While there are numerous benefits to implementing cloud-based systems, the transition can be a bumpy ride if executed ineffectively.
Before you take the leap, familiarise yourself with these pitfalls to ensure a smooth and successful transition.
Common mistakes when implementing cloud-based systems
1. Not choosing the right tools, apps and software
With so many options available in the market, it can be tempting to go with the cheapest or most popular compliance software without considering whether it meets the specific needs of your business.
If you’re using unsuitable tools, apps and software, you may end up with inefficient processes, compatibility issues and a lack of necessary features. For example, if the software doesn’t integrate well with your existing systems.
By asking the following questions, you can carefully evaluate the available tools, apps and software to ensure they align with your business goals, operational needs and existing infrastructure:
- What are the key features and functionalities that you need?
- How easy is it to integrate the solution with your existing infrastructure? While many companies opt for “turnkey” solutions, these are rigid and usually can’t be linked to other software.
- What level of support and maintenance does the provider offer?
- What are the outputs, such as reports and forms, you require?
- Is the solution scalable and flexible to accommodate future growth and changes in your business?
- How secure is the solution, and what measures are in place to protect your data?
- How easy is it for your team to learn and use the solution, and what resources are available for training and support?
When deciding which solution is right for your company, it’s also beneficial to:
- Research and compare your options;
- Ask the provider detailed questions about their solution, including its features, functionality, integrations, support and compliance certifications;
- Watch demos of the solution to get a better idea of how it works, its user interface and its capabilities;
- Ask for references from existing customers;
- Check the pricing structure of the solution and whether ongoing costs for licensing, training and maintenance are within your budget.
2. Not clearly communicating expectations with the software provider
When companies don’t communicate their expectations and needs with the software provider, their requirements may not be fully understood, leading to a solution that doesn’t meet their needs.
For instance, a company may require specific data integration capabilities and customised workflows. But if these aren’t communicated to the provider, the requirements may not be incorporated in the end product.
Therefore, it’s essential to have open and clear communication with the software provider, discuss the specific requirements of your business and ensure that during development, the solution meets those requirements with regular check-ins.
Companies can avoid unnecessary delays, rework, and additional implementation costs by ensuring that expectations are clear from the get-go.
3. Not providing enough training and education
Employees are often accustomed to their usual way of doing things and may initially find switching to a new system challenging.
To fully benefit from the transition, employees need to receive adequate training to understand how to use these systems effectively and efficiently.
For a smooth transition, comprehensive training needs to be provided to all employees using the cloud-based systems. This arrangement needs to be set up with the provider, using a training Wiki or similar.
The training should cover all relevant aspects of the system, including how to access and navigate it and how to perform specific tasks. Training should be ongoing, including refreshers and additional education to improve areas that are not functioning effectively.
Keeping employees informed about updates and changes to the system is also important, such as by sending out newsletters or conducting training sessions when significant updates are made.
By providing ongoing training and education, companies can ensure employees use the new system effectively and achieve a successful implementation.
4. Not allowing enough time to migrate to the cloud
Setting an unrealistic migration timeline puts a lot of pressure on you and your team. Rushing through the implementation process can lead to important areas being incorrectly executed, overlooked altogether, or not working as intended.
In such cases, because corrective actions are needed to address the issues, the process can end up taking longer than if it had been done properly the first time, which can lead to additional costs.
Establishing a realistic timeline that takes into account the complexity of the migration and the level of customisation required is essential to get the most effective solution for your company in the least amount of time.
5. Unrealistic budget
A common mistake companies make when transitioning to cloud-based systems is having an unrealistic budget. When there aren’t enough funds allocated to cover all the necessary features and requirements of a cloud-based system, this can lead to unexpected expenses and limitations later on.
While there are cheaper options out there, they’re often designed as a one-size-fits-all solution, which isn’t fully customised to your specific requirements. This can leave you with a more generic system that doesn’t reflect your unique needs.
To avoid this happening, carefully weigh up your options, compare different price points and what you get at each one and allocate enough budget to meet your requirements at a cost your company can realistically afford. Look into the key characteristics of the solutions you’re considering and whether, based on your requirements, any features would be worth the extra cost in the long run.
6. Forgetting to test and review
After implementing a cloud-based system, be sure to test the applications and infrastructure you migrated to the cloud to make sure everything works properly.
When companies skip this step, it’s usually under the assumption that once the system is set up, it will run seamlessly without any further monitoring or testing. But this isn’t necessarily the case, and when companies “set and forget” their cloud-based system, they often fail to detect and resolve issues that arise.
By regularly reviewing your systems to make sure they’re working as intended, you can avoid issues slipping through the cracks and find new opportunities for improvement over time. In addition, encouraging employees to share feedback can help improve functionality and user experience.
How to successfully implement cloud-based systems
With the right approach, you can seamlessly transition to the cloud and take advantage of the many benefits, including higher productivity, improved security, more cost savings and improved compliance.
Here are a few actionable tips to help you successfully migrate to cloud-based systems.
- Education and training: Employees need to know how to use the new system and understand the security measures in place to protect data. Provide guidelines for best practices and security policies and offer training sessions to help employees learn how to use the new system effectively.
- Invest in automation solutions: Optimise your cloud-based systems and streamline processes by automating processes. Automation can reduce the risk of human error, save time and improve efficiency and help you get the most out of your investment in a cloud-based system.
- Be realistic: Give yourself enough time to transition to the new system to avoid overwhelming your team, and ensure you allocate a realistic budget for what you want to achieve. This will help you avoid unnecessary stress during implementation and make the transition smoother.
- Develop a clear, specific plan for implementation: Include a timeline with regular check-ins, roles and responsibilities for each employee, and any required resources. A clear plan helps you stay on track and ensures everyone is working towards the same goals.
- Audit and test performance regularly: Once you’ve implemented your cloud-based system, it’s important to audit and test performance regularly. This will help you identify any issues and make necessary changes to improve the system’s effectiveness. Regular testing can also help you catch any security breaches or other issues before they become major problems.
- Technical support: Make sure to have a plan in place for technical support in case something goes wrong. This could include having an internal IT team that can provide support or partnering with a third-party provider that offers technical support services.
- Get expert assistance: If you don’t have internal expertise and experience migrating to the cloud, or you don’t have the time to manage the process, getting expert assistance can save you time, money and stress. Look for a provider with experience in cloud migration and a proven track record of success.
Contact us about implementing cloud-based systems
Working closely with regulatory authorities and peak industry bodies, Integrated Compliance Solutions developed a comprehensive, cloud-based, industry-specific compliance package. Created by our talented software team, Digital IMS+ is a high-value service – we do not use templates.
Get in touch to discuss your business needs and see how you could benefit from making the move to a cloud-based system.