The revenue from cloud-based ERPs will gain $28.8 bln by 2022. If compared with 2016, it was $17.6 (the data is based on Statista). These numbers prove that the popularity of ERP applications in general, and cloud ERP in partiсular, is rapidly growing. In this article, you will get the answer to the question “What is cloud ERP?” and what value it brings to the business.
TechTarget defines a cloud ERP system as an application that is available not on the company’s data center, but on a cloud platform. Unlike on-premises software, cloud products are always available through the Internet. And this could be considered one of the prime benefits that this type of SaaS products brings to the business world. However, this is not the only advantage of using cloud-based ERPs. Let’s take a closer look at more benefits of SaaS ERPs.
How Can You Improve Your Workflow Using Popular Cloud ERP Solutions
To study all the possible advantages of cloud-based ERP solutions in detail, let’s see for illustrative purposes what advantages an SAP organization offers. Along with their cloud products, they offer the following benefits:
- Digital assistance to focus on what matters
- Automation through AI and ML
- Predictive analytics to support real-time decision-making
- Fast launch
- Continuous innovation
- Lower costs
- Guide knowledge workers to work on tasks that impact business
- Assist project managers with delivering on clients expectations and profitability
- Advise procurement leaders to anticipate contract renegotiations in time
As you can see, by implementing cloud software, businesses will be able to focus on their priorities, automate their workflow and operational processes, make data-driven decisions as well as constantly innovate, save costs, and provide better customer relations. Cloud apps have already shown great results and met the expectations of the companies that implemented those.
Small Businesses: Will They Actually Start Using SaaS?
You probably know that until today only large organizations and corporations were able to implement enterprise resource planning software within their business. However, today more and more mid-size and small companies start thinking about the possibilities and value that ERP can bring to them. According to the article written by Joel Shore, cloud computing technologies allow the companies belonging to the midmarket segment to avoid costs for expensive on-premises/bespoke ERP software. Besides, he notes, that new technology gives these companies the possibility to become more agile.
Cloud based ERP for small business, according to the article, can be offered in two options. The customers are conditionally divided into two groups: startups without legacy software or documentation and the existing companies with legacy baggage. The first group of customers can start using cloud applications at once. The second type of customers is offered to start a cloud migration process.
A great number of small and mid-size businesses are afraid of laying out and not receiving what they actually need. Therefore, most companies offering cloud solutions provide trial versions for their potential customers so that the latter could check the software out and make sure that they get all the services and features they need in their work. This is a good chance to try the software and understand if it is able to meet your employees’ requirements.
Before choosing a cloud ERP, you should figure out what type of software product your company needs. Therefore, let’s proceed to make an ERP checklist for these needs.
If you think of a cloud solution, read our post on the related topic Cloud Mania: Undeniable Benefits of IAAS
What Type of Cloud ERP Works Best for You
With the availability of a great number of cloud products, it’s not an easy task to choose the one that will fit your requirements and needs. We prepared a selection checklist according to which you will be able to pick up the most suited enterprise resource planning system for your company.
- Create a map of current business processes to identify the challenges in the efficiency of your business.
- Identify the shortcomings of the existing software systems, if any.
- Identify key business challenges you aim to solve with the new ERP system.
- Consult each functional department to discuss business challenges in the context of their processes.
- Gather the requirements of each department to address these business challenges.
- Document requirements for the new system and assign priority values to each.
- Take final requirements to end-user groups to gather feedback.
- Adjust final requirements in line with user group feedback.
- Determine the preferred delivery platform (cloud, on-premise, hybrid, etc.).
- Identify mobile access requirements (web-app, native iOS, native Android etc.).
- Define offline system access requirements.
- Identify the total number of users who will require system access.
- Identify requirements for integration with existing systems.
- Document existing hardware environment.
- Document the existing network environment.
- Specify the requirements for language and currency.
- Specify the need for mobile device compatibility (hand-held scanners etc).
Having the answers to the above questions, you will be able to find out what kind of ERP system you need. Adam Boyce from PanoramaConsulting Solutions enumerates the factors affecting the choice of a cloud ERP product. Below are the key factors worth thinking about when you are to select the right solution for your organization:
Business cost and size
It is presumed that SaaS solutions work best for small and mid-size businesses as their operations are less complex than those in big firms. S&M businesses have usually a lower number of users as well. This leads to lower pricing for a subscription. S&M companies have also fewer data and information to keep and process through their ERP.
New or legacy business systems
As we mentioned above, there are 2 ways of going to the cloud. The first one works best for startups – to start everything from scratch. The second option works best for organizations with legacy software products, documentation, or outdated business processes – to migrate to the cloud under the vendor’s supervision.
The need for better functionality
It often happens that a company needs to develop and implement some specific features or functionalities to add to its ERP. Therefore, you must contact your ERP vendor and ask if customization is possible.
By the way, you should also take into account update versions, big data migration over the Internet, efficiency and performance, etc. To sum it up, a cloud ERP solution is a good fit for S&M companies with simple infrastructure and information organization that helps employees work and stay tuned at any time and from anywhere.
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