CFOs, VPs, and other leaders are showing increased interest in using cloud applications: 76% of respondents to Oracle’s 2018 ERP Trends survey said they have plans to run ERP in the cloud within the next two years.
What’s behind this shift? The cost of keeping on-premises, legacy applications running has become unacceptable. As Oracle CEO Mark Hurd said at Collision 2018, “The bigger part of this movement to the cloud, which I think is an irresistible movement, is driven by the fact that customers can’t afford to keep spending the money they’re spending. They’ve got to go back to simple, go back to easy.”
Some finance teams are packing light and taking small steps, putting a single process in the cloud. At the other end of the spectrum are end-to-end migrations, moving all finance applications and processes to the cloud. But how do you take that first step, and on which path? This two-part blog series will provide a five-step guide to a successful Oracle ERP Cloud implementation project.
The planning phase is where you will create a project definition, form teams, lay out project design, roll out the project, and launch the project’s communication strategy. It’s important to understand that IT and finance have to act as true partners in the project. Among finance leaders, 73% said closer CIO/CFO alignment has become critical to achieving finance transformation.
During Step 1, expect to realize benefits faster than you would for on-premises projects. Smaller cloud projects—particularly hybrid efforts—move much quicker because there are no capital expenditures that require multiple approvals. And the cloud eliminates many of the tasks that are built into on-premises application projects, such as hardware requisitioning, software installation, and custom code testing.
Once the preparatory work is done, the implementation phase kicks off with five core activities, collectively referred to as CIDER: configuration, integration, data, extensions, and reports. This represents most of the project workload, but tapping into Oracle resources lightens the load and paves the way for a smoother transition.
The biggest psychological impediment to cloud migration projects usually manifests during the implementation phase. Typically, organizations have spent a great deal of their resources on customized code. Letting go of the need to customize can be difficult. But that custom code comes with big costs—both in dollars and in impeding flexibility. By following best practices, organizations can get what they need with just small tweaks.
Once the project is implemented, you will need to check the accuracy and completeness of the work against project requirements. Testing should confirm:
When the project team is satisfied with the verification, present the project to the key stakeholders, business units, and executives identified in the project plan, and get sign-off. It’s vitally important to engage the business process owners at this stage, because they can become champions for best practices as you move forward.
A great deal has been accomplished in the first three phases, and now it’s showtime. In the next blog post in this series, we’ll discuss the Prepare stage, where you get ready for production, and the final Delivery phase. Be sure to invite us to the optional Party phase that follows.