Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is designed to avoid redundancies or the duplication of resources across your organization. But ERP and the cloud have not been seen as a foolproof system — until now.
The concern about taking ERP to the cloud was very real just a few years ago, in part because ERP generally relies on cross-organizational collaboration. The cloud represented additional concerns regarding the security of data until recently. But times have changed.
Today, the cloud and ERP are finally a solid match. According to Dan Muse, editor in chief of CIO.com, vendors and enterprises view the latest systems as reliable and advantageous. He also says that those that don’t make the leap to the cloud may be at a competitive disadvantage.
Ease of Use Leads the Way to the Cloud
On-premises ERP implementations are on their way to extinction, according to a recent article on CIO.com. The top barriers to cloud ERP adoption in the past — security concerns and IT leaders’ strong resistance to change — are no longer the case.
As IT and business management have come to understand the cloud’s capabilities and value proposition, their position on ERP and the cloud has evolved.
Here is why:
- The cloud offers faster deployment of information. Cloud-based systems makes it easier to embed analytics and reporting in the transaction system so users can see reports in real time.
- There is wide availability of the latest versions of applications, less need for on-site support and simpler pricing.
- The latest systems offer greater ease of use, mobile-enablement of applications, and easier integration with outside data sources. Today’s cloud-based ERP systems have internet of things (IoT) and machine learning capabilities.
- With superior security technology and expertiseat its disposal, the cloud provider’s entire focus is the integrity of your data. Automatic updates means the latest in security is always deployed.
- Update/upgrade cycles, database maintenance, training requirements and the customizations take one-third the amount of time. In contrast to a year-and-a-half upgrade for on-premises systems, the cloud migration takes about six months.
- It is also possible to pull in data from outside sources, specifically social media and the connected devices that make up the IoT. This data allows automated decision-making by predicting behavior, which can be useful in accounts-receivable operations.
The future is in the cloud
The research firm Gartner predicts that the cloud will become the default option for software deployment by the year 2020. In fact, a recent Gartner study found that 47% of the organizations surveyed plan to move their core ERP systems to the cloud within five years. This shift may take on-premises ERP into legacy status.
With this new level of connectedness — and the embedded analytics that cloud ERP offers —there are abundant opportunities to better manage business operations and improve efficiencies throughout an organization or enterprise.