Cloud ERP systems are cloud-based platforms that provide access to Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software. Cloud ERP solutions offer the same functionality as on-site ERP software but with added benefit, and enable businesses to achieve the same goals.
The main difference between the two is that cloud-based systems are run on hardware owned and maintained by the provider, who also maintains and updates the platform’s ERP software.
Cloud-based ERP solutions offer numerous benefits for businesses compared to on-site alternatives;
- Improve your security.
- Increase the mobility of your workforce.
- Enhance operational flexibility.
- Gain invaluable insights into your business.
- Ensure regulatory compliance.
- More reliable systems for your business.
- Disaster recovery.
- Access control.
- Automatic updates.
- Gain a competitive edge.
Below, we’re going to take a look at these benefits in more detail, with the aim of providing a comprehensive guide to the benefits of cloud based ERP software.
1. Improve Your Security
Like most cloud services, cloud-based ERP solutions attracted considerable scepticism when they were first introduced. The cloud was a new concept that few business leaders fully grasped the potential of. The conventional wisdom at the time was that any data stored online would be vulnerable to theft via cyberattacks.
This way of thinking, coupled with the fact that these cloud-based services are maintained and overseen by third parties, not the businesses utilising them, has led many business leaders to dismiss cloud-based ERP solutions on security grounds.
However, with time, it is now clear that cloud service providers tend to offer more secure environments than on-premise alternatives. The reputation and future of their entire business depend on a robust approach to cyber security, so cloud ERP vendors are highly motivated to provide extremely trustworthy platforms to their clients.
2. Increase the Mobility of Your Workforce
Cloud-based enterprise software solutions have significantly improved mobility for many industries and businesses. Workers can access data stored in the cloud whenever and wherever they need it, while taking advantage of bespoke portals that facilitate collaboration across different departments within the company.
Cloud-based ERP solutions enable employees to access vital customer and commercial data wherever they have an internet connection. With the appropriate data never more than a few taps of a smartphone screen away, workforces become more agile, improving overall workforce mobility.
This benefit became particularly apparent during the Covid-19 pandemic. Had such a pandemic hit two decades earlier, entire workforces would have become completely inactive. Thanks to cloud-based technology, businesses managed to facilitate working from home in many industries.
3. Enhance Operational Flexibility
The widespread adoption of digital technologies and IT systems has provided businesses with unprecedented efficiency gains. However, corporate IT systems are also notorious for the bottlenecks they can introduce in a company’s workflow.
These problems often arise because inexperienced executives implement IT systems that are ill-suited for their business, creating friction that hampers operational efficiency. As a business grows, relatively minor issues can suddenly present huge logistical problems.
Cloud-based software solutions don’t require businesses to invest in expensive physical infrastructure or the personnel required to oversee and maintain it. Once a company has found the right cloud ERP platform for its needs, it can easily scale up its capabilities as and when necessary. The seamless transition from one subscription package to another means there’s no downtime for upgrades and your entire workforce can operate more efficiently.
4. Gain Invaluable Insights Into Your Business
Like other cloud-based software solutions, cloud ERP platforms enable businesses to easily automate the collection and analysis of key performance metrics and other types of data. Many of the most widely-used cloud ERP services provide businesses with the ability to generate custom reports that collate and analyse specific data types. Taking advantage of these reporting features enables businesses to gain invaluable insights into their customers and operations, allowing them to stay agile in a competitive space.
5. Ensure Regulatory Compliance
Any ERP system a business uses must adhere to the standards set out in frequently shifting regulatory frameworks. Keeping up with every change to the regulations and ensuring continued compliance is a major logistical challenge for many businesses, especially SMEs.
However, it is the vendors of cloud ERP systems who take on the responsibility of ensuring their platforms are compliant for all their users, no matter where they are located. Any changes to the ERP software necessitated by a change in the regulatory landscape will be made automatically via updates. This means that with the right cloud-ERP, you will always be compliant.
