Here are five major drawbacks to moving existing ERP systems to a hosted solution:
1. Long-Term Costs are High—and Lead to Complex Budgets
The “lift and shift” model of cloud migration is a lot like storing your car in another person’s garage. They’ll (hopefully) keep it safe from break-ins, but if the car needs maintenance or repairs, that’s still your responsibility.
Moving existing ERP systems to private or hosted data centers leaves government organizations in a similar situation. After paying hefty costs to do the migration, they’re charged for ongoing maintenance, including system and software updates and customizations.
An enterprise management cloud removes those costs. It uses a subscription model, which means government organizations see stable, predictable costs and don’t need to worry about budgeting for regular maintenance or upgrades. And, because it’s delivered as an ongoing service, the vendor can deliver continuous and helpful innovations that result in more value over time.
Another significant cost in legacy ERP systems, even when in a private or hosted model, is in updating custom configurations to work with each upgrade. In the enterprise management cloud model, the system is configured to meet your needs, and each configuration is preserved as the system evolves.
These are huge benefits for organizations working within a tight budget or with stringent approval processes. Rather than letting systems fall three or four updates behind while they wait for funding, HR and finance teams receive continually updated technology as part of their subscription fee, while ensuring that business processes don’t require updating to maintain compatibility.
2. User Experience Stagnates
While the conversation about digital user experience normally focuses on customers, it has a big impact on employees, as well. Roughly half (47%) don’t believe their organization pays attention to people’s needs when introducing technology, according to a recent PwC survey of 12,000-plus employees. And only one-third of employees say they’re satisfied with the technology experience available to perform their most important work.
In addition to fueling frustration and burnout, outdated ERP systems can create major roadblocks for HR and finance teams. As these systems stagnate, they limit worker productivity—while up-to-date systems that work like the apps people use in their personal lives can offer significant time savings. In a world that demands speed and flexibility, cloud-based applications give people the tools they need to work quickly, wherever they might be.
And this accessibility helps employees manage their own information and careers. On an older system, employees may not be able to access personal information and documents, such as W-2s or benefits information, or request time off. Cloud-based applications make it easy for people to securely self-serve on many tasks—and that added convenience can do a lot to drive employee satisfaction, and can also help employees find new learning and growth opportunities across the organization, and ultimately, help with talent recruitment and retention.
3. Reporting Is Complex and Time-Consuming
In a fast-paced, data-driven environment, HR and finance teams need to be able to access information at a moment’s notice to inform decisions. But legacy ERP systems make it difficult for the average user to extract meaningful data in a timely manner. Creating reports often requires coding skills—or complex requests that must run overnight, or even require the intervention of IT to produce.
Cloud-based applications let users easily build custom reports with simple dropdown menus, helping HR and finance inform big picture decisions in real time. Each user’s permissions will ensure they only access the data they are supposed to—but give them the freedom to work on the go from their mobile devices. Plus, an enterprise management cloud avoids the data silos that plague legacy systems and cause users to question whether data is timely or accurate.
4. Legacy Systems Become Data Roadblocks
Governments require dozens if not hundreds of crucial integrations to run their operations. But legacy ERP systems weren’t built to accommodate so many touchpoints. This puts a burden on IT teams, which need to ensure that new connections don’t break the system. These same integrations and other customizations also inhibit upgrading the core ERP system due to the need to update (and validate) them for each ERP upgrade.
A SaaS enterprise management cloud doesn’t have those same integration pain points. Core infrastructure can continue to run seamlessly, even as integrations are added or modified. That means fewer headaches—and far less room for error.
5. Lack of Transparency Introduces Risk
For government agencies, transparency and accountability are king. But many legacy ERP systems were built decades ago, and lack features like always-on auditing and built-in security roles. But many legacy ERP systems were built before current regulations were introduced, which means compliance enhancements have been an afterthought. This has resulted in clunky workarounds and manual efforts to ensure the proper controls are in place—but due to the limitations of these bolt-ons, the audit features are often turned off. This means organizations can’t always identify who has accessed or changed data—which could leave finance and HR teams open to audit challenges and security risks.