How to choose the right Cloud ERP software?
The pressure on every business to succeed with controlled costs and standardized process is immense. Not to forget, things have got further compounded, thanks to lack of skilled IT resources. In such a plight, making the right (read: affordable) technological investment has become a puzzle.
What is the solution?
Business experts like Drew Robert have advocated the implementation of Cloud ERP solutions. In his words – ‘’ Businesses cannot continue with their legacy ERP applications which are not adept to handle ever changing business requirements. To thrive and grow while staying compliant – cloud ERP is required. Not only will it serve as modern business platform quickly adaptable to increasing business demands but will also support standardized global business processes.’’
Inevitably, with a robust and flexible cloud ERP solution in hand; businesses will grow smarter while maximizing the value of their IT investment. The ball of success will keep rolling – in consequence of quick decision making, increased agility and innovation, greater productivity and so on.
Cloud ERP in 2014
As per a recent article by Matt Brow (ERP Consultant), the trend of cloud ERP software development will fuel the rise of many cloud ERP software providers. Apart from the traditional powerhouses, new entrants will emerge proclaiming their ERP solutions "more cloud" than those provided by others. Consequently, the dilemma about what is a real Cloud ERP solution can be specifically bewildering for startups.
If you're too considering an ERP system for your business, chances are you will be bombarded with an embarrassment of riches. As you consider your options, here are some key factors you need to consider when weighing different cloud-based ERP software.
(Note: The type of Cloud ERP software you choose will have a significant impact across your business. Hence, it is required to carefully evaluate multiple Cloud ERP software providers based upon increasingly specific industry benchmarks and standards.)
1. Multi-tenancy:Opt for customized cloud ERP software that has a multi-tenant architecture. To explain multi-tenancy in layman terms, - software application that can be shared by multiple users is referred to as multi-tenant application.
Multi-tenant systems maximize economies of scale due to:
Shared hardware costs
Shared IT resources
Application and OS upgrades.
Explaining this context further, Drew Robert states – ‘’Using a multi-tenant ERP application not just ensures that everyone uses the same version of the software but also opens the channels for more investments in training, upgrades, and tech support. Consequently, businesses benefit from both consistency and lower costs’’
2. Customizability:Seek out vendors who offer Cloud ERP solutions that support customization. While highly customizable cloud ERP solutions are typically available under a single-tenant environment, some multi-tenant ERP applications also have customization provision. In such applications, changes made are either kept hidden or made optional for other users.
Also, make sure the upgrades/updates to the system are automatic and involve little to no down time. In addition to the automatic criteria, upgrades should smoothly get installed to the new release, preventing your users to rewrite customizations. In sum, choose a cloud ERP solution that is easy to customize without the need to add hardware, software, or bandwidth even as your usage base grows.
3. Disaster recovery capabilities: Look for a cloud software provider that manages computing and storage needs and ensures compliance with federal requirements for IT infrastructure. Experts recommend preferring software providers with multiple SAS 70 Type II compliant data centers strategically located in different Geo locations. These companies provide cloud computing, cloud storage and managed services with the highest level of security, redundancy, scalability and technology.
– ‘’It is advisable to choose ERP vendors that develop resilient applications in both public and private cloud environments. In fact the real trusted ones have architectures that - handles server and cloud failures; flexibly scales up or down as the demand varies; and reduces CapEx and procurement cycle time. ‘’
4. Profile: Zero in on a cloud ERP vendor that has a large base of customers who attest to the ERP solution’s capabilities. Prioritize aspects namely - service level agreement, industry-leading certifications and operational transparency.
In the words of Drew Robert – ‘’Ideally, the choice should be a cloud ERP software development company that offers an ERP designed and developed for all types of enterprises.. It should be intricate and scalable that goes well with large and small corporate infrastructure and should have dual-currency to rapidly support business expansion. Additionally, it should be easily deployable on different platforms.’’