A move to the cloud using a coexistence model allows companies to adopt the advantages of the cloud gradually while still maintaining the custom requirements of legacy systems. It truly is the best of both worlds. This method has become even more convenient as vendors, such as Oracle, have unveiled enhanced cloud applications with integration platforms designed to support coexistence; as they realize businesses sometimes can’t or aren’t willing to undertake a big-bang move to the cloud.
“Everything is not going to move to the cloud by Friday,” said Larry Ellison, Oracle’s Executive Chairman and CTO after the company began to release enhancements to its cloud systems, including industry-standard platforms and data mapping features nearly two years ago. “During that decade of coexistence, people are going to have to manage both their on-premises data processing and their cloud data processing.” *
When moving to a coexistence model, here are some key considerations for success:
You will need a single system of truth
There should be a single system that’s designated as the “single version of the truth” and the owner of data within a cloud coexistence strategy. Having more than one system updating the same data point can lead to data corruption.
For cloud coexistence, the system of truth will be your legacy application. So, it’s important that the legacy system has data integrity and it is mapped in a logical way to move that data to and from the cloud. Having data in multiple systems doesn’t preclude coexistence, but it can increase the project length.
The cloud application needs to be customizable enough to support coexistence
A cloud system should be able to support a hybrid approach through various configurations within the application. Some systems offer upgrades or patches that are applied on a timely basis that can be helpful in a coexistence environment.
Some customizations that may be necessary include role-based security, data mapping, support for global users and currencies, daily updates, and more.
Ensure data interfaces between your legacy and cloud applications
The frequency of data integration from your legacy system needs to be considered in a coexistence model. For example, if cloud systems are going to be used for financial applications, such as payroll, HR or employee performance, you will need to ensure the data is interfaced regularly prior to any compensation cycle.
Don’t forget to have a change management plan in place
With any change in how your employees are going to engage with your organization, effective communication is going to determine the adoption success of the new process. Many organizations forget this critical step. Depending on the new process being rolled out, additional training or videos on how to complete the steps may be required. With multiple generations being in the workplace, we often underestimate the need for a varied communication and training approach.
Emtec presented three educational sessions about moving to the cloud and coexistence strategies at Collaborate 2017 in Las Vegas, highlighting clients who have made a successful move to the coexistence model. We are seeing more and more organizations begin to look at this approach to cloud.
If you are evaluating what kind of cloud strategy would make sense for your organization, Emtec can help. Contact us to further understand your options, and how the cloud can help simplify and modernize your HCM and ERP footprint.