You have read that you can use the cloud as a platform for your company’s digital transformation. Cloud computing is not just about moving your file server, email server and back-up solutions to the cloud. It can help you become more efficient and agile by adopting new technologies like big data analytics, digital banking, mobile apps and IoT to improve your business processes.
So how do you start? As your ERP solution is the backbone for your business processes, moving your ERP system to the cloud is the first step. It does not mean that you cannot achieve these with on-premise servers, but it is just too expensive for SMEs to invest in multiple servers and infrastructure to get all these hot technologies to work together.
Read on to find out what you need to consider before you move your ERP system to the cloud, or when you are selecting a new cloud ERP solution.
1. Is my ERP system designed for the cloud?
Your existing ERP application may be operationally acceptable on a day-to-day basis and it works on your on-premise server. However, if you plan to offer digital services like integration with e-commerce platforms, mobility applications or IoT automation, it is easier to have a cloud solution.
Dragging your legacy system to the cloud may not be the best option. If your ERP system is not designed for the cloud, the performance can be slow and new technologies designed for the cloud might not integrate efficiently with your old system.
If your ERP system does not work on the cloud, it may be time for you to change your system.
2. How do I choose between Private or Public cloud for my ERP system?
In general, a public cloud for ERP means your company’s system is installed as one of the tenants on your vendor’s infrastructure. This is the most cost effective way as all the organizations or ‘cloud tenants’ share the same hardware, software, storage and network resources.
A private cloud, on the other hand, means the computing resources are used exclusively by your company – you have a private network, with dedicated hardware and software.
The most significant difference between a public and private cloud ERP system is that if you have signed up for a public cloud package, your ERP software will be upgraded to the latest version along with the rest of the organizations.
There is a common myth that all public cloud is less secure than private cloud. This very much depends on your cloud vendor and what security policies they have put in place to protect your ERP system.
Another myth is that the public cloud ERP solution cannot be configured or customized. This may be so in legacy or older ERP solutions. In a modern cloud solution, you can add new fields, screens, reports and customize the application logic to meet your business needs.
3. Which cloud platform or cloud service provider?
There are many cloud service platforms to choose from – Azure, AWS, Google Cloud and colocation vendors. Each platform has their pros and cons and there are many articles written about them.
If you do not have an internal IT team to manage the cloud platform and you are relying on your Managed Cloud Provider to manage your ERP solution on the cloud, find out;
- If the fee includes disaster recovery, failover and off-site backup
- What are the security policies or solutions offered, and whether the vendor conducts periodic vulnerability assessments
- Does your vendor have experience in hosting ERP solutions? If you plan to have integration with e-commerce, IoT automation or mobility applications, your service provider must have sufficient experience to scope out the cloud specifications.
- Any limitations of ERP functions or capabilities regardless of the cloud platform – yes you read it right – some ERP solutions limit the offering of advanced capabilities like machine learning to a specific cloud platform!
For more information on hosting solutions for your ERP solution, contact us today for a free consultation.