Determining Your Readiness for Cloud ERP Software
Nowadays, it seems like every business software solution has some kind of Cloud capability. Whether it is a fully Cloud-based system, a hybrid solution offering the option of both Cloud and on-premises, or an on-premises solution with accessibility to the Cloud, many of today’s business technologies are utilizing Cloud computing. With an abundance of Cloud products and tools to choose from, it’s only natural to wonder if moving to a Cloud-based ERP solution is the right choice for your business.
As we stress time and time again, never make a technology decision until you have all the facts and have compared the software to your business needs. Pairing your company with a solution that does not deliver your expectations or meet your basic business needs is never smart. Take the time to do adequate research so you can make an informed decision.
In the area of Cloud computing, there are 5 areas in which we like to advise our clients before they make the jump to the Cloud. Here are a few ways to determine if Cloud-based ERP software is the right fit for your company:
1. Flexibility. What are your flexibility needs? Does your company rely on the ability to access business data and information both in and outside of the office? Do you have service technicians or sales representatives that need access to the software via mobile devices? The Cloud provides companies with flexibility, as it can easily connect to your ERP software and other solutions no matter where your users are located. If you have remote employees or workers who need to be on the road and still access the system, Cloud-based ERP software is the way to go. Many Cloud solutions come with mobile business apps that allow employees greater flexibility with work, which in turn increases productivity.
2. Dependence on IT. Because traditional, on-premises systems are more difficult to handle, many companies have invested in the creation of an in-house IT department. In recent years, however, many companies have had to rely on IT too heavily, tying up their time fixing problems with complicated systems. Cloud ERP solutions typically require fewer technical resources, allowing your IT staff to work on other issues demanding their attention. In addition, most Cloud software providers offer immediate access to software upgrades and new features.
3. Integration. If moving to the Cloud will require a significant number of integrations with existing platforms, you may want to think twice about moving to the Cloud. In addition, you will need to determine if your company has enough bandwidth to create interfaces between your Cloud-based ERP software and data center. If you don’t, your business may not be ready to make the transition just yet.
4. Cost. The transition between an on-premises ERP solution to a Cloud-based ERP solution can be time consuming. If the downtime will significantly affect business operations, it doesn’t make sense to transition to the Cloud at this time. In relation to the actual costs of Cloud-based solutions, yes, a Cloud solution can be more cost-effective as long as companies have considered long-term needs before purchasing the platform.
5. Security. Security of your business information should be one of your top priorities, as ERP software typically contains important proprietary and personal employee information that should be treated with care. The belief that the Cloud is less secure than on-premises software is not necessarily true. Security is more dependent on the amount of planning and preparation you put into the implementation. However, if you have reservations about Cloud security, you may want to hold off on moving your software to the Cloud – at least for now.
Cloud-based ERP software and other business applications can provide your company with the convenience and flexibility you desire, but only if it’s the right fit. Contact our ERP experts to discuss your company’s technology needs and uncover whether the Cloud is the right solution for you today.