Cloud Readiness Assessment: Get Your House in Order Before Moving to the Cloud

Imagine you’re the mayor of a mid-sized American city. You aspire to have your city host a major sporting event for the obvious benefits: an influx of tourist dollars and a raised national profile. But you can’t just decide to host a major sporting event. You first need to have a quality venue, lots of hotel rooms, and viable transit options to get thousands of visitors from one to the other. Otherwise, you risk a chaotic catastrophe that angers residents and gives outsiders a bad impression.

Just as a major sporting event can test the limits of a city’s infrastructure, a cloud-based ERP brings a massive transactional load to a distribution company’s internet infrastructure. The benefits of a successful implementation are significant, but without careful preparation and ensuring cloud readiness, you risk overwhelming your systems and underwhelming your stakeholders.

The Risks of Rushing into the Cloud

If your infrastructure isn’t ready for a modern cloud-based ERP, like Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management, implementation could create complicated issues that cost money to fix and take attention away from critical business processes. Instead of getting the desired financial impact, you’ll be throwing money at problems that could have been avoided.

For example, it’s crucial to clean up and properly format your data before migrating to the cloud. If you don’t, you may go through the entire implementation process only to find that your data is redundant, inaccurate, irrelevant, or worst of all, incompatible with your new system. It’s like moving to a new home without first getting rid of any unwanted clutter from the old home: You’re just taking your mess with you.

You also need to consider your infrastructure strategy, including network topology, authentication, and endpoint management. Knowing how the assets in your system connect to and communicate with each other will help you implement a new ERP more cleanly. Similarly, you’ll need to assess your tenant configurations and detect any circuit issues or equipment capability gaps. If they exist, they could impede the implementation.

Then there are the issues that, if unchecked, can disrupt the user experience and thus negatively influence adoption. If you don’t have enough bandwidth to handle the requirements of cloud-based ERP like Microsoft D365, the program’s processes will be frustratingly slow.

Same goes for computers and other equipment that don’t have enough capacity to run the ERP smoothly. And if your identity management processes are insufficient, users could find themselves locked out of areas that they should have access to, or gaining access that they shouldn’t have.

Speaking of security, insecure configurations, weak authentication controls, and unprotected data are things that can lead to long-term post-implementation issues. A cloud-based ERP won’t magically fix your existing security problems; rather, your existing security problems could poke holes in a safe cloud-based ERP. You’ll need to address them before implementation and identify any visibility gaps you may have so that you can see everything you need to see once the new ERP is in place.

Preparation Will Save You Headaches in the Long Run

That’s a long list of things to consider before migrating to the cloud and implementing a modern ERP solution. If it makes you a bit anxious, we understand. But don’t abandon the idea! The opportunity costs of not upgrading your ERP to D365 in the cloud, and taking advantage of the increased operational efficiency that comes with it are significant.

If you look at that list and think, “Well, we already use cloud apps or cloud storage, so we can probably skip all that,” don’t be so sure. A cloud-based, mission-critical ERP makes much larger demands on your organization’s connected systems than the average application.

Ultimately, assessing your infrastructure’s readiness and addressing key issues may seem like a pain, but it’s well worth it to ensure that your implementation doesn’t hit any roadblocks. If you don’t, there’s a good chance that more complicated—and much more painful—issues will emerge during and after implementation. Look at the task as an opportunity to review and improve your organization’s technological best practices. Not only will it help you avoid lost time and increased costs due to rework, but it will set up your entire organization for success down the line.

Cloud Readiness Assessment Options

You may prefer to conduct your own cloud readiness assessment. If so, make sure you create a plan that evaluates all of the components discussed in this blog. If you have any remote or hybrid workers, you’ll also want to come up with a plan for giving them reliable, secure access to your new Microsoft Dynamics 365 platform.

Such an assessment is a substantial undertaking, though, so you may want to find an implementation partner with extensive experience assessing distributors’ readiness for a move to the cloud.

Here’s what we cover in our assessments:

  • Infrastructure strategy issues that can have a lasting impact across the organization such as network topology, authentication, and endpoint management.
  • Common problems that can impede the implementation of the project such as tenant configurations, circuit issues, and equipment capability gaps.
  • Common items that can impact user experience or adoption such as insufficient bandwidth, equipment capacity, and identity management processes.
  • Security issues that put the environment at risk such as insecure configurations, weak authentication controls, unprotected data, and visibility gaps. We also review data security and recovery.

At Sikich, we have the expertise and attention to detail necessary to prepare your system for a modern ERP solution. To learn more about what we offer, contact us today.

This publication contains general information only and Sikich is not, by means of this publication, rendering accounting, business, financial, investment, legal, tax, or any other professional advice or services. This publication is not a substitute for such professional advice or services, nor should you use it as a basis for any decision, action or omission that may affect you or your business. Before making any decision, taking any action or omitting an action that may affect you or your business, you should consult a qualified professional advisor. In addition, this publication may contain certain content generated by an artificial intelligence (AI) language model. You acknowledge that Sikich shall not be responsible for any loss sustained by you or any person who relies on this publication.

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