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Ken Jacobsen, The TM Group

The Future is Cloud ERP


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ERP software is a necessity in a big data world. Just because ERP services are standard doesn't mean there is a routine solution for different companies' needs. The software is constantly upgraded, adapted and redesigned to stay competitive and make use of evolving technologies.

ERP software's largest recent shift is toward cloud ERP solutions. More companies are embracing the advantages off-site data hosting provides as the market changes. A 2014 Gartner report predicted 30 percent of service-based companies will primarily host their ERP software in the cloud by 2018.

The report also predicted the majority of industries will move their core functions to cloud-deployed options through 2025. Service-based companies are quicker to adapt these solutions, but all businesses, particularly those involved in manufacturing and distribution, should soon see the benefits of the cloud.

What the cloud provides
The immediate advantage provided by off-site hosting is equipment savings. Companies don't have to buy and maintain their own hardware. By working with a trustworthy cloud service, employees can access their data from anywhere using the device of their choice.

Cloud-deployed solutions make ERP systems more flexible. Off-site hosting locations provide companies with much more storage space than traditional office hardware. A cloud-hosting service can also offer better data security thanks to the experience of its employees.

ZDNet suggested companies use the cloud to better allocate their resources. With cloud performance, businesses don't need as many IT employees performing redundant tasks or patching systems to provide quick solutions. A cloud ERP option is easier to work with and employees can put their time toward innovation rather than maintenance.

Implementing cloud-deployed solutions
Some companies are still cautious about hosting data offsite. Despite the recent advances of cloud technology, some business leaders still don't trust outside agencies to safeguard valuable industry and customer information.

A hybrid implementation is often utilized to cautiously sample the performance of the cloud. Companies try hosting singular functions of ERP solutions offsite to test how the cloud works and improves processes.

"For the next five years or more we will see the deployment of what we call hybrid-ERP, a mix of on-premise and the cloud," Gartner analyst Nigel Rayner told ZDNet. "What we do know is that there will be come occasions when on-premises ERP is the way to go and some where the cloud is better suited."

Cloud ERP technology is scalable. By using a hybrid strategy, companies pick and choose how they would like to use the solution. Businesses should ask their ERP partner about cloud-deployed options. Working together, the ERP provider and the business can select which functions of the software could be moved over to the cloud first.

TechTarget indicated cloud implementation is simpler and quicker than most software adoption processes. Some companies teach their employees how to use new cloud-deployed software over the Internet and allow them to access the materials on their personal mobile devices. The convenience and efficiency of off-site hosting should be visible to a company from the very start.

by The TM Group

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