Three mistakes to avoid when mapping your digital journey

Moving to the cloud offers organisations huge advantages, says Infor’s Phil Lewis, but to benefit from its potential they need to avoid common errors as they set off on this journey
digital journey mapping

1. Choosing an ‘on the cloud’, not an ‘in the cloud’, solution

This might sound like a small distinction, but it represents a big difference in practice. “As a provider, I could, for instance, subscribe to some capacity from your preferred cloud provider and load Windows 95 into it,” says Phil Lewis, vice-president of solution consulting EMEA at Infor, a global leader in business cloud software specialised by industry. “Does that make me a genuine cloud provider? No. It simply means I’m hosting a legacy system in another company’s data centre.”

Cloud customers should look for a true cloud provider, one that has engineered its applications to be able to take advantage of all the power the cloud offers. This means taking them from traditional, on-premise technology and entirely reengineering them to become cloud-ready.
“Organisations come to us because we work closely with Amazon Web Services, the largest cloud provider, so we benefit from being able to use their services to deliver capabilities, futureproof the system and provide a better experience for our clients,” says Lewis.

A true in the cloud provider will be able to deliver new capabilities for their clients as they become available in a non-disruptive, seamless way. Similarly, they can implement new technology and SaaS innovations immediately without having to embark on major upgrades, with all the inherent disruption that comes with that.

2. Opting for a generic system

“Organisations are now demanding technology that’s built to be relevant to their sector and their activities,” says Lewis. “They’re fed up with having to heavily modify software to make it capable of running their businesses. It’s restrictive, it’s expensive and it stops innovation.”
Instead, he argues, cloud customers would be better working with specialist providers. “We design, develop and deploy technology with those last mile features specific to each industry included. This minimises the need for costly modification and integration because it’s all there, out of the box, ready for the customer to use.”

This approach provides organisations, whatever their sector, with the ability to control their business processes without having to try to adapt generic applications to fit their requirements.

3. Viewing digital as simply a bolt-on

“So often you see digital capabilities simply being bolted on to existing systems,” explains Lewis. “This means that those systems become disjointed and expensive to maintain.”

Putting the cloud at the heart of operations allows companies to benefit from all the technologies it can offer. It’s to exploit these opportunities that Infor, which has been recognised by Gartner as a ‘Leader’ in the 2021 Magic Quadrant for Cloud ERP for Product-Centric Enterprises, has created Infor OS. The company describes it as “a cloud operating platform for the future.”

“Clients tell us that they like the fact that within Infor OS everything they need is available as standard,” says Lewis. “All the capabilities are connected and ready to use, whether that’s big data, artificial intelligence, machine learning, process automation, the internet of things or user experience.”

A growing number of Infor’s 65,000 customers across more than 175 countries are taking advantage of these cloud technologies.

“They like the fact that they don’t have to embark on any expensive integration project,” says Lewis. “They can just use it to transform every element of how they do business, whether it’s customer and employee engagement, improving operational efficiency, increasing supply chain visibility or simply connecting everyone and everything.

“They can build a business model that was unimaginable a few years ago and one that is now ready to help organisations make the most of the exciting opportunities the cloud has to offer.”

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