As Cloud ERP vendors gain momentum in the manufacturing and distribution industries, ERP selection teams continue to give serious consideration to the technology platform. For today’s project teams, since adoption and ERP implementation are more widespread, Cloud ERP considerations are very much on the minds of today’s small to medium organizations..
Key business drivers contribute to the growing interest in Cloud ERP, including the advantages the model delivers in terms of timely product upgrades. The enterprise gains control from all users operating from one version of the software, while the software vendor does the heavy lifting of updating the software and making changes automatically available. Another critical business driver is “anywhere anytime access” as well as the ability to run more flexible systems that adapt to changing market conditions.
Small to medium manufacturers and distributors also look to the promise of more adaptability in terms of bringing on new operations as an enterprise grows through mergers and acquisitions
In all, the Cloud model is an effective, scalable and economic way to implement business applications. Cloud ERP allows a company to respond to the challenges it will face years into the future, as well as those confronting it today.
A recent webinar produced with Terillium entitled “5 Key Things to Know About Cloud ERP” featured Ultra Consultant’s George Trudell, a leader on the Ultra ERP consultants team. Attendees gained value from insight into what project teams must keep front and center when looking to the viability of Cloud ERP.
We’ve shared highlights summarized by Terillium below.
Read Terillium’s original blog post summarizing the key points of the webinar.
Consideration 1: Cloud ERP – A Working Definition
As George Trudell reminded webinar participants, cloud service is delivered through an off-site model, as opposed to on-premise or co-located hardware and software. In the case of Cloud ERP, the Enterprise Resource Planning solution is hosted off-site through a vendor. Through Ultra’s work with project teams, Cloud ERP solutions are proving to be strategic, innovative, cost-saving measures that can fit business needs without investment in on-site hardware and other infrastructure.
Consideration 2: Cut Costs, Increase ROI
Cutting time and resources during a Cloud ERP implantation is a key driver. George Trudell shared that Cloud ERP can be deployed quickly at a lower cost than on-premise solutions, and enables real-time access to important business information. Cloud ERP solutions offer frequent, automatic upgrades that are less pervasive to the business. The software evolves to fit growing/changing businesses.
These lower operating costs make it easier for organizations to improve ROI without interruptions to day-to-day operations. This higher ROI, Trudell said, is what has been driving many businesses to move from on-premise systems to Cloud ERP. A Nucleus Research report that Trudell shared during the presentation states that cloud application projects deliver 2.1 times the ROI versus on-premise projects.
Though the specific offerings vary with each solution, most Cloud ERP vendors also offer substantial business and user support – lessening the burden on internal teams.
Consideration 3: Reduce Risk
Every organization seeks to reduce risks associated with enterprise software implementation. Cloud ERP systems offer increased security, and often 24-hour support, allowing companies to significantly decrease risk by choosing to transition to a Cloud ERP. Cloud ERP also increases uptime, meaning less disruptions and increased productivity for companies running less reliable legacy systems. Cloud solutions generally include a commitment for uptime. Secure data storage in the cloud also alleviates concerns that can arise when an employee leaves the company, or a company device is stolen or misplaced.
Consideration 4: The Bottom Line – Improve Productivity
What’s the impact on the bottom line? Cloud ERP provides many tools to improve users’ productivity, allowing for flexibility without the need for “bolt-on” solutions, explained Trudell. Implementing modern technology is also important for attracting and retaining top employees. The cloud offers consistency and enables the entire organization to be on the same up-to-date version of the software.
Cloud ERP also aids businesses with real-time monitoring of key performance indicators.
Consideration 5: When to Make the Move to Cloud ERP?
While every business is unique, Trudell shared a few prominent factors that can indicate readiness to move to Cloud ERP. If your current applications are no longer upgradeable, or you have security concerns, it may be time to address Cloud ERP considerations. Other indicators include: a low ROI from your on-premise program, lack of organizational flexibility, the frequent need for customization, substantial use of internal technical resources to deal with support issues rather than focusing on business initiatives.
Learn More: Cloud ERP Considerations
Download a timely Cloud ERP considerations white paper “5 Steps to a Cloud ERP Transformation Plan” that shares further insights into the issues driving companies to move from on-premise ERP to Cloud ERP, as well as how to evaluate vendors.