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DLA's ERP Migration Success Will Drive Future Business Transformation

The Department of Defense has reached an important milestone in its move to the cloud. The company recently completed the migration of its enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to the cloud.

Adaryl Roberts, program executive officer at the Defense Logistics Agency, said this recent success is one big leap in the company’s cloud and digital transformation journey.

“Originally, this ERP migration to the cloud was planned to be a two-year effort. Through the hard work of everyone and strong senior leadership…

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The Department of Defense has reached an important milestone in its move to the cloud. The company recently completed the migration of its enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to the cloud.

Adaryl Roberts, program executive officer at the Defense Logistics Agency, said this recent success is one big leap in the company’s cloud and digital transformation journey.

“Originally, this ERP migration to the cloud was planned to be a two-year effort. We’re done,” Roberts told Ask the CIO. “We looked at this in three phases. After looking at how to remove the less critical components of ERP, we moved the ERP central components (ECC), which are the operational brains of ERP, SAP and Oracle. Then we actually have an enterprise data warehouse and analytics tools are part of our ERP architecture.That was our phase 3 move.”

DLA had planned to complete the migration in December 2021, but has now waited until February to address issues that arose during the migration.

Roberts said the transition is still ahead of schedule and a little under budget.

“In each phase, there were three steps within each mock release, taking the application down over the weekend and doing the actual migration to the cloud. We learned some lessons,” he said. Told. “I would say it was a team effort, meaning everyone was on the phone day and night, mornings and weekends. Sometimes it was long. Perfect. We found it wise to do more testing, so the DLA supported us with fewer day-to-day problems when it went live. We completed it in February, and nothing impacted day-to-day operations or support for our fighters.”

DLA’s success is all the more important as government agencies, especially the Department of Defense, have struggled to modernize their ERP systems over the past two decades. The Air Force, for example, canceled its modernization efforts in 2012 after he spent over $1 billion in seven years and only got about $100 million worth of usable functionality.

91% of all applications in the cloud

Roberts says the initial migration of the ERP system to the cloud is only the first step. The ultimate goal is to potentially move the system to a Software as a Service (SaaS) platform, utilizing advanced technology to implement business transformation and reengineering of business processes, he said. says.

“Based on the current state of commercial software, we are looking at our internal processes and looking at how we can reinvent the way we do business in the DLA, take advantage of it, and reduce some of the customization within our architecture. , one is easier from a technical maintenance point of view,” he said. “It also makes it easier for the business from a training perspective, because we can leverage more commercial training than system-specific training.”

In the last few years, DLA has moved about 91% of all applications to the cloud, but only 6% of them are on SaaS platforms. Most of that he 6% is in commercial cloud services.

Roberts said the DLA will never put all of its applications into the commercial cloud, but plans to leverage these platforms as much as possible.

“We’re looking for something that really has to be customized, so how do we leverage the low-code, quick-code type of SaaS environment that we have,” he said. “We have invested heavily in our platform, including low-code development. can be migrated to that platform and managed from that SaaS environment.”

DLA DNA

In this way, DLA can continuously modernize business applications. Roberts calls it “his DNA at the DLA” to continuously consider how to transform the business through IT enablement.

“We also continue to plan to migrate the classified environment SIPRnet to the cloud by the end of fiscal year 2023,” he said. “These cloud migrations require a focus and a specific goal. Our commitment is to accelerate from legacy applications. We realized that some were unique and we had to maintain those capabilities. You only need to log into the platform once to trade with DLA, and then you can use DLA to do business wherever you need to do business today. Well, it’s not.”

Another area of ​​focus is data and the architecture that supports it.

“To fully leverage data as a strategic asset, we need to work with our partners to organize the data architecture across enterprise systems to maximize the use of AI and machine learning technologies and other automations that matter to all.” We have these initiatives,” said Roberts. “We must keep in mind that our mission is to support combatants and to support entire governments against natural disasters and pandemics. It’s all about enhancing our ability to support business processes and enable them to take full advantage of new technologies.”

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