What to do When Your PeopleSoft Experts Head for Retirement
If it ain’t broke, don’t buy anything new
There are few organizations where employees expect a sudden budget leniency, but this is especially unlikely in the public sector. Working for a local government, regardless of its size, means working on a strictly-enforced and maintained budget year over year. There are no sudden splurges because of a good third quarter; the budget is a massive undertaking that is cemented come the end of the fiscal year and will stay that way until next year.
That means that upgrading technology systems, such as your ERP infrastructure, are going to take time. For example, the consensus may be that the future of ERP is life in the cloud, but if your current system is handling the job just fine, no budget planning committee is going to fall all over itself investing in the next big thing. Generally, the best approach is to drive these decisions based on business requirements. If your business requirements are being met, easily the most cost-effective approach is to stay put. Given the longevity of PeopleSoft, there are few gaps in the functionality so it is likely that your business needs are (or can be) met with your current platform. (The budget team just breathed a sigh of relief!)
Finding the people for PeopleSoft
That’s why PeopleSoft itself isn’t a pain point that many city governments and administrators are dealing with; the issue is finding qualified individuals that know all the ins and outs of the robust ERP package. Organizations need people who can come on and get their hands dirty keeping all that infrastructure running the day-to-day endeavors. The first version of PeopleSoft debuted in 1989 and has been upgraded numerous times in the 33 years since. But a lot of the employees who worked for early adopters of the ERP innovator are also a few decades into their careers, and retirement is right around the corner. Organizations facing the en masse retirement of senior employees skilled in PeopleSoft are faced with a tough choice: extensive training for younger employees to take over the reins or digging into the budget for a transition to a new solution.
Meeting in the middle
Fortunately, there’s plenty of middle ground to explore and find a comfortable landing spot in. The two key variables to finding a solution are your local government’s number of employees and your operating budget for your ERP needs. Consider these possibilities for keeping your PeopleSoft environment pristine as things change in your workforce:
- Invest in managed services: A third-party can provide skilled employees who will manage your PeopleSoft applications, giving your organization the time to train replacements to your outgoing staff, or begin considering alternate long-term solutions.
- Bring in an ERP consulting firm: They can serve as a wayfinder between where you are and where you want to be 5-10 years down the road. A cloud transition can come in small, strategic moves that greatly reduce the fear and frustration of leaping from one solution to the next “without a net.”
- Retain a company that specializes in PeopleSoft solutions: They can be brought in on an ad hoc basis. When you need their services, they are just a phone call away. When issues occasionally pop up or your changing needs require a changing solution, you’ll have the support you require.
…and if moving to the cloud is an unstoppable force in your organization…
- Put PeopleSoft on the Cloud: Getting the benefits of cloud solutions doesn’t require tossing out the baby with the bathwater. PeopleSoft works perfectly well in a hosted model and, when combined with managed services, brings all the benefits of a SaaS like solution without the enormous costs and disruptions from switching applications.