It’s hard to find a company that does not have some form of a hybrid (cloud and on-premise) ERP system. For most, that happened by accident. Someone in the organization bypassed IT and bought a cloud service to fill a need more quickly than they could with an on-premise solution. Salesforce.com, for example, has often been the start of a company’s march to a hybrid environment.
Cloud applications can be relatively easy, low-cost solutions, but they do introduce new complexities when they need to be integrated with on-premise ERP systems and databases, or with each other. Ensuring that cloud and on-premise systems play nice together is just one part of the hybrid challenge. Making the right decisions about what will be in the cloud and what stays in-house is the other.
To meet those challenges, organizations are now transitioning from an ad hoc approach to building a hybrid ERP system to a more strategic planning process. That process includes best practices for vetting, connecting, deploying, and testing solutions.
The growth of cloud in the enterprise
“Lines of business bought cloud applications without IT, and they soon ran into issues involving transaction volumes and integration back into the core ERP system,” says Mike Guay, research director for enterprise business applications and ERP at Gartner. This thrust IT into an unexpected support role as they struggled to connect cloud solutions to the core systems securely and reliably. And while cloud solution providers took care of updates, IT at customer sites still needed to ensure that those updated solutions worked properly with both on-premise and other cloud applications. “The more frequent the updates, the more frequent the testing required.”
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