ERP: Moving to the Cloud - Cover

ERP: Moving to the Cloud

While cloud functionality isn’t really new to the ERP space, cloud tools are sparking a lot of energy and making the ERP market a hotbed of buying decisions. Providers are attracted to the idea of improved tools and efficiency.

Those who haven’t yet exchanged on-premises tools for cloud solutions are looking on and asking questions like the following:

  • How could my organization benefit by moving to the cloud?
  • Which cloud ERP tool is most likely to fill my organization’s needs?
  • What can my organization do to make our transition to the cloud as smooth as possible?

The KLAS report entitled ERP 2019: Performance in the Cloud will give provider organizations some answers, and I’ll give a quick look at some of our findings below.

Pros and Cons of the Cloud

Some providers assume that moving from an on-premises tool to the cloud will solve all their problems, and others are plagued by paranoia of a new venture. Current adopters of cloud ERP tools told KLAS about the results that other providers can realistically expect from a migration:

Benefits and Challenges of moving to the cloud

Providers should expect difficulties with any ERP solution they choose to adopt. In considering both sides of the cloud ERP coin, healthcare organizations can decide which route is most likely to lead to success for their employees and patients.

Vendor Strengths and Weaknesses

Many healthcare organizations with on-premises legacy tools know that they want to move to newer cloud tools, and they know such transitions are difficult. Because they’ll be ripping and replacing whether they stay with their incumbent vendor or not, these organizations are taking a close look at tools from more than just their incumbent vendors.

Most providers know about the tools’ respective functionality gaps. Premier doesn’t offer an HR tool, Infor customers are lacking some mobile functionality, and Workday’s relatively new supply chain piece is still immature and isn’t seen as robust. Oracle customers feel they have much of the needed functionality but that the system isn’t very user friendly.

Providers may not be as aware of certain vendor successes. KLAS’ Decision Insights 2019: National Trends report shows that the tools with the highest scores aren’t necessarily the tools considered most often in buying decisions.

For example, Premier often fails to even come up in ERP conversations, but those who use Premier’s tool are very likely to keep it and love it. In addition, Workday is receiving a lot of attention for their technology, but their talents in partnering with customers are mentioned far more often by current customers than potential ones.

The report includes many more details about vendor performance than I can cover here. Which tool leads in overall performance? Which one is delivering the best value? Which vendors are experts at building strong partnerships? What is driving considerations in ERP buying decisions? And which vendors’ tools are part of customers’ long-term plans? Read the full report to find out.

Third-Party Implementations

KLAS has found that providers’ expectations of their vendors are changing, specifically when it comes to implementations. All but one of the vendors discussed in this report use third-party partners to implement their cloud tools—Premier is the exception. My favorite portion of the report discusses providers’ expectations of and experiences with these implementations.

One of our main findings was that providers don’t want the ERP vendor to walk out the door when the implementation partner arrives on the scene. Providers need accountability and help from their ERP vendors throughout an implementation. This involvement can take the form of check-ins, quick problem resolution, and so on.

Some vendors do better than others at providing the expected implementation support. Workday is the only vendor with no interviewed customers reporting that the vendor failed to meet their expectations in this area. While some Oracle and Infor customers expressed satisfaction with vendor representatives, they also complained that these two vendors tend to disengage during implementations.

The good news is that Oracle and Infor have made notable efforts toward creating better relationships with their cloud customers than they have had with on-premises customers in the past. You can learn more details about this improvement and providers’ implementation experiences in the report.

A Space to Watch

As vendors refine their tools and techniques and more providers make the jump to cloud tools, the ERP space will continue to yield intriguing changes. My KLAS colleagues and I will be keeping our eyes and ears open! I look forward to relaying more details from our provider friends in the future.


 Photo Cred: Shutterstock, NicoElNino