They key insight around the idea of getting ready for cloud is this: within 30 days of signing your software agreement for your new cloud ERP (software-as-a-service), your organization will pay for the first year up front.
You are literally paying for software that you're not yet using.
A cloud implementation should be faster than a traditional on-premise implementation, so you don't want your side of the team to be the cause of any slow down.
You can start getting ready literally now, no matter how far away from acquiring and implementing the cloud ERP software.
Are your business processes well understood from a cross-functional perspective? Do you have an idea of the quality of your HR, Finance and Student data -- your data health? Do you have an idea of what you'd like your most important processes to look like in the new system? Is your organization ready from a change and training perspective?
Addressing all of these areas, and more, will help your implementation start off smoother and reduce time, costs and ultimately risk.