From the Blog

An icon for a calendar

2015-06-30

5 Things You Should Be Afraid To Tell Your CIO About Your Cloud ERP Integration

It can be pretty terrifying being the bearer of bad news. In fact, the thought of whether a disappointing message will get the messenger shot should strike fear into the heart of anyone reporting a failed objective. Even if you’re on good terms with your company’s CIO, there are certain conversations you should avoid at all costs — especially when it comes to the integration of your company’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution. The benefits of cloud ERP integration are obvious, and the process seems like it should be straightforward. But there are SOME obstacles that make me hope, for your sake, that your CIO isn’t inclined to fire people on the spot. Here are five conversations with your CIO about Cloud ERP integration complications that you should not attempt without wearing some kind of body armor:

1. “I Can Only Do So Much…Because of Transaction Restrictions”

It’s the tail-end of your annual sales event, and you’ve got giant, time-sensitive bulk orders to enter into your Cloud ERP system. You’ve cancelled all your meetings, and you’ve set aside all day to devote to the project. Within the first hour, though, the order entry process shuts down on you. You’re locked out for the rest of the day.

Now you’re going to have to walk into your CIO’s office and let him know you won’t be able to enter all the data in time because of Cloud ERP system restrictions which limit the volume and frequency of bulk transactions per day. Your hands are tied; you shouldn’t have waited till the last minute. You can only hope your CIO doesn’t have a hatchet at the ready in his office to apply to your neck.

2. “I Need More Development Than I Thought…to Re-Test Code”

Everyone on your team has finally mastered the use of your cloud ERP solution, and everything is running smoothly. So smooth, in fact, that you reallocate resources and move your development team on to new projects. Suddenly, however, framework changes in your API throw a wrench into the process.

Now you’ve got to let your CIO know you have to pull your development team off their new projects in order to come back and re-test code for the solution that you thought was secure. They’re going to have to analyze the API revisions and make related changes in all data integration services so the data can be successfully entered into the cloud ERP. Your worst nightmare should be making this mistake not once, but multiple times. If you do find yourself repeating this mistake, you might want to update your resume as frequently as APIs are updated (which is quite often!).

3. “Wait, These External IDs Don’t Match Up Automatically?”

You didn’t expect the matching up of your data with on-premise systems and your cloud ERP to be so problematic, and now you’re paying for it. It turns out much of your data is stored differently with external IDs in each system, and your team is now going to have to replicate the cloud data in-house and run SQL queries in order to update the records and enter the data into your ERP.

Your CIO is not going to be thrilled to hear that you didn’t plan for this, especially when you tell him that, as a result, your estimated cost and timeline were way off. Matching up external IDs between systems should have been a priority from the start, so he’ll take a dim view of your lack of foresight as a result.

4. “I Had No Idea There Were So Many Error Codes For Data Insertion”

Thinking data insertion into Cloud ERP was going to be a breeze was your first mistake. You didn’t allocate enough time or resources, and now you’re stuck with a headache full of status codes and web service calls.

You could always just show your CIO the data dictionary of error codes you’ve compiled and hope he feels your pain. It doesn’t matter if he does or not, though, because you still have to respond to each individual error with a related corrective procedure in order to resubmit the data you couldn’t process in the first place. Good luck with having a social life for the next couple months…and with getting back into your CIO’s good graces.

5. “Our Cloud ERP Went Down…and We’ve Got No Back Up”

You put all your faith in your Cloud ERP solution, and it’s treated you well up until this point. You didn’t see the need for an alternative or backup solution, because you had no reason to doubt that your cloud solution would always be there for you. Until a sprinkler goes off in your cloud provider’s data center and takes your servers down without the fail-over kicking in. Or some similarly freakish disaster.

And now you’ve got to let your CIO know that all order processing must come to a halt because your only ERP is down. I shudder to think of the expression on his face when you tell him that you don’t have a systems of record or backup ERP in place. Not only might he fire you for this mistake, he might even get fired himself.

Are little beads of sweat starting to form on your forehead? If so, take my advice and prepare accordingly for all the pitfalls of cloud ERP integration mentioned above. That way, you don’t have to live in dread of one of these conversations with your CIO happening. You’ll keep your job…and your CIO’s respect.