Some lines of business are circumventing IT and going after their own selection of Cloud ERP without a clear understanding of what exactly they are adopting. As vendors are looking to promote various hosting models for ERP, and yes Gartner’s analysts have heard of them all, it is a jungle out there for end users. Let’s take a look at some of the most common offerings:
- Cloud ERP – Vendor takes over the on-premise version and hosts it on behalf of the customers under a consumption licensing model
- Cloud ERP – The newest version of their ERP software, customizable, customer controls updates, and is hosted on Infrastructure as a Service
- Cloud ERP – Vendor claimed they can host the software in their own cloud, but in reality it is a series of virtualized environments on dedicated hardware where adding additional capacity can take weeks, not hours
- Cloud ERP – Vendor partners with a hyperscaler and brings the private cloud into the customer data center to be hosted by the software vendor there
- Cloud ERP – Truly Software as a Service where vendors have total control of the updates and releases
Realistically speaking, most of these hosting models are not truly “Cloud ERP” except the SaaS model. But even with SaaS, the level of integration requires a high level of involvement with IT even if they are not responsible for the configuration and deployment of the changes.
I have had a series of inquiries lately from IT teams asking how they can get involved, or to explain the rationale and reasons why they must be part of the implementation plan. All because business analysts along with their business stream avoided IT. The software industry may have shifted to focus more on faster deployment of enterprise software, but business analysts are not technical experts. At some point, there may be a challenge needing technical help. Such as figuring out why end users can’t access the system due to the Internet Service Provider being down. Or your Cloud Security Access Broker changed some scripts that redirected your connection to somewhere else. Or the inability to monitor external interfaces to other systems like banking, supply chain, or government reporting compliance will go beyond what a business analysts can do.
IT will remain an essential role in deploying and transitioning to the appropriate “Cloud ERP” for the enterprise. Involve them at the beginning to ensure a happy ending to your ERP transformation.