Moving from an outdated legacy ERP system to the cloud is a wise choice. As businesses plan for migration from outdated legacy systems, it’s important decision makers understand that there are a lot of solutions marketed as “cloud” that don’t quite fit the bill. The “cloud-washing” of applications can be disastrous and buyers must beware.
Gartner predicts 17.3% growth in 2019 to total $206.2 billion in the cloud services market. Companies are migrating to the cloud, but many don’t know what a true cloud solution looks and acts like. How can they decipher true cloud solutions from rogue imposters?
True Cloud vs. Fake Cloud
True cloud vendors offer solutions that are built from the ground up with software that is coded to perform better as a fully hosted solution. These vendors are well versed in hosting, maintaining, and managing the software across hundreds of servers, as well as multiple levels of data redundancy in their own multi-tenant cloud environment.
Don’t fall for anything short of multi-tenancy! With a true cloud provider, all customers will typically access the same solution from the same cloud, which grants customers continuous and instantaneous access to the most advanced offerings and freshest product upgrades.
Those that aren’t true cloud solutions were designed to run on-premise. Vendors don’t typically host, manage, or maintain these solutions; instead, they turn this task over to a value-added reseller (VAR) or other service provider. This is an outdated system that simply didn’t work —- about 20 years ago application service providers (ASPs) operating under this model went out of business.
Comparing True Cloud to “Cloudy” Competitors
The reality is vendors that are really in the cloud are usually better funded and more financially secure. Advantages of true cloud include:
- No painful upgrades: Regular and transparent upgrades provide customers with the latest innovations and benefits. With a true cloud solution, a business is always running on the latest version of software and customizations automatically reflect in the system.
- More reliable, secure, and timely access to the system, remotely and 24/7: The cloud gives teams access to systems from any place connectivity is possible —- infrastructure is built to provide nearly a 100% guarantee for fast performance and advanced data privacy protections. This promise is built in the cloud vendor’s business model; their success is directly tied to customer success.
- Integrate with other applications: The cloud makes integration easy for both cloud and on-premise solutions!
- Self-service: Manage, configure, customize, and maintain cloud applications at the touch of a button. There’s never a need to hire pricey consultants to tweak the application.
- Better overall investment: A cloud vendor helps businesses maintain their bottomline —- they can achieve better economies of scale, passing savings onto customers.
Just as there are obvious perks to fully joining the cloud, fake solutions turn out to be more expensive, inefficient, and not nearly as scalable. There are obvious drawbacks:
- Delayed and painful product upgrades: Even if others are hosting an on-premise solution, a company will have to suffer through the same painful upgrades every time a new software version is released. Vendors make the call as when to upgrade and they also determine which customer is first in line, or last in line. Customizations need special handling, which can cause delays of months or years.
- Costly, unstable integrations and customizations: On-premise products were not built for hosting, and are, therefore, not intended to be integrated while being hosted. Forcing these outdated systems to work with other applications — either on-premise or cloud —- can cause unlimited headaches due to instability.
- Excessive downtime and inadequate security and support: VARs cannot provide the service a true cloud vendor can, as they lack the manpower and resources. Ask about PCI-DSS security compliance, EU Safe Harbor certification, and SSAE 116 (SOC1) Type II audit completions, as well as uptime performance and contractual uptime guarantees.
- Capacity buying and provision: Uncertainty around capacity will result in the need to over-buy licenses. Guess on the low end and a company won’t be able to meet the needs of its clientele — it’s just too dangerous to risk failing to plan ahead.
- Financial viability of the hosting firm: What happens if the VAR goes bottom up? Businesses need a more secure service provider or they risk losing important data and information. Additionally, a company doesn’t want to have to go scrambling if things go bad for their provider; a secure infrastructure needs to be in place.
Make the Smart Choice
There are a lot of vendors fighting for a stake of the growing cloud environment. Separate the true cloud vendors from those that feature outdated technology by looking at the facts. To help differentiate true contenders from the rest of the competition, Acumatica offers a whitepaper for immediate download. Make an informed decision and invest in a true cloud solution!
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