I recently read an article published by Brett Beaubouef on his blog (Cloud ERP – New Dog, Same Fleas), about the future of ERP in the cloud. Referring to the traditional ERP, Brett called these systems „the panacea for all business automation pains”. Instead, Cloud ERP is positioned as a revolutionary approach to deploying an ERP solution.
„Practically speaking, Cloud ERP is just another deployment option available to customers. Cloud ERP provides a solution that is flexible, adaptable, scalable, efficient, and affordable. Customers can enjoy painless upgrades, rapid deployment, and easy customization along with availability “anywhere at anytime”!”, said Beaubouef.
The question that arises is the following: are there major differences between those two ERP solutions? At first sight, it seems not. The activities required for an “on premise” ERP implementation are also required for Cloud ERP and the scope and responsibility for the implementation activities are still required. And then, what would be „the key impacts that a Cloud ERP deployment will have on the implementation?”
As Brett said in his article, „from a technology perspective, Cloud ERP offers a faster implementation timeframe and provides very robust functionality”, but if the organization is not prepared to properly use the software then the value of Cloud ERP will quickly dissipate. Also, „integration will be a greater challenge in a Cloud ERP model versus an on-premise ERP model – if only because the Cloud ERP will be outside the company’s internal network”.
Than, the customizations and integrations are impacted based upon the cloud model. Regarding Brett, a customer will have greater flexibility if the customer has a dedicated instance. „If multiple customers are on single software then the Cloud ERP provider may limit the level of integrations and customizations because the software changes may have an adverse impact on all the customers on a shared instance”, specified Brett.
As a conclusion, As with every deployment model, there are advantages and disadvantages to consider. „But it is important to remember that Cloud ERP is not a short cut to success”, noted Beaubouef.