Easing the Complexity of Selecting Cloud ERP Software
The COVID-19 pandemic has called for an acceleration of digital transformation and is prompting more hospitals and health systems to adopt ERP in the cloud. Infor, Oracle and Workday dominate the competitive ERP healthcare market, but how do you know what system is right for your health system?
Selecting the right ERP system is one of the most important decisions business leaders may make but getting it right can be daunting. In the world of cloud ERP, the selection processes of the past will not deliver the best results for the future. Consider the following as you begin your ERP selection program:
Know what you’re trying to accomplish. Understand why you are making the investment. Is it to improve internal efficiencies, achieve synergistic savings following a merger or acquisition, lower total cost of ownership (TCO), or support business expansion in new markets? Or perhaps all the above? Defining your goals will help in defining the system that is right for your organization.
Embrace opportunities for transformation. Automating as many processes as possible so individuals can focus on core business activities can improve productivity, collaboration, and teamwork. A well-planned iterative approach to implementation and emphasis on change management can substantially increase user adoption and productivity while easing the journey to the cloud.
Take stock of existing systems. Look at processes and systems that are part of your technology footprint. How they will integrate with the new solution? You may find that processes can be handled within the new system, decreasing the number of systems you need to support while improving overall system efficiency and reporting capabilities.
Involve the right people. An ERP system touches nearly every department in the organization. Functional subject matters experts with appropriate experience and authority to make implementation-related decisions are essential team members who will know what will and won’t work in real-life scenarios. They can also serve as the conduit between the department and project team, ensuring their business unit’s needs are well-represented and give input into the definition of processes, policies, business rules and procedures, and the contexts in which the rules, processes and polices are applied.
Understand deployment options. Leveraging vendor-provided best practices or predetermined configuration choices can support faster deployment at a lower cost but it also requires a culture that embraces change and ability to absorb new processes quickly. Take the time to understand these options considering your organization’s culture and ability to adopt change.
Address the people side of change. Recognize that the way work gets done will change. Your team members will need support learning new processes. Change management and training are the cornerstone for successful transformation and can be an area of differentiation during the cloud ERP selection process.
About the author
Tim Oberschlake is a visionary and results-oriented leader with 30+ years of experience in multiple unit management as a military officer, manager, director, vice president, and CIO. He currently leads Avaap’s healthcare consulting practice, providing expert consultation on all aspects of IT business system analysis, strategic planning, solution design, innovation, leadership, collaboration, and fiscal planning.
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