Cloud computing is gaining a great deal of attention as a powerful solution for both multinational corporations and smaller brands. International Data Corporation predicts the cloud will grow five times faster than IT as a whole through 2017, which is one indicator of increased adoption across industries. Cloud computing can offer a host of benefits, including improved security, agility, flexibility and mobility.
Cloud-based enterprise resources planning (ERP) software is quickly becoming the industry standard for upgrades and new adoption. While a few brands still cling to legacy systems that are quickly reaching end-of-life status, there’s no reason to fear the cloud. Here are six reasons to seriously consider cloud-based ERP as a solution for your company:
1. It’s More Flexible
The cloud revolution has provided startups and small companies with access to high-quality tools that were previously inaccessible due to a lack of IT talent or budget. Studies indicate that across organizations of all sizes, some 75 percent have adopted at least one cloud service. Selecting cloud-based ERP can provide small, growing companies with affordable access to world-class tools, even if they don’t have the internal infrastructure for a legacy ERP implementation.
2. It’s Agile
Today’s workforce is increasingly mobile and remote. Employee adoption of smartphones and tablets can fuel productivity and increase efficiency, while eliminating the potential for human error and forgotten data-entry requirements.
Startups aren’t the only companies opting for mobile ERP, either. Forbes reports that the more complex a company’s business models are, the more likely the company is to turn to agile, cloud-based ERP. In fact, enabling mobile workforce is a top priority for 42 percent of contemporary CIOs.
3. It’s (Typically) More Secure
In the early days of cloud computing, some IT professionals were hesitant due to security concerns. However, if you’re paying appropriate attention to your vendor’s security practices, it can significantly increase your data’s protection.
Ninety-four percent of businesses believe their security is better due to cloud services, including ERP. For many small organizations, the cloud is the only possible way to meet compliance requirements such as HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) on a very limited budget. However, prospective customers should never assume their ERP provider has best-of-class security practices, and should consider this factor carefully when selecting a vendor.
4. It Requires Minimal Investment
Studies of ERP implementation success indicate that most of the 22 percent of companies that implement cloud-based ERP appreciate cost savings as a result. The cloud offers unique flexibility in terms of small business investment, especially for time-poor IT teams. Cloud features can be rolled out and added on slowly, allowing teams to simultaneously juggle multiple priorities.
5. Hybrid ERP Is Increasingly Popular
The most innovative enterprises are melding enterprise and cloud-based ERP technologies, a concept known as hybrid ERP. This can allow companies with significant investment in existing ERP solutions to maximize their current system, while transitioning to a cloud-based offering. This concept provides companies with the ability to transition employees, processes and customers gently away from old systems, while minimizing the risks associated with software implementations that occur overnight.
6. It Fits Your Business
For decades, many companies were incredibly hesitant to implement legacy ERP systems for a number of reasons, which could include risk and perceived inflexibility. However, as Forbes writes, modern cloud-based ERP systems are flexible enough that customers can determine the cadence of their companies, not their software. The cloud offers an unprecedented amount of customization to businesses — they can add or subtract services with just a few days’ notice.
It’s quite likely that cloud ERP vendors will continue to see remarkable year-over-year growth in sales to businesses of all sizes. Whether a company is considering upgrading an existing legacy system to offer flexibility to mobile employees or an initial implementation, it’s hard to ignore the benefits of cloud computing for ERP.