Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems consist of a broad set of software with functionality to manage and monitor a business, including accounting and general ledger, inventory management and order management. Cloud ERP system is a shared data model that provides one system of record for orders, customers, inventory and other vital data, feeding the business.
Five Things to Look for in Cloud ERP
- Multi-Tenancy. To maximize the economies of scale from shared resources, the system should have a multi-tenant architecture. This ensures that everyone is using the same version of the software and optimizes investments in training, upgrades, and tech support. The cloud provider can thus spend more money innovating new capabilities and the customers should benefit from both consistency and lower costs.
- Customizability and Upgrades Upgrades to the system should be automatic and involve little to no down time. Also, any customizations made to the system should carry over to the new release, sparing customers and partners from having to rewrite customizations and complementary applications.
- Viability The rise of the cloud has paved the way for new entrants into the market and buyers should carefully weigh vendor’s viability moving forward. Cloud ERP vendors positioned for an acquisition by a larger, legacy vendor may leave customers without a future direction and a round of venture backing does not mean a company will be able to support and update the product three, four or five years into the future. ERP is a long-term investment.
- Backup and Disaster Recovery Capabilities. A key benefit of the cloud is that someone else shoulders the burden of backups and recovery, if needed. So look for redundancy in the design of its architecture (e.g. Internet connections, emergency power, data centers) and the locations of its data centers. If one is in hurricane-prone Florida, the secondary center should be elsewhere.
- Track Record A cloud ERP provider should be able to support multiple customers in every industry it serves, both large and small, with customers who will attest to the solution’s capabilities. Additionally, it must have proven service level agreement with at least 99% uptime and transparency into its operations.
Cloud computing turns conventional software delivery on its head in a number of ways:
Low Overhead , Access at anytime, and from anywhere, High availability , Security, Fast deployment, Optimized Performance, Subscription-based Pricing, and Energy saving.
Best of all, cloud computing lets you focus on your business rather than on your software. You don’t have to use valuable IT resources to keep business systems on life support.