Migrating Business Systems: Our Top Tipsadmin
For many businesses, the idea of implementing a new financial or operational system can seem like a daunting task and this is usually why it gets put to the bottom of the priority list. It can be a concern for business owners that changing their processes will be disruptive and risky, especially if the upgrade does not deliver the benefits that were initially promised. Decision makers who have invested time and money into implementing new systems often report that they found the process stressful and time-consuming, while also experiencing issues with the adoption of the new systems and processes by staff members. Below, we give you our top tips that will help ensure a smooth migration when moving systems so you can feel confident that your investment will pay off.
Tip No. 1: Choosing the right system for your business
Let’s face it, you wouldn’t be considering a new system if you were completely happy with your current set up. Before any tool/solution is even considered, the first thing to establish is the existing needs of your business as well as any potential requirements you envisage in the future. A good place to start is to pinpoint the ‘pain points’ within your business – usually, these are the tasks that are the most inefficient and take up the most time or are most prone to human error – this can help guide you when looking for a new solution. Other things to consider include:
· Cost: How much are you willing to spend on any new systems?
· Functionality: Do the systems provide the desired features?
· Integrations: Do the systems integrate with other systems already in use in the business?
· Size: Are the systems scalable and able to cope with expected business growth?
Tip No. 2: Seek advice from industry experts
Making the choice to implement a new system is no easy feat, therefore getting some advice on what systems are available on the market and how they are implemented is going to be critical. Going out and conducting research can be extremely time-consuming, costly and often confusing. Instead, speak to industry experts who keep up-to-date with developments in the tech space as they will be well-positioned to assist you in making the right choice for your business and take away the burden of having to speak to multiple tech vendors individually. Let them find you a solution or a suite of integrated solutions that will help drive efficiency in your business – all you’ll have to do is make the final decision.
Tip No. 3: Prepare your team for the move
It is important to prepare your business for the upcoming changes in advance of the deployment date and address any potential challenges before they occur. This will keep staff engaged as they will understand the reasoning for upgrading systems and help you secure their buy-in for the system adoption when you ‘go live.’ In-depth staff training sessions on the new systems should be carried out in advance as well as refresher sessions a couple of weeks down the line to cover any queries that may crop up once your team have actually started using the systems.
Tip No. 4: Avoid down-time during change over
Changing a system doesn’t need to be really disruptive to your business. In fact, if planned cleverly it will not result in any downtime at all. We would usually suggest deciding on a hard cut-off point for entering data into your old system (for financial systems this would usually be a period end). From your cut-off date, all new period processing would occur in the new system and you would only need to keep your older system running to finalise the previous period’s accounts. By temporarily running the two systems in parallel, it means there are no delays in using your new system while still giving your finance team the time to finish off your numbers in the older system carefully. When these numbers are finished, they can then be migrated into the new system while the new accounts are being processed at the same time – easy!
Tip No.5: Implement new add-on systems in phased stages
If you are implementing a new financial system as well as other operational systems, it makes sense to introduce these in stages to allow your staff the time to focus on getting used to the new processes before bringing in further systems. Since a migration project has many moving parts, there is often a need for extensive collaboration between key team members across various levels and, on occasion, departments in the organisation during the migration, so this needs to be taken into account when scheduling implementations to ensure key members are available. It is also best to start with your core financial system so your accounts are still running and financial reporting remains unaffected, before over time adding integrations which will incrementally save your business time and improve processes without overwhelming your staff members with too many changes in one go.
At 4PointZero, we are on hand to guide businesses through system migrations in order to maximise results and allow for smooth transitions. Once we have a good grasp of your business needs, we apply our industry knowledge to help you find cloud-based solutions that will improve processes and drive efficiency within your organisation. We also take care of your data migration when moving from one financial system to another and help you visualise this transition by preparing an in-depth timeline of events leading up to your new system go-live date. It is also in our best interest to help you get the most out of your new systems so we can provide all the training you need before and after implementation. We always maintain a good relationship and stay in touch with our clients so that moving forward, we are always on hand for any ad-hoc questions that crop up. With a wealth of experience in cloud-based software solutions, we have helped many businesses across multiple business sectors make the transition to being a more efficient, cloud-based business.
Talk to us today at www.4pointzero.co.uk.