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Benefits and Challenges of Implementing Cloud-Based Business Information Systems (Part 2)

Successful (and not so successful!) Implementations.

This is the second in a two-part series looking at the benefits to businesses, along with the challenges, of moving to a cloud-based SaaS, ERP solution.

In part one of this series, we looked at the factors organisations should consider when choosing which cloud-based business information system (BIS) or enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution to implement.   Missed part one?   Read it here.

But what are the most common challenges when introducing a new ERP system and how do these differ from one company to another?

ERP Mini Case Study – Workday

Workday is an all-in-one ERP package that’s designed for medium to large businesses. It’s especially useful when it comes to organisations which operate from multiple locations, including features like payroll management, human resource management (HRM), talent management, and data analysis. Workday Human Capital Management (HCM) integrates several HR functions into a single, data-driven platform.

It’s one of the most powerful solutions in the market, but not always the easiest to implement – and the implementation period can be longer than with some rival solutions. One of the most commonly reported issues with the software relates to data migration and report management, including problems like a mismatch of data and information, a loss of data points, or difficulty with uploading data in certain formats.

The well-known online graphic design company, Canva, has reportedly had great success with Workday. The company implemented Workday HCM, and have listed benefits following this, such as better insight into workforce monitoring and planning, faster deployment of talent programmes, improved workforce and engagement monitoring, and access to data-driven insights that boost both human capital and business strategies.

On the other hand, more than one educational establishment has faced complications with the implementation of Workday. When the system was brought in to replace the previous outdated system at Berkeley University – primarily to handle payroll, HR, and finance –  there were a number of issues with data errors, reimbursements, and incorrect payments. Iowa State University and McGill University also reported similar issues.

The Reasons for ERP Failure

These kinds of issues are not unique to Workday, and the most commonly reported reasons for failure in ERP implementation are:

  • Not tying the chosen ERP solution into your long-term business planning.
  • Falling foul of ‘shiny new object” syndrome, and choosing a solution based on the buzz surrounding it rather than suitability.
  • Not taking into account the opinions of the workforce, or ensuring everyone is on board and in the loop.
  • Not delegating responsibility for management of the system and its implementation, or not prioritising training and ‘aftercare’.

In the case of the problems in the University implementations mentioned above, a lack of preparation and training for employees was cited as one of the main contributory factors.

The Benefits of Implementing an ERP System

The main thing that makes ERP an asset for many companies is the simple fact that when properly implemented, they will make your business run more efficiently by unifying and protecting your information and processes, as well as offering increased visibility and data-driven insight.

ERP software allows access to every important process in your business, by making data from every department easily viewable, and can help with reporting and planning and, if relevant to your industry, with supply chain management.

One of the biggest advantages of these solutions is their ‘modular’ structure, allowing for flexibility and customisation when choosing and ‘building’ your solution, and straightforward upscaling (or downscaling) to suit your changing business needs.

However, perhaps the most commonly reported advantage by businesses amongst the disruption of 2020 lies in the improvements that these cloud-based systems offer in communication and collaboration across the company, despite employee location.

Next Steps

At Monro Consulting, we can help you choose and implement your ideal cloud-based ERP solution. We aren’t tied to any one service provider, so we can offer you truly impartial advice that is 100% in the best interests of your organisation!

Take a look at this case study detailing how we helped a leading examination provider implement a new cloud-based ERP system on time and budget, or see how we helped one of the UK’s leading Health and Wellbeing support services firms procure a new cloud-based IT service. Each case had its own issues and challenges, which are covered in detail.

Are you considering a transformation like this for your business? Please feel free to get in touch for a chat about your options, even if you’d just like a sounding board for your ideas.