A brief history on ERP Solutions
As your business grows, the operational costs typically increase. For instance, with a larger presence, you need more resources – more dedicated staff, infrastructure, support teams, and licenses—to manage the numerous business systems. With an expanded business, it becomes hard to access and view data from various business units. In addition, generating reports from every department of the large-sized businesses becomes an onerous task.
To manage business growth, most successful businesses use Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems. The ERP systems use advanced technologies, like machine learning and AI, to integrate and provide intelligence, visibility, and efficiency across every aspect of the business core processes such as accounting, HR, supply chain and operations.
Types of ERP Systems
There are two types of ERP solutions: on-premise ERP solutions and cloud-hosted ERP solutions. Cloud-based ERP systems are typically hosted on the private cloud datacenters that are operated by managed service providers or on the public cloud providers. On the other hand, on-premise ERP systems are installed locally, on your company’s own computers and servers.
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Cloud-based ERP Solutions
Unlike Cloud based ERP systems, on-premise ERP systems provide the benefit to the organization who may have data sovereignty requirements or may have a business need to know the exact location of where their data is kept.
However, on-premise ERP systems demand a higher level of infrastructure maintenance and attention from the IT department. This is because of the following reasons:
- On-premise ERP systems require the solution to be designed, integrated and have regularly maintenance;
- On-premise ERP systems’ infrastructure require sufficient space to host the ERP servers in a datacenter;
- The systems require a team of skilled resources to operate. For instance, to maintain the systems, you will require IT staff that have the skills to operate infrastructure, security, networking and the ERP applications.
Many businesses are moving their business applications to public cloud service providers like Microsoft Azure or others. McKinsey’s IT-as-a-Service Survey predicts that 80 percent of all large enterprises will be using cloud services by the end of 2018. The survey, also, discovered that an estimated 95 percent of IT professionals are already using cloud services.
Why would a client consider moving ERP system into the Cloud?
Scalability and flexibility
Cloud-based ERP systems such as SAP on Azure are flexible. You can choose a fully public or a hybrid cloud solution. Also, the platforms come with a full set of infrastructure-as-a-service, platform-as-a-service and software-as-a-service capabilities that extend the ERP. In addition, as an organization expands globally, they can select one of the many datacenters available around the world. The cloud-hosted ERP systems provide the flexibility to easily scale up or down to meet demand with a few mouse clicks.
Cloud-based solutions provide greater access to a wider range of business-vital capabilities such as built-in automation, high availability, disaster recovery, IoT, container, security plug-ins that typically would need to be done manually for on-premise systems. For example, with SAP on Azure, you will be able to integrate your experience on SAP with a range of Software as a Solution (SaaS) that are available on Azure such as the Microsoft Analytics and Insights for SAP software, businesses can visualize SAP HANA data, directly query and pop up that data in Power BI, or mine data from SAP into Microsoft Azure Machine Learning and employ predictive analytics tools for profound business insights.
Security and regulatory compliance
Your ERP is fundamentally an arsenal for all of your company’s data and thus, security is vital to your company’s success. No platform can be totally insulated from data security-related challenges. However, a cloud-based ERP, most especially if it’s from a reputable vendor, offers an advanced level of security. With both your in-house IT team and your cloud provider watching out for the security of the system, you will focus your energy on pursuing your core business and drive innovation.
In terms of security and regulatory compliance, Microsoft leads the industry in its dedication to data protection and privacy, and Azure has the most thorough compliance coverage of any cloud provider.
Cloud-based ERP systems allow your internal IT department to concentrate on other value adding activities. In any case, some businesses lack the bandwidth to effectively manage an ERP on top of their daily activities due to the lack of resources. Time spent on maintaining, updating, and repairing on-premise ERP systems can be minimized through automation, built-in redundancy, self-healing and auto-scaling capabilities offered by Cloud-based systems. Customers can also have the flexibility to perform operations and maintenance through a central systems management console whether they have local or global operations for Cloud-based ERP systems.
Who are the Best Providers of Cloud-based ERP Solutions?
To choose a provider of cloud-based ERP solution, you should consider the following:
- Expert knowledge: It is important to select a provider who has a strong history of successful ERP deployments in the cloud. This avoids any unnecessary delays and cost which may arise during implementation phase.
- Support services: a good cloud ERP provider should provide extra support services such as a help desk, service delivery management, maintenance services, automation, and access to 7×24 support.
- Provision for data resilience: a reputable vendor should also provide the option that should there be a need, it will be easy to transfer to a disaster recovery site. A good cloud provider should also have an SAP backup.
- Security: a good cloud-based ERP solution should have advanced security services to protect your data against security risks such as viruses, hacking, malware, intrusion protection, firewalling.
- Compatibility and scalability: reputable cloud services providers should allow for multiple integrations with existing systems such as line of business applications, email, file and print, domain controllers and/or business intelligence software.
With thorough security and regulatory compliance protocols, a full set of infrastructure-as-a-service, platform-as-a-service and software-as-a-service capabilities, access to a broad array of business-critical capabilities such as Microsoft Analytics and Insights, SAP on Azure is regarded as the market leader of cloud-based ERP solutions.
After identifying the best provider of cloud-based ERP solutions, the next thing that you can confidently consider, as a business, is to move your SAP system to the cloud. If done in the wrong way, putting your SAP on the cloud might greatly cost you.
Always choose a globally-recognized managed service provider and systems integrator for SAP and Microsoft to help your organization achieve fast and cost-effective deployments to SAP on Azure such as T-Systems Cloudifier, an SAP migration process used by T-Systems, provides a standardized SAP transformation to Azure, offering a clear and documented roadmap for design, consultation, planning, transformation, implementation and operations for SAP on Azure. T-Systems, has the proven industry experience for deploying the largest SAP on Azure systems in South East Asia