This week there’s a short, excellent article on the Forbes site about Boise State University and its transition to a cloud-based Enterprise Resource Planning solution. Even though one of the advantages of cloud is the relatively quick rollout time (compared to customized software), the school’s leaders knew that employees aren’t always eager to embrace a new system. Like many organizations, BSU needed to find the sweet spot between super rapid implementation and being prepared to drive user adoption.
Explore key considerations, integrating the cloud with legacy applications and challenges of current cloud implementations.
Realizing that they needed university-wide best practices, Jo Ellen DiNucci, the university’s associate vice president for finance and administration, built an engagement team of people from different campus divisions. The team documented the various existing business processes and found ways to streamline them to provide a better digital experience for end users. In addition to identifying more efficient processes, members of the cross-departmental group became early adopters who could advocate for the new cloud ERP system from Oracle and help colleagues overcome distrust. “We are actively communicating with business users across Boise State and partnering with them to discuss new processes and demonstrate new features to show how the cloud solution improves on what they’ve been using,” DiNucci says.
My colleague David Chapman focused on this strategy in his recent post on digital transformation. “When we implement change initiatives on our projects, think about the impact of getting the right, early adopters on board and functioning in the ‘new way of life.’ If we can get these important people bought into our solution, others will naturally follow…”
BSU’s DiNucci understands the importance of customer confidence. “Change management is really important,” she says. “At the end, we want to make sure that the campus is efficient and we get everything we want out of the project. And we also want our end users to trust us so that they’ll go along for the ride and be engaged for the next project.”