The hybrid environment. Once the red-headed step-child of cloud deployments and legacy environments, hybrid is quickly becoming the way of the world. Many companies are now putting some applications—often, enterprise resource planning (ERP)—in the cloud and maintaining some capabilities in house.
Many organizations have entered the integration process, integrating ERP into a hybrid environment, only to find that the experience is nothing like what they expected. Challenges and issues quickly eat into the budget, and before long, these companies have spent far more in time and resources than they were prepared to invest. Below are five tips to help you avoid the nightmares of integrating ERP solutions into a hybrid environment.
1. You Can’t Believe Everything You Hear
Vendors will tell you that the integration will be easy. Don’t believe them. When you’re integrating an application into a hybrid environment, especially when it’s ERP, there is more than a single integration to take into consideration. You will run into some headaches.
2. Visibility Reduces Headaches
When considering integrating ERP (or any application) into a hybrid environment, you need to know how many integrations you’re actually going to need. To do that, you need a picture of all the connections required. Create a map of all the integration points to help complete this picture.
3. Address Latency Early
With hybrid integrations, latency is an often-overlooked issue. Everything is speeding along like the Indy 500, and then you begin integration and suddenly it seems like you’re in the middle of a turtle race. The best way to prevent this unpleasant surprise is to address latency issues early to ensure sufficient resources for the environment after the integrations are complete.
4. Find Professionals to Smooth the Integration Process
Not every aspect of integration is in your wheelhouse. Your IT department may already be overwhelmed. Know when it’s necessary to turn to someone else for help. For example, a cloud-based integration platform might be the right answer to reduce the workload in the IT department so that those resources can be allocated to other activities.
5. Crawl Before You Walk, Walk Before You Run
Integrating an ERP solution into a hybrid environment isn’t something that can be done overnight. You vendor might try to convince you to jump into the integration without looking back, but don’t do it. A better approach is to outline the steps for ensuring the integration’s success, and then take the whole process one step at a time. It might take longer, but in the end, the extra time will save you a lot of grief and probably a sizable chunk of budget.
Bonus Tip: Be Adaptable
At some point, even the best-thought-out plan will experience the unexpected. So, maintain adaptability so that when something unexpected comes your way, you can dodge it. Or, maybe you catch it and turn it into an unexpected benefit of the integration. Either way, what could have been a disaster turned out OK because you were adaptable enough to deal with it and still realize the goal of integrating your ERP solution into your hybrid environment.
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