Cloud ERP Implementation – Getting Buy-In from leadership

Implementing a cloud ERP accounting system for your business is not the easiest task. It takes resources, time, patience, and perhaps most important, leadership buy-in.

If you’re upgrading from a legacy business solution into a shiny new cloud ERP implementation, it may seem like executive buy-in comes naturally. The accounting department is onboard, the warehouse and inventory managers are on board, the majority of the company’s workforce could be on board.

As counterintuitive as it may seem, sometimes it requires a bit of convincing to get the company leadership teams on board. Without leadership buy-in, your organization will never realize an ERP system’s full capabilities.

Why is leadership buy-in so essential to develop a winning cloud ERP implementation strategy?

Less disruption

A new ERP system can turn into a significant business and IT disruption with permeating effects if not done correctly. However, a cloud ERP implementation is more than an IT project. In fact, with such widespread cloud familiarity and across-the-board benefits offered by an ERP solution, often the IT department isn’t even taking the leading on the drive.

With an executive’s broader perspective over the organization, they’re able to represent the entire company’s needs. Executive oversight prevents department heads from monopolizing the project in favor of their respective departmental needs.

A cloud ERP implementation is a cumulative effort, developed through input from the whole company, especially the executive team. When you foster the buy-in from the IT managers and organizational leadership, you’re better prepared to deliver on your implementation strategy.

Technology ambassadors

Executive teams generally understand how technology makes our lives easier and may readily accept automation. These are your ambassadors for change and can go a long way to help reluctant factions of leadership buy-in.

Convey the value of technological innovation and the benefits it offers for your workplace and service delivery. Ensure you have a comprehensive plan for employee training so company executives won’t see this as a potential roadblock.

Get leadership buy-in, increase user adoption

Once you have the nod from the higher-ups, there’s less resistance from staff regarding processes. When leadership and stakeholders understand the direction an ERP solution is taking you, they can communicate new employee roles, how they’ll be affected, and ways the system will make day-to-day workflows more efficient.

Without leadership buy-in, your organization will never realize an ERP system’s full capabilities. Staff may resist the change and turn the whole process toward improvement into a misaligned application of the business processes it was supposed to improve. They also play a role as change agents ushering users through the transition away from legacy systems to adopting best practices and standards.

User-adoption of your new ERP systems starts at the top, so encourage management to lead by example in their usage. Engaged leadership encourages staff to get on board and sends a message of the importance of adopting the new system.

On the other hand, if staff are kept out of the loop and aren’t aware of the company’s direction, it creates chaos. Having a vision ensures that everyone is clear about a goal and onboard with the company’s approach.

The ERP implementation investment

An ERP project is a time-intensive, multi-faceted investment involving business requirement evaluations against the available cloud ERP options before you can determine a final solution. ERP projects need upper management buy-in for required features, budget, and acceptable time frames. Searching for the right system takes time, so make sure everyone understands the time commitment involved.

To be sure that upper management is on board with upgrading or replacing the ERP system, talk with them about acceptable time frames, features, and budget. Doing this will prevent finding out late in the process that prospective products don’t meet the requirements you didn’t uncover in your software evaluation.

Adding leadership to your cloud ERP team

Your ERP creates the image and direction for your whole operation and enhances the ability to make informed decisions. To be successful, you need a clear executive vision, so the executive suite’s support directly correlates to the project’s success.

With the right leadership involvement, your cloud ERP implementation starts on a path to success. Even the best leaders delegate project execution to lower management levels, leading to upper echelons being out of touch with critical events or understanding the scope, size, and technical aspects.

Top management must view an ERP implementation as a transformation in the way the company does business. Company executives should be firmly committed to the system, envision the plan for the changes necessitated by ERP, and actively participate in the implementation for a high likelihood of success.

Strong ERP implementations begin with company leadership ensuring proper resource allocation and keeping the process a top priority for the project’s duration. When assembling your ERP teams, start with input from an executive sponsor who carries appropriate authority to hold the evaluation team and vendor accountable to keep the project moving.

Ready for a cloud-based user-friendly software like Sage Intacct?

Leadership or IT buy-in is never guaranteed, but a cloud ERP solution that delivers ready integrations, industry expertise, and scalability coupled with intuitive ease of use can help you achieve the executive leadership buy-in you need.

Many businesses have migrated to Sage Intacct then wonder why they waited so long. With Sage Intacct, you integrate your entire business with a breakthrough cloud financial management platform that delivers the reliable data and advanced insights you need from a single source.

Read next: How to find the best Sage Intacct partner for your cloud-accounting success

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