Businesses in today’s highly competitive marketplace provide unique services, increase customer loyalty, and improve productivity with the automation of key business processes. At the core of business process automation, ERP systems were designed to eliminate manual processes and connect disparate business systems, providing a centralized location for improved business visibility and data driven decisions.
Traditionally, most ERP systems were sold as on-premise package, usually installed on client workstations and supported by internal servers that store data from these systems. These systems which are heavily dependent on IT infrastructure maintenance, do not always create the flexibility needed for growing businesses. Furthermore, these growing business need to be able to connect to business systems, in real-time – anywhere, anytime. The advent of cloud ERP systems have provided a flexible, cost-effective alternative to traditional on-premise ERP systems.
What is Cloud ERP?
Cloud ERP is an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system that utilizes cloud computing as the form of software service delivery. In essence, a cloud ERP system could refer to both a cloud based ERP system delivered in the Software as a Service (SaaS) model, or it could refer to hosting a traditional on-premise ERP in a cloud environment, such as, virtual private cloud, private cloud or public cloud environment.
Why Cloud ERP?
Cloud ERP systems offer many benefits, including, automatic updates (in cloud-based ERP systems), lower upfront costs, less in-house IT maintenance, workforce mobility, just to name a few. Essentially, your cloud ERP systems could be the key to creating a unified and flexible business system with easy access to data from all areas of your business like customer relationship management, sales, accounting, procurement, distribution, and human resources.
Cloud ERP Benefits
Cloud-based ERP (SaaS) systems are more easily scalable. Unlike traditional ERP systems where you may need to perform manual upgrades yourself, every time a new version of software is available you are able to update your systems almost as instantaneously. In some cases, some software updates are automatic and happen behind the scenes. Additionally, for cloud-based ERP systems, it is usually inexpensive to upgrade existing systems because upgrades are usually bundled together with the price of the software. When hosting an on-premise solution in with an ERP cloud-hosting vendor, such as CompuData, we take care of all of your infrastructure software upgrades as well.
2. Lower Upfront costs
A key benefit of cloud based ERP is the ability to quickly purchase and have an ERP system up-and-running without having to put down the cash needed to purchase the software solution right away. In most cases, cloud based ERP systems are sold in a subscription-pricing model, where bills can be paid on a monthly or yearly basis. In the case of hosting an on-premise ERP system in a cloud environment, you are able to eliminate the costs of server maintenance and internal purchase of disk space.
3. Anytime, Anywhere Access
Unlike on-premise ERP systems, cloud ERP systems give growing businesses the ability to improve workforce mobility and increase productivity, even when employees are on the go. The need to for employees to easily access data is becoming ever so prevalent since the number of remote workers is on the rise. For businesses with multiple offices, cloud ERP offers the flexibility needed to ensure streamlined communication and connectivity for all employees.
4. Less IT Maintenance Internally
Since ERP systems provide the connectivity needed for all areas of your business, managing these systems internally can be cumbersome. Most times, your IT staff is bugged down with day-to-day routine maintenance and troubleshooting tasks to keep the system up and running. Unfortunately, managing ERP systems internally leaves little to no-time for strategic IT infrastructure planning and governance.
With cloud ERP solutions you have the ability to eliminate the burden off of your IT team. Essentially, cloud ERP solutions help small to midsize businesses to make the most out of their IT teams. Similarly, for businesses that do not have a fully developed IT department, they can operate smoothly without having to make that additional investment.
5. Robust Backup & Disaster Recovery
A key benefit of having a cloud ERP solution is the ability to have an offsite backup and recovery plan either included in your cloud ERP solution or available as an add-on. Most cloud based ERP solutions are usually sold with the backup functionality already included and performed at scheduled times. In most cases, backups and restoration can also be performed with the click of a button. Compared to traditional tape backups that may not be tested regularly, cloud based ERP solutions usually come with a more robust backup and recovery solution. Moreover, when hosting your on-premise ERP solution in the cloud, you also have the option of adding on a backup and recovery solution.
The promise of cloud ERP is simple: it sets the stage for creating a more nimble business, powered for growth with the aid of innovative, flexible ERP technology solutions, that adapt to changing business needs.
For businesses interested in taking advantage of the benefits of Cloud ERP solutions, CompuData offers various options, from cloud-based ERP solutions to virtual private hosting for your traditionally on-premise ERP solution.