Cloud migrations have many unseen disadvantages & pitfalls especially for customers leaving more flexible on-premise legacy solutions like SAP, PeopleSoft, Oracle heading into highly standardized cloud/SaaS products and services. You’ll find many anecdotes about large enterprises having been forced to stop cloud implementations and re-evaluate priorities after realizing the transformation is a much bigger undertaking than is assessed during the vendor evaluation and selection phase.
Not surprisingly, the sales process is often designed to gloss over the critical gaps so it pays heavily to spend time analyzing your current organizational needs first.
Critical Success Factors
Don’t bite off more than your organization can chew. Changing all systems at once for example can mean not going live with anything on time. Consider phased functional or geographic approaches rather than “big bang” implementations of HCM, Payroll, Time, Benefits, Finance, etc.
Shortlist, Rank, and Select
Using #2 and #4 as your evaluation criteria, rank vendors and select partner. At this stage you have a fully vetted vendor partner. It’s time to staff up and implement. Don’t overlook training, integration, data migration strategies- it’s never too early to plan.
Don’t do these things…
- Ignore training budgets
- Get too hung up on PEPM (Price per Employee Per Month)- these are rarely apples to apples comparisons between vendors and vendors are accustomed to shifting pricing constantly between Capital Expenditures/Operating Expenditures and Services/Products.
- Gloss over support models: there is a big difference in support from a standard cloud/ SaaS vendor versus having in-house technical expertise on hand
- Assume SaaS software vendors and implementation partners are prepared to be “agile”. Most still follow a “waterfall” model and may not work well in a heavily agile culture- beware of a mismatch in methodologies.
- Plan on major headcount reduction based on efficiencies gained. Transformation to cloud models doesn’t mean less dependence on internal headcount for SMEs and IT resources. There is often a heavier need in certain areas when transitioning.
- Ignore your “current state” analysis. Things may seem like “minor” processes and issues in current environments are easily overlooked and may turn into major gaps in functionality and resources trying to standardize into SaaS models
- Gloss over testing efforts; testing may be required frequently due to constant updates to Saas functionalities
- Write off enterprise tools for data encryption, migration and integration
- Assume you have all the Resources and skills in current cloud technologies
- Forget about HR Analytics reporting strategies which are typically obstructed by having data scattered across three to five or more core systems old and new.
ROI can be achieved faster by decommissioning legacy infrastructures in parallel