The term Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) emerged in the early 1990s, with the roots of ERP systems stretching back to early accounting and financial systems in the 1960s. Traditionally, ERP systems were implemented on the client's site or on-premise. A few years later, the emergence of cloud technologies made it possible for all business applications to be available through the internet as "Software as a Service" or "SaaS". Similarly, there was a transition from implementing ERP systems on-premise to online via the cloud, allowing exceptional connectivity and infinite options for growth for companies of all sizes. The availability of ERP systems on the SaaS model has made the investment affordable, quick, and secure.
Why Cloud ERP?
ERP systems have been delivering value to enterprises, helping them boost productivity and gain profitable insights for over many years. Over the decades, ERP systems have consistently evolved, addressing changing market needs and competition. Today’s customers expect faster delivery of products and services and frictionless experiences across the value chain. Enterprises are challenged with the dynamics of the new normal and are struggling to meet the pace of change. Integration issues become a daunting challenge for enterprises working with multiple systems, applications, business units, and subsidiaries. Business teams collaborate with many external partners, often remotely, to optimize business functions such as production, distribution, sales, and support services.
Legacy ERP systems were ideal for streamlining internal processes back in the day but they can’t keep up with the standards of work and competition today. Evermore so, legacy systems are rigid, difficult to change, expensive to maintain (data centres/servers), and unlikely to stay compliant with evolving policies and regulations. With these fluid market needs; enterprises consequently require a reliable system that can scale up and down according to the business demands while managing internal processes and delivering seamless integration across its external and internal networks globally.
Evolution of SaaS ERP
ERP systems started as licensed-based software only accessible onsite/on-premise. Its functionality was limited to local servers and at the time it was a challenge for staff members to learn. As the market for ERP systems grew, the graphical user interface (GUI) was improved to level out the steep learning curve. Unfortunately, it was still only local, limited in functionality and adaptability, and stitched by separate software applications.
By the mid-2000s, the era of the internet grew leading to great capabilities such as remote access, improved productivity, reduced costs, better configuration, and increased performance. The need for hosting servers and maintaining large databases was gone, making cloud ERP suites a viable solution not only to large enterprises but also for mid-size businesses. Still, cloud ERP solutions were slow to be accepted by mid-sized businesses due to their lack of integration with other systems and data.
Today cloud ERP systems have transformed dramatically providing businesses with virtually unlimited customization and integrations, better security, speed, and scalability of data, as well as lower IT costs. It’s crucial to differentiate ERP systems that purely operate on the cloud and those that are intentionally designed for the cloud. Click here if you’re interested in accelerating your digital transformation with a cloud ERP solution.
So, what are the Top 9 Benefits of cloud-based ERP?
Traditional ERP setups required heavy payments upfront for hardware (databases/servers) as well as IT/support staff for maintenance. The birth of SaaS and Cloud ERP dramatically reduced costs as there is no intensive hardware involvement, and the solution provider handles maintenance.
The SaaS ERP software delivery method ramps up implementation speed and reduces downtime significantly. Along with fast implementation, your ERP solution provider, for example, Abacus Cambridge Partners, handles any hardware and software installations, configuration, and customization, speeding time to productivity.
Many businesses move to the cloud to improve operations and update processes. Cloud ERP solutions give the added benefit of improving all internal operations and extend benefits to businesses’ partners and other networks
Integration and Automation
Modern cloud ERPs allow organizations to consolidate all legacy and new applications to eliminate the use of multiple disconnected systems and automate processes intelligently.
Continuous upgrades, new functionalities, and application improvements are delivered online, eliminating vendors' need to update your custom cloud ERP system
With new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and the Internet of Things (IoT) emerging, the rate of change and innovation is skyrocketing. ERP solution providers can customize integrations and capabilities of your ERP to help you thrive in your industry. Abacus Cambridge Partners is an award-winning SAP Gold Partner showing exemplified service in a diverse set of verticals – click here if you would like to speak to an expert.
While legacy ERP systems provide reporting tools, but they lacked deep analytics and smart integrated data capabilities Cloud ERP systems have superior reporting tools with advanced big data capabilities, helping enterprises to predict trends and changes, offering deep/integrated analytics, and make data-driven decisions. These enhanced capabilities vastly improve efficiency and customer service.
Security becomes the solution provider’s responsibility when it comes to cloud ERP. This is a huge benefit as organizations do not require full-time security and support experts and cloud vendors typically provide the best data security available.
As growth is not easy to predict, scalability is always important. Cloud ERP solutions allow organizations to easily purchase additional computing power and storage rather than planning for large investments of databases and servers.
What Deployment Options Do You Have with a Cloud-Based ERP?
Cloud-based ERP systems offer different options when it comes to deployment, management, monitoring, and maintenance. The role of a reliable ERP vendor becomes crucial here to guide enterprises to select the right option based on business complexity, current technology landscape, affordability, and strategic growth factors.
There are three different types of cloud ERP:
1. Public cloud - Hosted and managed entirely by third-party servers and delivered on a licensing business model.
2. Private cloud - A private cloud infrastructure dedicated to a single business
3. Hybrid cloud - A combination of both public and private cloud infrastructures.
When Should You Start Your Journey to a Cloud ERP?
The answer is, today! Cloud ERP systems are viable solutions for businesses of all sizes across verticals. Businesses choose cloud ERP to fast-track their transformation efforts and gain valuable advantages that can drive change to adapt to opportunities that arise as they grow. For growing companies, the adoption of cloud ERP is inevitable to take their businesses to the next level and remain relevant in the new normal.