Accelerate speed-to-value with cloud services
Modern cloud services such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) and enterprise performance management (EPM) solutions enable organizations to meet the immediate needs for planning, budgeting and forecasting – with almost no learning curve.
The Hackett Group® helps companies implement the world’s leading cloud applications to improve efficiency, increase collaboration, reduce costs of operations and achieve greater visibility into accounting, procurement, supply chain and project management activities.
Benefits of cloud services
Cloud services provide enterprises with several key advantages.
On-premises platforms come with a sizable upfront investment, high costs for annual upgrades and significant downtime. Cloud services allow companies to implement the latest software faster, more cheaply and easily, with the option to increase the number of users at a fraction of the cost of on-premises versions.
Cloud ERP and EPM solutions ensure that finance teams are continually working with the latest functionality as they seek to stay competitive and reduce time for budgeting, forecasting, and planning.
Cloud service providers are constantly adding new features like predictive analytics and visualization to ERP and EPM solutions.
Cloud platforms allow a broader base of users in the business to use services and participate in planning processes.
Implementing cloud services with The Hackett Group
The Hackett Group is an intellectual property-based strategic consultancy and leading enterprise business benchmarking firm, helping global companies implement best practices for digital transformation. From intelligent automation and advanced analytics to zero based budgeting and cloud services implementation, our offerings provide dedicated expertise that helps companies achieve world-class performance.
To help clients deploy cloud services, we recommend following five-step process.
- Define a vision. A successful implementation requires clearly defined objectives that are accepted within the organization. Articulating a clear future-state vision for how cloud applications will be incorporated into the broader system strategy will help guide efforts over the next two to three years.
- Assess readiness. To prepare for a cloud migration, organizations must identify critical requirements, survey existing legacy applications and integration needs, identify criteria for vendor selection and align the list of finalists to a defined business case.
- Consider the trade-offs. By comparing functionality and assessing operational risk between cloud services vs. on-premises solutions, organizations can identify gaps and consider whether a blended adoption model may be the best path.
- Develop a roadmap. A well-designed roadmap will ensure that projects are launched based on a realistic set of expectations about timelines, resource requirements and the involvement of the business.
- Assemble the team. Cloud migration projects require senior sponsorship of a dedicated project team that comprises both business and IT specialists. Executive sponsorship can provide help when a process hits a roadblock or gets tangled in interdepartmental politics.
Based on our extensive benchmarking research, The Hackett Group recognizes six emerging best practices when implementing cloud services such as ERP and EPM.
Implement with a hybrid approach
Our research suggests that a hybrid approach may best suit the implementation of cloud services. A traditional waterfall approach may be used in the requirements phase as the project team works closely with IT and business users to define requirements and decide which modules to implement first. From that point, it’s often more effective to shift to an agile mode with quick cycles of configuration, piloting and implementation. The result is faster time to benefit.
Combine internal and external resources
Because ERP cloud services are relatively new, most companies lack extensive knowledge or familiarity with technology. Companies may benefit from working with a small group of external consultants with previous experience implementing cloud applications, while allowing in-house staff to accumulate invaluable experiences working on the initial phases of the project.
Optimize process design
Moving to cloud services can be more than just a technology switch. Cloud-based ERP and EPM systems modernize the way people work, making the migration to the cloud a perfect time to initiate other changes, automate workflows, and redesign processes.
Review reporting practices
Migrating ERP or EPM to the cloud creates an opportunity to review current reporting content and cadences. Many organizations produce the same reports for years without stopping to consider the best format, users’ needs or the value of the information provided. A cloud migration creates the chance to reduce the number of reports, call out the most important key performance indicators, and redesign reporting to tailor content and cadence to the preferences of each audience.
Enhance master data management capabilities and governance
A cloud ERP or EPM implementation is an opportunity to improve master data management and governance. Clear governance ensures that processes for changing or updating data and calculations follow a specific workflow and approval process.
Establish a comprehensive organizational change-management plan
A well-defined organizational change-management framework is critical to the success of cloud services. An early and clear indication about changes to roles and responsibilities can alleviate users’ concerns and ensure sufficient time for training.
Why choose The Hackett Group?
As a leading global strategy and operations consulting firm, The Hackett Group has particular expertise in performance and process benchmarking and business process change. Our acclaimed business benchmarking and best practices database is built with data and insight gleaned from more than 25,000 benchmarking studies with the world’s leading businesses. From smart automation and operational cost reduction to business partnering and data and analytics, we offer a broad array of capabilities, solutions, technologies, and exclusive assets designed to help customers understand and achieve world-class performance.
We bring more to the table than just understanding how to configure business applications. We can present insightful benchmarking data, as well as proven intellectual property, that helps to maximize return on technology investments and pursue world-class performance.
We know financials
Our team includes CPAs, former controllers, and financial experts with the knowledge and ERP application experience to establish an effective solution that is tailored to the business.
Built on the experience of our consultants, our rapid deployment methodologies enable companies to get cloud-based applications up and running in a matter of weeks.
What are cloud services?
Cloud services are software, platforms or infrastructure that are hosted in the cloud by third-party providers and made available to companies or individuals via the internet.
What are the benefits of cloud services?
By relying on cloud services rather than on-premises solutions, companies can significantly reduce technology costs and costs of ownership. Cloud services can be scaled easily and cost-effectively. By providing continuous access to the latest features, cloud services enable organizations to maintain agility and competitiveness.
What is The Hackett Group?
The Hackett Group (NASDAQ: HCKT) is an intellectual property-based strategic consultancy with expertise in enterprise benchmarking and best practice digital transformation for global companies. The Hackett Group enables digital transformation through a wide range of services, including workflow automation, analytics, and implementation of leading enterprise cloud services and applications.