The Cloud: Expanding its Cover over ERP Software

The past week has been chock full of cloud-related news. First, Microsoft announces that it will begin offering the Microsoft Dynamics ERP software through the Azure cloud platform. Then Dell announces that they will spend $1 billion this year to create 10 data centers that will support cloud services for enterprises. IBM also announced that they will support the SAP database on the cloud.

The “cloud” has always been a buzzword, but now that buzz has started to build into a roar. One of the attractive features of hosting ERP software on the cloud is the lower cost of maintenance, along with avoiding the complications and costs of hardware and software installations. Because a cloud-computing ERP solution is delivered through the Web, you can access ERP applications and business data with just an Internet connection. And, cloud-computing ERP software is not something new. Vendors such as NetSuite, Acumatica, and Plex Systems offer their ERP software exclusively on the Cloud.

However, that “anywhere, anytime” access is also what detracts some businesses from adopting the Cloud. Sensitive business data is stored in ERP systems, and some companies are just not comfortable with the idea that they have no control over the storage of confidential business information. Vendors that offer their solutions on the Cloud usually boast about the robust security features they have to protect their systems. If the momentum continues towards the Cloud, the issue of data security won’t go away, but vendors will also respond with even tighter protection and security measures built into their systems.

This shift to the cloud won’t happen overnight, of course. Companies have invested millions on their legacy ERP systems and their employees are familiar with how these systems work. But, the “cloud” is not just another business software trend that will be replaced by some new technological advance next year. If anything, the investment companies like Microsoft and Dell have made into cloud technology prove that the Cloud will grow to become a dominant force. And these companies want a piece of that pie while the market is still open.

What do you think of ERP vendors entering the Cloud? Will you move your ERP solution to the Cloud?

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Comments (2)

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  1. Thank you for the article! I am very excited about Cloud ERP and the potential opportunities for customers, however, I like to speak to the minority opinion for a balanced discussion. Just as ERP was deemed the panacea for all business automation pains, Cloud ERP is positioned as a revolutionary approach to deploying an ERP solution. Cloud ERP provides a solution that is flexible, adaptable, scalable, efficient, and affordable. Customers can enjoy painless upgrades, rapid deployment, and easy customization along with availability “anywhere at anytime”! Practically speaking, Cloud ERP is just another deployment option available to customers. The activities required for an “on premise” ERP implementation are also required for Cloud ERP. The scope and responsibility for the implementation activities may be different but most assuredly they are still required. Let’s further discuss the key impacts that a Cloud ERP deployment will have on the implementation.

  2. Jack Saint says:

    There is no denying that Cloud Based ERP has great appeal and is where everything is heading. The question is how quickly. Our software offers either Cloud based or on-premise options and the vast majority of our prospects this year to date have inquired about The Cloud, only to select on-premise. Long term investments in internal IT and personnel, and remaining concerns over security and data accessibility are not easy to change. However, as the Cloud becomes more accepted for enterprise applications, this will be the deployment choice. Brett is correct – for ERP Implementations, whether the app is on the Cloud or local, the same steps for implementation, configuration setup and training activities will remain.

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