Why upgrade to IFS Cloud?

It’s three months since Change8 delivered the UK’s first IFS Cloud implementation.

The upgrade from Apps 7.5 to Cloud was delivered by the Change8 team for a leading manufacturer and supplier of industrial parts.

At the heart of that team was Change8’s Technical Director, Rohana Nagodavithana. So, we asked him to share his insight on what you need to think about if you’re on an earlier version of IFS and are considering an upgrade to the company’s latest ERP release.

Read on to discover:

  • Why IFS Cloud is important
  • Who it’s for
  • The features and benefits
  • What you need to consider
  • Tips for a successful upgrade
  • IFS Cloud vs IFS Apps 8, 9 and 10
  • The pitfalls of staying on a legacy system

Why is IFS Cloud important?

Released in 2021, IFS Cloud is a single platform that delivers solutions across service management, enterprise resource planning and enterprise asset management.

It brings together the full spectrum of IFS capabilities in a single product and supporting platform, with solutions tailored to your industry and needs. You start with the functionality you need and deploy extra capabilities as your business changes and grows.

“IFS Cloud is built on the latest technology stack and is 100% cloud based,” says Rohana. “This latest technology has all the security and performance enhancements, and all the other capabilities come with that.”

Who is IFS Cloud for?

Traditionally, IFS has aimed its products mainly at SMEs in industries.

“But it’s now shifting its focus towards major businesses and blue-chip companies,” says Rohana. “IFS is strongest in the manufacturing and service industries.”

What are the key features and benefits of IFS Cloud?

You can deploy the product from IFS’s cloud or operate pre-packaged IFS Cloud software remotely from your own platform, whether cloud or on-premises.

IFS Cloud’s capabilities include:

  • Remote assistance
  • Machine learning
  • Process automation
  • Advanced optimisation
  • Lobbies
  • Responsive design
  • Branded experience
  • Offline-capable mobile apps
  • Office add-ins

What do you need to consider?

If you’re moving to IFS Cloud from a much earlier version of IFS, such as Apps 7.5, it’s a much bigger jump than upgrading from a more recent version.

“Moving from 7.5 to Cloud isn’t strictly speaking an upgrade; it’s a re-implementation because of the difference in the features,” explains Rohana. “But anything from Apps 8 onwards is an upgrade.”

IFS’s latest approach is to encourage users to get rid of their old customisations during their upgrade or re-implementation.

Rohana explains: “With the old customisations, in Apps 7 for example, the customer had to pay a lot to maintain them. But you’ll find a lot of your requirements are covered by the core functionality in IFS Cloud.”

Tips for a successful upgrade to IFS Cloud

“A successful software implementation isn’t just about the quality of the product; it’s about how the system is delivered,” says Rohana. “If a customer gets a bad experience during implementation, they may move to a different ERP solution. IFS has great features and uses the latest technology, but some businesses might find the implementation goes wrong, or it takes longer than they expected.”

And that’s why business change plays a key role in the success of any IFS Cloud delivery.

One of the first steps is to identify the benefits you want from IFS Cloud. Then, regular testing should be carried out during implementation to ensure the value is being realised. And your team should be supported throughout the process to help them understand the new ways of working before go-live.

“The new ERP implementation might be challenged by team members who are used to using different processes,” says Rohana. “Perhaps a lot of their work was manual and paper-based, and they may have fears about their job security. So, change management is crucial, because it helps your team to accept the changes and the new systems. Usually, a new ERP system doesn’t mean redundancies. The aim is to improve your company’s processes, make the business more efficient and help it to generate more revenue.”

How does IFS Cloud compare to IFS Apps 8, 9 and 10?

“IFS Cloud is scalable,” says Rohana, “and the system integration is more user-friendly than previous versions. In older versions, you couldn’t run IFS on other operating systems like macOS. But because the latest version is browser based, you can run it on any device, including Apple.”

Rohana insists it’s worth considering bypassing Apps 8, 9 or 10 and upgrading straight to IFS Cloud.

“IFS Cloud is more than a year old and it’s more stable now,” he says. “It’s had time to mature.”

What are the pitfalls of staying on a legacy system?

Using a legacy system is a risk to your business because the software continues to age.

“You’ll be more at risk of a ransomware attack with a legacy system,” says Rohana, “which is what happened with the cyberattack on the NHS in 2017. A percentage of its IT estate was using old Windows software and old machines, and the computers that hadn’t installed security patches were vulnerable to attack. Another reason to upgrade is because IFS is increasing the cost of the support premium for users who stay on its older versions.”

Why was Change8 chosen for the UK’s first IFS Cloud implementation?

The client had been working with an IFS Partner on its upgrade from Apps 7.5 to Cloud, but was unsatisfied with the level of support, so asked Change8 to take over. Change8 was chosen because of our ability to overcome any issues the project might encounter and to help the client’s team prepare for the change.

The re-implementation was completed within eight months and the client achieved a stable state within a week of go-live

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