The story has been the same for the last several years – cloud-based services are the way to go. Even the skeptics are beginning to believe in the benefits of the cloud. According to Toolbox.com’s 2011 ERP Report, Enterprise hosted (cloud) solutions now account for nearly half of all new ERP implementations. That is a tremendous level of adoption for a relatively new technology in the slow-moving enterprise arena. What does this mean? It means that all IT decision makers should at least consider a hosted solution for their business. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of hosted ERP software.
Reduced Upfront Investment
Hosted software tends to be priced on a monthly payment basis with minimal upfront costs. Installation costs will still be incurred but they tend to be less than on-premises. Hosted deployment eliminates the need to purchase software licenses upfront which can be costly. Monthly payments are also easily able to be factored into cash flow expenditures –allowing for predictable IT budgeting.
Reduce Hardware Purchases
A hosted solution eliminates the need for hardware in-house such as servers. Instead, the vendor provides the latest and greatest in server technology and upgrades them as they go. Unexpected hardware purchases can be very costly so this can be a huge cost savings.
Reduce/Eliminate IT Staff
With a full server environment on-premises you may wish to have IT staff, or end up paying a third party a lot of money to maintain your hardware. With hosted software all the IT management is pushed to the vendor (except for PC/terminal maintenance, of course).
Other Notable Benefits:
- Automatic upgrades that are included in monthly fees
- Backups occur automatically and data is redundant
- Data centre is far more secure than most on-premises deployments
- Software is remotely accessible from anywhere in the world
- Possibly increased uptime – better support/infrastructure
Some vendors offer both on-premises and hosted ERP software while others do not. Consider a vendor that provides both for an unbiased evaluation of what will work best for you.