ERP Trends in 2017: Impact of cloud deployment will be key to success

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Does your ERP process have a disaster recovery plan?Have you considered the cloud’s impact on sustainability and security?


In the new digital era, organizations need to grow, adapt, and evolve to address the changing needs of its customers and to capture new business potential. There are the two emerging ERP trends that companies should consider to accelerate their digital transformation. We will discuss both questions and share recommendations based on our 30 years of ERP experience.


TREND #1: Are you considering all the benefits of a cloud deployed ERP solution?


TREND #2: What functionality are companies evaluating that they believe will differentiate themselves from their competition?


We will review the benefits of a cloud deployment, but we will first address the often-overlooked issue of sustainability. The impact on the environment of running IT infrastructure in millions of disparate, company-specific datacenters is often a topic that is either not discussed or glossed over without real debate or consideration. We feel this is an important topic that organizations need to consider as part of their social responsibility programs.


The cloud is a far more sustainable option, from both an environmental and power usage perspective, than an on-premise solution. The cloud easily enables the implementation of value-added functionality, such as document management and EDI, which is more sustainable due to their efficiencies and their reduction in the amount of paper generated. The centralization of data center resources managed by companies with a commitment to environmental responsibility, such as Microsoft, together with the value-added functionality that can be driven in the cloud, will drive improved sustainability. Choosing the right cloud provider can help to reduce your carbon footprint and achieve your sustainability goals.


In their recently released book, A Cloud for Global Good, Microsoft shared their roadmap to a trusted, responsible, and inclusive cloud.


“Today roughly 44 percent of the electricity used by our datacenters comes from wind, solar and hydropower. Our goal is to pass the 50 percent milestone by the end of 2018, top 60 percent early in the next decade, and then to keep improving from there.”

Brad Smith, President & Chief Legal Officer.


ERP on-premise vs. cloud deployment options continue to be top of mind for many companies as they consider the TCO aspects for either ERP upgrades or new implementations. We continue to see robust interest in cloud deployments for several reasons; the first being ease of deployment:


  • No server purchase or installation
  • No software installation on user desktops
  • No requirement to setup remote access for multiple offices – all users access the system on any device using a browser.


These have a direct impact on ensuring a lower cost of ownership for the IT department. Also, the cost of power, including the power required for the solution as well as the cooling costs for both the system and the required backup systems, all add costs to an on-premise solution.


The cloud offers a much more efficient use of infrastructure with the ability to scale up and down based on the seasonality of your business.  With an on-premise infrastructure, you are required to invest in enough infrastructure for the peak periods to ensure you have sufficient processing power to meet the increased demands of the business during these busy times. However, this typically results in only 10% of the system being used 90% of the time. With the cloud, you are only required to pay for the service when you need it.


And finally, we see the trend that companies are confident in using cloud-based solutions to ensure the security and protection of this mission-critical data. There is no doubt that Microsoft will spend more money and other resources on ensuring their servers are more secure than the average business can afford to do. Last year’s ransomware virus was a hard lesson for many organizations who had their data held ransom during this malicious attack. Business owners had previously not taken these risks seriously, thinking that hackers would only target larger organizations like Microsoft, Amazon or Google. They learned a critical lesson that this is not the case. Hackers will target anyone who has a weakness in their security - big or small.


The benefits of a cloud deployment can be summarized as follows:

  1. Lower cost of ownership.
  2. Ease of deployment.
  3. Increased security


In a previous article, Western Computer shared additional thoughts on the need for companies to quickly adapt to challenges in the marketplace.


The cost savings from a cloud deployment will enable organizations to focus these dollars on value-added services to differentiate themselves from their competition. The cloud is an enabler to ensure that any organization can have more than just ERP capability at an affordable price.


In a future article, Western Computer will share their thoughts regarding this value-added services investment trend, being enabled by a cloud deployment.


For more information on these ERP trends and cloud deployment options, don’t hesitate to contact our team of Microsoft Dynamics experts at Western Computer.


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