When implementing a cloud-based ERP platform like Workday, some companies are surprised to discover that “go-live is day one.” Far from being the end of the journey, it is when the real work begins to, stabilize, optimize and maintain the system, and to take advantage of Workday’s twice-yearly updates as well as other opportunities to enhance the system.
Accordingly, proactively planning for how the organization is going to support the application post go-live is essential for reaping the intended benefits and realizing ongoing value from the investment. Indeed, 29% of businesses cite lack of technical skills as the barrier to technology adoption and value, and 50% of businesses point to maintenance and ongoing support after launch as a key barrier to technology scaling initiatives. 1 To surmount these barriers, many companies would be well-served to consider three types of support models as part of their planning process:
Organizations often make their support-model decisions based on faulty assumptions, which can leave them ill-equipped to maintain and improve their systems after go-live. As part of its Operate services, Deloitte offers all three of these support models, each of which has its advantages depending on the circumstances.
It is not uncommon for organizations to incorrectly assume that cloud-based applications are easier to support, and therefore require fewer people and skills than on-premise applications. Others believe they are well-positioned to support Workday internally, but they discover after go-live that they don’t have sufficient capability or capacity to do so. Still others assume they can simply retrain their on-premise IT staff to support a cloud application, though that is not always the case. Often, internal staff members can’t get up to speed fast enough because they’re not able to break free of their day-to-day jobs during the implementation. For instance, they can’t focus enough time during build and testing phases because they’re still responsible for running the old system until the new one is deployed. Consequently, they don’t get the full context of why certain decisions were made, and they’re constrained in understanding the new system and the skills required to maintain it.
To help companies avoid these assumptions and to make their support-model decisions based on facts, Deloitte conducts sustainment labs as part of its application management service offering for Workday. Drawing upon the knowledge of our HCM, financial management, and supply chain management practitioners, these labs comprise a series of guided discussions that help companies assess their readiness to support their Workday applications from both a functional and technical perspective. These discussions often cover questions such as:
In our experience, even the most mature technology organizations have gaps in their support capabilities that are not readily apparent. Identifying these gaps and closing them prior to go-live is essential for keeping your Workday platform running smoothly, securely, reliably and cost-effectively. While there is a stabilization period post-go live, often requiring additional capacity for a 3-6 month duration, advanced planning – with the help of an experienced application management services provider possessing both functional and technical knowledge – can mean the difference between being derailed by costly technical and adoption challenges, and driving continuous value from your Workday investment from day one
1Nitin Mittal, Irfan Saif and Beena Ammanath, State of AI in the enterprise, 5th edition, October 2022, p. 8, https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/us/Documents/deloitte-analytics/us-ai-institute-state-of-ai-fifth-edition.pdf , accessed May 2, 2023