If you’re an IT lead for a business, should you want cloud ERP software? Setting any knee-jerk “love-the-cloud” vs. “hate-the-cloud” responses, the question is worth some discussion. In our view, every IT executive needs cloud ERP. The way you look at it may depend on how you envision your role in the business.
What we mean by “Cloud ERP”
First, let’s define what we mean by cloud ERP. In this article, the concept of cloud ERP refers to full-featured enterprise resource planning software, hosted in the cloud, with a complete range of business operations and financial functionality. It is not “ERP light.” Cloud ERP also means cloud-native software, built from the start to work in the cloud. Legacy ERP solutions that get ported the cloud have a number of innate difficulties that affect how well they can support the C-level IT exec’s mission.
Bear in mind, also, that cloud ERP might easily be part of a hybrid cloud strategy. It’s not all or nothing. Many companies are taking this approach. They’re adding cloud ERP functionality incrementally, phasing in new features while methodically phasing out on-premises systems as time and requirements permit.
What is your job?
This is not a trick question. The issue of whether you need cloud ERP will depend on your role, especially as it seen by senior management. If your job is to run a data center and support desktop machines, then cloud ERP might seem like an abstract concept or even a threat to your job security. If it isn’t hosted on-premises, what will you do all day?
However, if your job is to deploy technology for maximum business impact, then it shouldn’t matter where ERP is hosted. In that case, you will find a lot to like with cloud ERP. Cloud ERP enables you to get the most out of ERP without extensive IT support required. It takes many management and support hassles off your plate while providing a more flexible and quickly adaptable business management solution.
Plus, if your job involves managing IT as a cost center, cloud ERP can be transformative. There is a little to no Capital Expenditure (CapEx) with cloud ERP. As legacy ERP comes out of the data center or co-lo facility, you put those racks to new uses or stop using them altogether.
Where does it hurt? Being an IT lead is a high-stress job. Cloud ERP can be a pain reliever, eliminating the difficulties that arise with disparate business systems, e.g. unsupported technology, proprietary application integration interferences, rigid architectures and poor analytics.
Acumatica cloud ERP, for example, is relatively easy to customize with standard development tools like Microsoft .NET and C#. It can integrate with other software products using standards-based APIs and Acumatica’s web services. Cloud-native ERP solutions like Acumatica also make it simple to deploy their full functionality to mobile devices and responsive webpages.
Cloud ERP then provides a streamlined path to sophisticated, organization-wide data analytics. If your job description includes helping the company make more strategic use of its data, cloud ERP is a great resource. The cloud makes it possible to ingest and store large volumes of data from multiple sources and deliver high-performing data visualization and reporting. You can give the people in your organization access to the data and tools they need to develop deep insights.
We have worked closely with many senior IT leaders on assessing the suitability of cloud ERP for their organizations. If you want to learn more about Acumatica cloud ERP and how it could help your business, let’s talk. Contact us for a free consultation and demo.