Moving an ERP, or legacy built client-server system, with 'old code', to a new code base of web services, web-enable functionality, and multi-tenancy [shared resources among many users]; entails careful thought, planning and cost-benefits calculation.

There are many benefits to Cloud-enabling your sales, field and remote workers. However, for most firms, there are enormous legacy investments including ERP, and Client-Server, which cannot be thrown away. In the real world of distributed computing, most companies will be deploying a Hybrid Cloud Computing Model, which integrates distributed computing with existing legacy systems.

 

In this scenario, some of the ERP or client-server modules stay within the on-site, or company hosted location. Other modules are cloud-enabled, connecting back to the legacy systems via a VPN.

 

The main advantage of this hybrid approach is its contained implementation and maintenance costs. It also allows a targeted approach to cloudifying new code and modules. Necessary migration of code is not easy, nor hassle free. Having a clear target – for sales, marketing, client management – makes calculating an ROI and managing the entire project, much easier.

 

Steps in migrating a legacy system to a hybrid cloud:

 

 

At some point when thoroughly vetted turn the new ERP Cloud module 'on', and make the legacy system ERP module a historical data store

 

Confirm the ROI through a methodology which tracks benefits and costs – new sales, happier clients, more productivity, a decrease in Call Center personnel and costs; more orders and revenue processed etc.

 

An additional advantage worth mentioning is the service level agreement (SLA) with the Cloud Service Provider, which protects a company from various infrastructure risks.