Hosting PeopleSoft in the Cloud

There is some uncertainty about what it means to move PeopleSoft “to the Cloud.” The simplest description is running your PeopleSoft (PSoft) system outside of your facility—in someone else’s facility. There are many options available. There are options regarding what you are responsible for and what the vendor is responsible for (e.g., patching SW, security, where/what country you want the facility, among many others). I see PeopleSoft in the Cloud as really how ERP services were provided in the past and how ERP services can be provided now—moving from the physical data center you grew up with to a more effective environment in the Cloud.

Benefits

Now, the big question: why move your PeopleSoft system off site and have a third party manage it? Why indeed? Some of my top reasons include eliminating the need to hire, train, develop, and mentor staff (the vendor provides staff). This is a big thing, as it is becoming more difficult and expensive each year to find all the skillsets critical to run a system. If you consider fractional resources (e.g., DBA) and occasional specialized resources, this is both cost effective and frees time for you to spend on areas where you can make a positive difference to the bottom line.

Did you know a Cloud vendor can patch all software and provide state-of-the-art multi-layered security? The vendor will typically have staff members who specialize in all the tasks needed for running the PeopleSoft stack, patches to all SW, tuning, security, and hardware. They accomplish all of this at less cost by leveraging their resources. Vendor staff members are generally efficient (quick) because they have optimized the processes to maintain and run PeopleSoft by managing many hundreds or thousands of instances. Staff are trained to bring leading practices to optimize the system and keep it current. All of this provides you with time to focus on your core objectives.

One more mention of security. Let me speculate: if Equifax had moved the management of its system to the Cloud, it would have increased the likelihood of its infrastructure being up to date with patches applied when they first became available and of its database being encrypted. Would the breach still have happened? Possibly, but likely with far less damage. What is the value here? Priceless!

Risks/Cons

I want to recognize reasons why customers hesitate to move their on-premise system to a Cloud environment.

These are some of the reasons we hear:

  • The desire for total and complete control over the system. For example, request a system backup, migration, or creation of a new instance—now. But when you investigate these areas, you may be surprised about the services in the Cloud.
  • Concerns about security, performance, integration, patching, and disaster recovery. You really may be surprised at the service levels in the Cloud. Cloud providers operate 24×365. Most on-premise systems have off periods. All it takes is for a key person to be on vacation or tardy in applying an important patch for your organization to make the 6:00 p.m. news.
  • Corporate policy may prohibit off-site systems. I’ve seen a non-U.S. Corp restrict its U.S. organization from running anything in the Cloud. Why? Usually security/privacy concerns that are actually well addressed in the Cloud.

There are other reasons. It’s like working on your own car. Some people can do a good job, but these days, using specialists will more likely result in a more cost-effective and reliable solution—quality.

Next Step

There are a couple of options. I think the most straightforward approach is to simply ask questions. Start conversations with organizations that provide the service of moving PeopleSoft to a Cloud environment. Ask about the services they provide, the service level agreement (SLA), and the costs to move it and maintain it. Do they have any guarantees? For example, if they don’t meet the agreed SLA, will they put you back into your system at their expense? Another question to ask: how easy is it to increase or decrease services (e.g., during open enrollment you may want to support many more users than normal)?

Here is a three-minute video that was shot with Oracle PeopleSoft. Note, Oracle and Sierra-Cedar both provide services related to moving PeopleSoft to the Cloud. Contact us to ask any questions. You could improve your TCO and improve your service at the same time.

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