At Alithya, we’ve deployed over 500 Oracle Cloud projects, and we’ve learned quite a few lessons over the course of them that can help our clients with the transition. We start by developing strategic roadmaps and assessments with realistic timelines, designating appropriate resources, and setting budgets with our clients, but there are five key considerations you can start tackling on your end before a multi-pillar Oracle Cloud implementation project starts.
1. Identifying business objectives
When identifying business objectives for an Oracle Cloud project, we like to talk about three pillars: people, process, and technology.
When it comes to people, it’s important to think about how your people will be affected by a large-scale digital transformation. Better connectivity and more automation mean better collaboration among teams. It will also lead to reduced IT and businesspeople spend. This doesn’t automatically mean reducing headcount but the potential for reallocating employee time to other initiatives once you start gaining efficiency from the new system.
Think about your business objectives in terms of improved business processes. Oracle Cloud allows you to adopt leading best practices, avoid costly customizations, and automate and enhance analytics and reporting. What are your goals around performance optimization and scalability?
The technological benefits are innumerable with a multi-pillar Oracle Cloud implementation but start by thinking about business objectives in terms of increased security, faster time to value, and ROI. This may be the last ERP system you ever need to buy because Oracle is constantly pushing innovation by rolling out updates to its cloud applications on a monthly and quarterly basis. The ability to consume new features and enhancements is very different from an on-prem cycle, where upgrades might happen every few years. This requires a different skill set on the part of your team. They need to understand the business and the implications of new functionality. If you are thinking about this during the testing phase of your implementation, it's too late; it must be planned before the project starts.
2. Evaluating your current systems and infrastructure
At the start of a project, we recommend putting together a system architecture map or updating an existing one. This will give you a good view of the landscape and the purpose of the new system and force an important conversation between IT and end users. Some of the crucial questions to ask at this step include:
- What is your current state infrastructure framework?
- What are the purposes of the systems you’re currently leveraging? Who is using them?
- What integration capabilities do your current systems have?
- How long have the legacy systems been in place for?
- Where will this old data reside?
- What data needs to be converted?
These questions shift the mindset from a lift and shift to a transformational mentality. As your project progresses, it will be satisfying to see your system architecture map shrink from siloed point solutions to a unified cloud suite as you not only reduce complexity but also build the foundation for being able to grow and scale rapidly.
3. Aligning your business teams
A defined roadmap doesn’t work unless your teams are aligned, and this can be the most challenging step in this journey because different teams have different business goals and initiatives. It helps to talk about the “three C’s”: collaborate, consensus, and communicate.
Identify key stakeholders and collaborate to establish a unified vision for the project.
Develop a clear vision statement for the project and develop supporting strategic and tactical mission statements to build out the vision.
Communicate the vision early and often during the project. This increases transparency and keeps the core team aligned to the vision and is vital to the project’s success. You may even consider branding the project with a name and logo to bring awareness and positive anticipation. Some interesting ones we’ve heard are Manhattan, Apollo, Harmony, or Unity, to name a few.
4. Assessing your team skills & operational readiness
Look at your team makeup and make sure everyone has realistic bandwidth to complete the project along with their regular roles and responsibilities. If they don’t, determine what skills your system integrator can supplement. Important questions to ask at this stage include:
- How much change will this project cause internally?
- Do you need to tap your system integrator for change management?
- Are there detractors who may pose obstacles to the project?
- What is the team availability? Vacations/Holidays, Period Close Cycle, Open Enrollment, Budget Season?
- Who has technical skills vs functional skills? Are we light in a specific area?
- Who can help with data extraction?
- What is your strategy for training?
- What level of executive sponsorship is needed?
5. Establishing a budget and timeline
You may be used to on-prem hosting and hardware costs, but for a ground to cloud migration, you need to primarily budget for the cloud licensing subscription and implementation costs. You will also need to budget for additional support after go-live. Alithya requires hypercare for 30-90 days after go-live for our clients to help clients get through the first couple of months – especially first month end close in the new system. After hypercare, we generally transition our clients to our managed services team to help support and provide enhancements, but ultimately lead them to whatever their self-sustainment goals may be.
The timeline is driven by budget, priorities, initiatives, pain points, other projects, key dates, and possible resource conflicts. Look at your internal group calendars and key cycles and periods. Discuss when certain months or weeks might be black out periods. Based on all those inputs, determine a timeline that is not too aggressive for the scope but also not too spread out to where your team may lose enthusiasm and momentum. Typically, this will likely fall in the 9–18-month timeline for a multi-pillar project.
Learn more about multi-pillar digital transformation and moving to the cloud in our video series
Check out our 5-part video series to hear our panel of experts dive a little deeper into the benefits of a digital transformation and the top five considerations to think about when embarking on a multi-pillar Oracle Cloud implementation journey. This will help you better prepare and mobilize your organization for a successful implementation.
At Alithya, we work with you on process analysis and design, requirements analysis, software selection, enterprise architecture, and strategy and governance so you can envision your organization’s future and the steps to get there. By completing these five steps, you can ensure overall readiness and project success. Contact us to learn more.