Making the Move from On-Premises to the Cloud

There's a unique opportunity here for the Lawson market that I want to make sure we mention. Most of these implementations occurred 20-25 years ago and a lot of them were driven by Y2K, meaning that people have had to live with the decisions they made when they first implemented the system. Now is a good opportunity to revisit if they are benefiting from the single company versus multi company, or the levels of the accounting unit and other things take a lot of effort to change, as well as other decisions that were made based on a lack of flexibility in the original system.

You have to remember that CloudSuite is different and it's new, but it's still based on that DNA. It shares that heritage and it was designed by consultants that were going out in the field and learning of these limitations. So, by its very nature, it overcomes some of them. Another thing that I think is an inherent issue with Lawson and other old school ERPs is the fact that we're so used to having to get data out of the system in order to report on it, extract it, or mash it together. A lot of organizations have centralized reporting or IT departments supporting these processes, which makes them inefficient. "What is the process? I need this. Let me show you what that looks like. Well, I need to change it." It's just so antiquated and old school.

To offer an example, imagine you're a business analyst having to put a request into IT to get a data extract, but you have to wait for that to be pulled out and delivered. That's so inefficient. It's not just inefficient, it's a poor experience for that analyst. That's not their expectation of what the workplace is going to be like moving forward into the future of this industry.

It's a limiting factor that prevents a lot of ad hoc analysis from taking place. If you have to think through how much trouble it's going to be just to get the data, is it really worth spending the time to explore and play with that data to see if any insights come to light?

It also makes the analyst sad. But you want to know what makes me sad? How much money organizations spend to support the internal hardware that run these on-premise systems. They're doing server migrations and they have full-time system administrators. This is not your core competency if your business is running Lawson, and if it is, it's a strange business model. You want to focus your organizational capital and resources on things that are going to improve your entire business.

Frankly, I think it speaks to the success of that sales organizations within the IT industry over the past 20 years. They've convinced everybody that they need to run their own data centers, invest in the never ending cycle of hardware upgrades, and buy all sorts of infrastructure, software, server operating systems, hypervisors, management software. None of that really belongs within a hospital, or a utility, or a local government.

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