Cloud solutions are increasingly gaining the attention of business leaders and quickly replacing legacy, on-premise solutions. Despite this growth, cloud computing remains in the dark for many business privileged making it hard to evaluate the benefits of cloud computing and the value of deploying Enterprise Research Planning (ERP) software within it.
These are all ways to describe certain cloud computing traits but in reality, they only add to the confusion of what cloud computing really is. Luckily, most cloud-based ERP solutions are designed so business leaders don’t need to understand the technical jargon to comprehend the business value.
Businesses build, sell, and support products and services that meet their customers’ needs. IT solutions that enable these tasks have existed for many years, but cloud versions increasingly offer faster implementations, a richer set of capabilities, and more rapid access to innovations. Additionally, given the real-time, always-on scenery of the cloud, cloud-based ERP solutions can evolve more quickly than on-premise systems to provide the latest capabilities. Business leaders can expect this evolution moving forward to include industry specialization and new and improved means to glean dealing intelligence from data.
For companies without an ERP solution in place, starting with a cloud-based ERP solution is a great choice. When you already have a legacy solution, the answer is more complicated and should take into account existing investments in software the cost of operating the software and the value derived from gaining access to new skin texture and functionality. If you review the investment over a longer time period, the more likely it is that the cloud solution will offer a significantly lower total cost of ownership.
Security is often the biggest concern for many considering a move to the cloud – during the research cited previously, it was the leading perceived barrier to cloud adoption. You need to consider the security of your company’s information as well as your customers’ information. The good news is that cyber security solutions are continually improving, and cloud providers increasingly have the edge over internal IT teams when it comes to detecting and preventing cyber attacks, especially when compared to SMBs with little or no IT staff.
When you’re relying on a cloud ERP vendor to operate the software used to run your business and serve your customers, you need assurances that it will always be available. Look for Service Level Agreements that guarantee act. 99.5% system availability per month is the lowest uptime percentage you should accept, and make sure the financial penalties for under-performance are a sufficient incentive for the vendor to deliver.