As you consider the options for the future of your organization’s IT management, there are many factors to consider. Should you move applications to the cloud to reduce IT burden? If so, which applications?
There is a growing trend to add ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) to the list of applications that should be moved to the cloud. ERP support likely consumes a large chunk of time from your IT staff. Whether hosted or SaaS (software as a service), cloud-based ERP can significantly ease the burden on an overworked IT staff.
Five decision points
Of the many factors to consider in moving ERP to the cloud, five stand out as the most common first issues to address, including security, cost, accessibility, integration and transportability.
- Security of cloud-based ERP. While many business owners feel strongly that their data is more secure if it is under their own roof, that is often a misconception. The security and disaster recovery of a professionally managed data center is probably far more secure than the server room of most companies.
- Cost savings from moving ERP to the cloud. Cloud based ERP eliminates the need to purchase and keep current the hardware and software required to keep ERP software running at peak performance. With most hosting and SaaS ERP offerings, upgrades are included in the fees to significantly cut IT support costs.
- Access for employees working remotely. According to recent studies, most companies now have employees who work from home or in the field. Keeping those employees connected to the information they need to respond to customers and complete their work is essential. Since cloud-based ERP solutions are designed to be accessed via the internet, remote workers will have the same experience as those workers in the office.
- Integration with other business applications. Most businesses rely on many applications to serve customers and create value. The integration tools of today make connecting applications easier than ever. Many companies are using a hybrid approach, where some applications are hosted or SaaS and some are housed and supported internally.
- The ability to change. Change is part of business, which makes it imperative to ensure that the ERP cloud provider that you work with will support your decision if your decide to move on. The ability to migrate your data to a different platform, should the need arise, is an important discussion to have early on in the decision process.
A unique decision
Every organization is unique and your decision to move applications to the cloud will be based on your requirements. Take the time to evaluate carefully and ask the questions that will ensure your organization’s success. If you would like more information to help evaluate your cloud options, let’s talk soon.
Published on 29th March 2013 by Jeanne DeWitt.