Right at the time when enterprise resource planning (ERP) had become so commonplace as to even have open source and free versions available for all kinds of startups, SMBs, and enterprises, the wave of cloud-based ERPs emerged. Traditional ERP solutions, in spite of the terrific business applications they deliver, proved to be restrictive for businesses with a lot of moving parts, and with thousands of people and devices with requirements of accessing ERP data from anywhere. The relevance of handheld devices in business operations, the BYOD concept, and the proliferation of the idea of "remote work" have collectively made it next to necessary for ERP vendors to innovate and create solutions that leverage the power of cloud computing. Cloud ERP solutions make it super easy for businesses to enable remote access to enterprise data for employees that can do their work in much more productive and effective manner because of the unfettered connectivity with the ERP.
Instant productivity boosts
Trust cloud ERP solutions to bring in instant productivity boosts to your enterprise operations. Cloud ERPs are inherently aligned with the idea of data accessibility. Employees can access all the information they require (provided they have the requisite authorizations), courtesy cloud ERPs. These systems allow users to log in to applications using web browsers on desktops and smartphones.
Dependencies such as device, network, and operating system are mitigated via cloud ERP solutions. Because of easy and instant access to business info, employees can take quick data-driven actions and accomplish more in less time.
Put a tab on your ERP costs
Cloud-based technology solutions have well documented and widely recommended financial benefits for enterprises. A cloud ERP also brings in the same benefits. For starters, businesses do not need to pay for expensive initial infrastructure setup that’s associated with on-premises ERP.
There is no need to invest capital in server hardware and storage space. Consequently, there is regular maintenance expense associated with data center upkeep. The monthly subscription based billing model makes it super convenient for businesses to start using the most premium ERP packages without having to worry about bearing humongous costs of on-premise implementations.
Also, upgrades to better packages, provisioning of more resources (such as storage, licenses, etc.), and service upgrades become easier to avail in a cloud configuration. All these direct and indirect cost advantages make a cloud ERP a good proposition for all kinds of businesses.
Cloud ERP means stellar security
For many enterprises, the decision to trust the cloud for ERP brings a lot of security concerns and anxieties. A cloud ERP, thankfully, addresses all these concerns.
For starters, purely because of the fact that these new-age ERPs enable remote work easily for employees, their propensity to try out shortcuts for saving and safekeeping important data on unsecured devices such as their smartphones is reduced. Also, cloud ERP vendors do everything necessary to upgrade the security of the servers and other infrastructure components. Even if the worst natural disaster disrupts your geography, cloud-based ERPs will continue to be available, with the data intact.
Quickly go live
One of the problems that adopters of on-premise ERP solutions face is the time it takes for the system to be set up. Implementation can take weeks, if not months. This causes a lot of operational disruption on the business side, and these notional costs are never accounted for in calculating the real financial drain of an on-premise ERP. On the other hand, a cloud ERP can be deployed within a few days or less; that’s because in SaaS models, the vendors take care of all the infrastructure and configuration requirements.
Most of the system, in fact, is pre-configured. Any customizations and specific changes you need in the setup can be quickly managed by the vendor. This means that businesses are able to start reaping the benefits of the ERP solution sooner than otherwise and hence can assume much better ROIs on their investment in the ERP as compared to on-premise ERPs.
Fewer responsibilities to attend to
Running an on-premises ERP brings with itself several responsibilities for the business’ IT department and has, unfortunately, been at the center of several disasters. From managing server hardware to ensuring network security, from database administration to on-site hardware procurement and upkeep – everything adds to the costs and the time that a business needs to invest. Troubleshooting for problems is not easy when it comes to on-premise ERPs, which means that enterprises need to hire specialists and consultants to combat such issues.
With a cloud ERP, all this is taken care of by the vendor. This means that your enterprise will not have to fulfill any responsibilities of system upkeep and maintenance, without paying a premium for the service.
Aligned with other game-changing technologies
Arguably, one of the most important aspects of a cloud ERP is that it is naturally well aligned with leading technologies. IoT, for instance, is all set to be a game changer for enterprises. This technology revolution uses cloud computing (and edge computing, which is beyond the scope of this guide) as a core pillar. Hence, cloud-based ERPs can easily integrate with smart devices in use in an enterprise, collect data from them in real time, and relay back important information on demand or as per schedule, enabling users of these smart devices to work in a better manner than before.
Imagine a salesperson wearing a smart-watch and requesting last year’s purchase patterns analysis for a customer he’s about to visit. The smart-watch can take the request via voice-activation, send the command across to the ERP, and get back the analysis from the ERP and show it in a succinct manner on the smart-watch screen. That’s the kind of impact cloud ERPs can invoke, in conjugation with other technologies but not your dog – just scratch his or her belly and you will be good to go with them!
A cloud ERP brings to you the best of two worlds – the number crunching, analytics, and information warehousing capabilities of ERPs and the affordability, scalability, and security of cloud computing.
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