Jun 7, 2019 3:00 AM

3 reasons to put ERP in the cloud

Moving ERP out of the corporate data center can improve security and data access—and save money


ERP systems are the last strongholds of processes and data that enterprise IT refuses to move to the cloud. ERP holds most of the relevant business data, and without that data the business would not exist. Thus, many companies are delaying migrating ERP to the cloud or refusing altogether.

However, the reasons for moving ERP to the cloud are becoming more apparent, and it’s time that I share a few with you. If you’re fighting this fight in the halls of enterprise IT, here’s some ammunition you can use to make your case.

First, better security. Yes, I went there first. It’s been long established that public clouds provide better security than on-premises systems. Moreover, R&D dollars have switched to the cloud and cloud-based security systems. Thus, your applications and data are much more secure in the cloud.

This does not match the lore within enterprise IT. Indeed, this is a discussion I have at least twice a week now, but most in enterprise IT are coming around.

Second, better access to data. Moving ERP to the cloud does not guarantee better data access, but most organizations are able to open up the databases as they relocate to a public cloud. This is because most non-SaaS cloud-based ERP systems use many different databases running on the cloud. No longer are you required to use proprietary, closed databases, generally speaking.

You’ll be able to read the data into other analytical systems, such as predictive analytics, and even use new approaches to data analysis, such as machine learning and deep learning. This will allow you to do wonderful things with your data, which is ultimately the big payout.

Finally, much lower costs. I listed this last because although it’s the most obvious, it is typically not something to lead with these days. No hardware to buy or maintain, lower operational costs, and the ability to scale the ERP systems up or down, pretty much on demand, are all compelling, but I’ve found that they are not the core ways that enterprises find value around ERP in the cloud, as much as improved security and data access. That said, cost is always an issue, so definitely point out the savings to the stakeholders.

Of course, this list can go on for a while. This is just to prime the pump to get your company moving in the right direction with ERP in the cloud.