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Having The Cloud ERP Conversation With Your IT Department

Cloud ERP deployments benefit businesses in a big way. They offer security, agility, and can enable your business’

Cloud ERP deployments benefit businesses in a big way. They offer security, agility, and can enable your business’ adoption of other modern technologies. However, Information Technology (IT) departments can be one of the greatest sources of resistance when it comes to the adoption of cloud ERP solutions.

Cloud ERP Solutions

Business leaders looking to leverage the benefits of cloud ERP solutions don’t just need to do their own research on cloud ERP deployments. They also have to be able to make the compelling case for transition and convert resistance from IT staff. Adopting a Cloud ERP system is a significant change for the business as well as the departments charged with maintaining integral systems. Namely, your IT department. Here are 7 ways to get IT teams on board with cloud ERP software.

1. Understand And Communicate The Need To Take Action

A healthy sense of urgency can move things in the right direction more quickly than one might think. The call to action from the top of the food chain can grab attention and get all of your business’ moving parts moving towards a much-needed change. It takes compelling arguments and exceptional storytelling skills to communicate why the move to the cloud is what your company needs.

Features, functionality, and, most importantly, benefits to how business gets done every day need to be conveyed. Help your staff to understand that if you are not in control of your digital transformation, your competitors will make that choice for you. Doing nothing can leave you in a poor position to capitalize on beneficial tools as well as leave you vulnerable to the shortcomings of traditional ERP deployments. Advancing your business with more advanced technology signals to top talent that your business is doing what it takes to excel in a competitive marketplace.

2. Don’t Short-Sell The Impact Of This Transition

Transition to the cloud isn’t just an infrastructure change, it’s a change in how your company operates both physically and philosophically. A new way of thinking and working can upset the way your IT department has functioned for years, if not decades. Acknowledge it is a huge change and show your teams you are committed to equipping them with the tools they need to thrive in a new environment.

3. Actively Listen To IT Concerns

Spending time with your IT employees and listening to their questions and concerns will impact buy-in considerably. In many ways, it is your IT staff’s job to think about what could go wrong in ay given scenario involving your business’ technology. Here are some examples of what you might hear:

  • “Cloud ERP providers won’t understand how unique and complicated our business is.”
  • “Putting our data in the cloud is way too risky.”
  • “Our compliance regulations won’t allow us to use the cloud.”
  • “What will my job be after we move to cloud-based ERP?”

Show your staff that you are actively listening by taking notes, repeating back what you heard, and commit to coming back with answers at a later time. This effort of active listening and showing that you are genuinely interested may well be the best thing you can do to remedy concerns.

4. Get Help In Addressing Concerns And Answering Questions

You may have the perspective needed to move the business forward, but IT staff have the benefit of boots on the ground when it comes to working with technology hands-on. Their concerns are valid and may appear as imposing roadblocks. However, their intent isn’t to scare you into submission. The challenges created by new technology are those keeping your IT staff up late at night and working long weekends. If you are not equipped to provide answers to their concerns, consider enlisting the help of experts to make your case. An experienced partner, vendor, or consultant can provide credibility to your arguments and lay IT fears to rest with the information they are looking for to confidently follow your lead.

5. Learn From Experience

At this point, your company isn’t the first in your industry to move to the cloud. More and more companies are making the move to cloud ERP, from small and medium business to enterprise-sized organizations. Your industry counterparts can deliver invaluable wisdom when it comes to approaching the problem of how best to make the transition to cloud-based ERP systems. This includes both what to do and what not to do. Alternatively, you can enlist the help of a trusted ERP partner to connect you with reference customers that can share their experiences. Value can often be found in following.

6. Make It Clear What IT Will Look Like Post-Transition

IT arguably has the best vantage of a company’s business processes, not to mention how data and customers “move” through the organization. Cloud ERP is designed to help free them of cumbersome tasks, like troubleshooting. When left unencumbered by the burden of these activities, opportunities for cross-functional business process improvements emerge. This can take the form of helping users leverage technology more effectively or assisting with the cleaning and maintaining important data. Essentially, IT transitions from a non-revenue generating department and one of enabling your revenue-generating business components.

It’s important to understand and communicate that the nature of technology work will change for your IT staff. Though, development, configuration, and break/fix work will still exist—along with the need to manage your relationship and activities with cloud ERP vendors. Help your IT employees understand the tremendous technology and business value they will provide after you’ve made the move to the cloud.

7. Create The Plan. Execute The Plan.

Undertaking digital transformation and owning your company’s technological evolution is wrought with distractions and pitfalls. It can be easy to lose your way along the path to your goal. Without a sound change management strategy, you may find yourself very far from your intended outcome, if you ever reach your destination at all. Set up milestones and clear goals for your IT staff to ensure your project is a success.

Maintaining a team mentality may be your biggest asset of all. It cannot be overstated how important it is to offer consistent support and provide the assistance and advice teams need. Don’t forget to celebrate the little victories along the way to complete your transition to the cloud. With discipline and determination, your project will be a success and you’ll be experiencing the benefits of cloud solutions before you know it.

About Encompass Solutions

Encompass Solutions, Inc. is an ERP consulting firm, NetSuite Solution Provider and Epicor Gold Partner that offers professional services in business consulting, project management, and software implementation. Whether undertaking full-scale implementation, integration, and renovation of existing systems or addressing the emerging challenges in corporate and operational growth, Encompass provides a specialized approach to every client’s needs. As experts in identifying customer requirements and addressing them with the right solutions, we ensure our clients are equipped to match the pace of Industry.

Sean Balogh

About Sean Balogh

A marketing professional working hard to deliver relevant and engaging content to audiences in education, technology, and manufacturing.