Why upgrade to IFS Cloud?

Rohana Nagodavithana
Technical Director

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

The project involved an upgrade from Apps 7.5 to Cloud for a leading manufacturer and supplier of industrial parts.

A key part of the team that delivered the upgrade was Rohana Nagodavithana, Technical Director for Change8 – Gtech Group’s full-service IFS consultancy.

So, we asked him to share his insight to help you if you’re thinking about moving from an earlier version of IFS to the company’s latest ERP release.

Why does IFS Cloud matter?

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.

Rohana says: “IFS Cloud is built on the latest technology stack and is 100% cloud based. 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.”

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

Things to consider when thinking about an upgrade

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.

Rohana explains: “Moving from 7.5 to Cloud isn’t strictly speaking an upgrade; it’s a re-implementation because of the difference in the features. 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.

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

How do you successfully 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.

“If a customer gets a bad experience during implementation, they may move to a different ERP solution,” Rohana explains. “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.

The importance of change management

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.

Rohana says: “The new ERP implementation might be challenged by team members who are used to using different processes. Perhaps a lot of their work was manual and paper-based, and they may have fears about their job security.

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.”

IFS Cloud vs Apps 8, 9 and 10

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

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

“Plus, it’s scalable, 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.”

What are the potential risks of staying on a legacy system?

“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.”

And remember, IFS is increasing the cost of the support premium for users who stay on its older versions. So, that’s another reason why an upgrade might benefit your business.

Want to learn more about how our team can help you get the best results from your IFS ERP project? Contact us today.