As the world of ERP solutions continues to evolve, many business owners are facing an intriguing dilemma: deciding between cloud ERP and the more traditional on-premise ERP. The former has become increasingly popular due to its ‘anytime, anywhere’ appeal.
Basically, if you have an Internet connection and a suitable device, you’re in business. For companies with mobile workforces or multiple locations, this is a major benefit because it lets you:
- Remain productive wherever you are
- Track your business processes from anywhere
- Access real-time reporting features when offsite
What Is Cloud ERP?
Cloud-based ERP software (which is short for enterprise resource planning software) utilizes cloud-computing platforms to host the software application. Because a third party hosts this type of software, there’s no need to install and maintain hardware onsite.
In addition to providing easy remote access, Cloud-based ERP solutions don’t require a significant upfront investment like you’d find with an on-premise installation. Instead, the service tends to be billed as a subscription, sometimes referred to as Software as a Service (SaaS).
Enable Your Employees
One of the great benefits of using cloud-based ERP solutions is that you can use them to empower your entire workforce using a safe, secure platform. You get to determine the level of access they require to perform their duties efficiently.
Whether it’s a warehouse manager in need of powerful inventory control, or a buyer who’s on the road researching new product, cloud ERP offers the flexibility to perform anywhere.
In the early days of cloud-based computing, security was a major concern among prospective buyers. This is completely understandable given the type of business critical information that companies would need to store on a server:
- Financial data
- Client information
- Industry trade secrets
- Employee information
For the most part, those fears have proven to be unwarranted, as these systems have proven themselves to be extremely reliable. The key to this is finding a reputable cloud software vendor with a proven track record for security.
Made with SMBs in Mind
Many small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) don’t have the financial freedom required to launch an on-premise ERP software system because it requires:
- Significant upfront capital investment
- Ongoing maintenance and updates
- Onsite IT staff
Cloud ERP software gives SMBs many of the same competitive advantages as their larger competitors, without tying up capital.
Integrate Your Business Applications into a Single Platform
Cloud-based ERP solutions would be nowhere near as effective if they didn’t offer the ability to integrate your core business functions into a single platform. Fortunately, they do.
This supports the ‘anywhere, anytime’ advantage because each of your departments will have real-time access to the same central database of information, including:
- Backend accounting
- Point of sale
For more on this, read: Are Cloud-based ERP Solutions Worth Considering for Retail Stores?
If you’re trying to decide between cloud ERP and an on-premise installation, talk to Windward Software. We offer both options and will be happy to find the solution that best fits your business needs.