6. More Reliable Systems for Your Business
Competition between cloud ERP vendors is fierce, which incentivises each provider to offer the best possible service. All the major players in the field advertise an uptime of 99.9% for their services, meaning customers shouldn’t experience more than eight minutes of downtime in a single year.
Few businesses are in a position to maintain their on-site software to this standard, and doing so would incur a significant cost. Cloud ERP vendors invest heavily in maximising their service’s reliability. By using cloud-based ERP software, you can benefit from this extra reliability.
7. Disaster Recovery
As part of their efforts to maximise reliability, cloud ERP vendors will also implement robust disaster recovery policies and procedures. These procedures are a failsafe against catastrophic data loss, which can result from fires, floods, thefts, or security breaches. Automatic backup routines should mean that even if an entire data centre is destroyed, a vendor should still be able to recover most or all of your lost data.
8. Access Control
A key feature among the most prominent cloud ERP providers is the ability to control who has access to what data and track precisely what data has been accessed and where it was accessed from. Of course, it’s up to businesses to define their access control procedures and decide what data different users should have access to. However, the tools that cloud ERP systems provide make it easy to implement whatever access control rules you see fit.
9. Automatic Updates
Outdated software can cause numerous issues for any company, but so can the procedures required to apply updates to existing software. With cloud-based software, there’s no need to watch out for updates and apply them yourself; everything is handled by the vendor. In some companies, this represents a significant saving in time and money.
10. Gain a Competitive Edge
While most business leaders now accept the merits and benefits of cloud services, some holdouts still insist on sticking with the old-fashioned approach where everything needs to be kept local. But the reality is that businesses that utilise cloud technologies to meet their software needs have a significant competitive advantage over these stuck-in-the-mud rivals.
There are plenty of options for any business looking for a cloud ERP solution, but two of the most popular cloud ERP systems that deliver the benefits outlined above are NetSuite and Sage 200. Neither is inherently better than the other; which is right for your company depends on the size and nature of your business.
Sage 200 is a name that predates the advent of cloud services and is available as either an on-premise or a cloud-based solution. Sage 200 Standard is entirely cloud-based, and comes as an out-the-box ERP with core financials and commercials. Sage 200 Professional is an on-premise solution that is cloud-connected. It can however be hosted on cloud-computing platforms such as Microsoft Azure.
If you’d like to learn more about hosting Sage 200 on Microsoft Azure, you can read our article Sage 200 on Microsoft Azure – A Full Cloud Solution.
NetSuite ERP, on the other hand,was designed and built as a cloud service from the moment of its conception, and is considered as one of the pioneers of cloud-based technology.. It requires a minimum of two users but is recommended for companies that already have at least 20 employees or are growing at a steady rate. You can add as many users as necessary for your business, and take advantage of a comprehensive suite of CRM and ERP tools along with various other modules such as Professional Services Automation (PSA) and HR through its impressive NetSuite Human Capital Management (SuitePeople) module.
It’s no secret that more and more businesses are adopting cloud ERP as their business solution of choice. With a host of benefits on offer, it’s easy to see why. Cloud-ERP eliminates many of the headaches associated with traditional on-premise ERP. From cost to maintenance and reliability and compliance, cloud-based ERP software is an attractive option.
Why choose Eventura for your ERP project?
Eventura has been providing robust business solutions to countless organizations for over two decades. We are ERP experts and can identify all of your business needs, and delivery a comprehensive ERP solution that works for you.
As Sage 200 Partners and NetSuite Solution Providers, we can help you identify which solution will fit your business needs the best. Our expert team of business analysts, developers, consultants, technicians and support staff can guide you through your entire project, from initial scoping through to implementation and on-going support.
We’re also managed IT service providers meaning we can help you identify your entire IT infrastructure requirements from day one. If you would like to speak to one of our ERP experts, you can request a free call back here.