sooner you download it, the better your chance of successfully navigating SaaS ERP implementations and maximizing your investment.