Is there a ‘right time’ to change systems (software and hardware) and move to the cloud?
What are the ‘right reasons’ to change? Maybe some things can be prioritized to help see which parts of your business to move first.
Where is the need for an overhaul?
- Lost time to administration data entry, like entering data more than once
- Not able to influence change e.g. doing things the way you do ‘because it’s always been that way’
- Struggling to manage materials
- not having enough for a job
- having too much sitting in a warehouse / location
- No means to measure business or staff performance easily, too much other chaos
- Little or no forward planning (too difficult to collate the data required)
- Spending hours, days or even weeks to provide reports for management. Would you trust your numbers
Questions to ask yourself:
- If staff were asked whether they have all the information they need, what would they say?
- Can all departments access meaningful data easily?
- How easy is it for new people to hit the ground running?
- Is it easy to train them on the systems you use?
- Do you, or your staff have key knowledge (only) in their heads?
- Would your business ground to a halt if key people
- went on holiday?
- weren’t able to work for a long period of time due to an accident or ill health?
In the age of modern technology, those embracing cloud technology are able to be nimble, running their businesses very efficiently and empowering staff to manage performance themselves. Business processes are in place because it makes sense to their business, not because the systems they use force them to do things that way.
Decisions are able to be made in a timely fashion, as information is available at the press of a button. Excel spreadsheets which supplement your industry software, or current systems are all but a thing of the past, so perhaps it is time to eliminate or significantly reduce the ‘human error’ effect.
Business owners who haven’t embraced modern technology find that decision making is thwarted by information, as their information lacks accuracy and isn’t relevant. Producing reports with good and meaningful information is often untimely. By the time they are able to report on an aspect of the business, any key decisions are likely to have already been made without the support of relevant information.
Where to start?
Start somewhere that you can change, maybe the source of your greatest pain point, or at least the core data area that needs to be strong to support the business going forward, such as inventory traceability, or job tracking and costing.
One thing that buying software applications in the cloud can achieve is the accumulation of new features and replacement of existing modules as you go. This represents a “bottom up” strategy for owners and managers to adopt and own, without some third party dictating goals. A mastery of this, by business owners will be the single significant disruption that changing to the cloud delivers. Those pain points can be hit hard along the way.
It is important for business owners to understand that you can use cloud technology as the stepping stone into the future, replacing one cobblestone at a time.