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Article Type: Feature          Published: 05-2016         Views: 1733      

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Martin Hill, Vice President Marketing, Epicor International, presents nine reasons for moving ERP into the cloud

The reality is that most enterprise applications are well on their way to being cloud based. We've seen it with simple workloads such as HR and payroll, travel and expense management, and in the last decade we've seen the cloud as the new normal for customer relationship management (CRM) deployments. According to Gartner, "Spending on public-cloud-based, vertical-specific applications is expected to significantly increase through 2017, further highlighting the growing confidence in their use for mission-critical systems."

Upgrading your enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to the cloud means retiring your old approach to business management applications and no longer having to procure, install, maintain, and manage the infrastructure. And perhaps most compelling is to leverage the cloud to redefine your business processes and take advantage of a new era of service delivery and flexibility to enable your organisation to grow.

So what are the benefits of cloud based ERP solutions? Below are nine reasons why moving your ERP system to the cloud will benefit your business and support business growth.

1. Freedom of Choice
Put quite simply, not all cloud ERP systems are created equal. Specifically, very few ERP vendors respect your right to choose the deployment model that is most appropriate for you, and revise that decision down the road as your business grows or technical needs change. Your right to transition between on-premises, multi-tenant, and single tenant is an important one. It recognises that the "best" deployment model for you today might not be the best model in a few years, or even a few months. By providing the choice of Multi-Tenant (with its compelling economics and seamless upgrades) or Single Tenant (allowing more administrative control and administrative ownership), you can choose the model that works best for you.

2. Compelling Cloud Economics
Despite the cloud having proven its value beyond just good financial sense, there is no doubt that for companies of all sizes the economics of cloud deployment are undeniably compelling, moving from capital to operational expenditure. Some of the more hidden economic benefits of the cloud include:

• Not being as capital intensive as an on-premises deployment because of the subscription-based pricing model.
• Better and more instant scalability, allowing clients to add (and sometimes remove) users to their system on demand and saving them from having to invest in hardware and software at the "high water mark".
• The direct and indirect costs of your infrastructure, from server to database systems to the actual hardware and replacement cycle cost.
• The hidden costs of maintaining the servers yourself.
• The benefit of the reduced deployment times (and corresponding improved ROI) that are typical for cloud deployments, as the necessary infrastructure is in place already.

3. Better IT Resource Utilisation
Moving to the cloud means that your IT department will be able to deliver higher-value activities that are better aligned with your mission, and they will be able to spend less time "patching the servers and keeping the lights blinking." At the end of the day, most IT departments are stretched pretty thin, and find themselves spending too much time on low-value (but admittedly critical) activities such as verifying backups, applying security updates, and upgrading the infrastructure upon which your critical systems run. There is tremendous business benefit to assigning those tasks back to your ERP vendor as part of a cloud deployment, freeing up your IT department's time to work on more strategic business projects such as creating executive dashboards, deploying mobile devices, and crafting helpful management reports.

4. The Cloud is More Secure
Today, it's hard to imagine a client who could possibly create a more secure operating environment than leading cloud providers. Indeed, Gartner reports that "Multi-tenant services are not only highly resistant to attack, but are also a more secure starting point than most traditional in-house implementations."



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