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Some Must-Have characteristics of Cloud-Based ERP 1. Customizable ERP
You don't want a system that compels you to change your process of working -- you need a system which fits into your present processes. An ERP platform with powerful automation capabilities will allow you to easily handle the workflows into your particular business. The Most Effective platforms will Allow You to heavily customize these automations
Should you use a system with poor scalability? you will quickly end up in trouble when trying for expansion. Scalability enables your system grow with you. For this reason, it is often a fantastic idea to get a system which might at first look bigger or stronger than you need.3. Reliability
You can have the most effective cloud-based ERP system available, but when it is not reliable, all those great features won't be worth far.
Robust security features are just another must-have for any highly effective cloud ERP. Deciding on a platform with top-level safety measures will make it possible for you to grant every user access to just the information that they will need to view, and bar them out of everything they should not view.
Is it built solely for the cloud? Another way to say it is it "Born on the cloud".
There are really many things to consider, such as how do you solve a business issue assuming that it has to work on the confines of a multi-tenant cloud environment. What you can do on-premise has to be rethought on how to solve that problem with a cloud solution.
Another important consideration is the strategy or roadmap might say for the user. Does the vendor have a strategy to handle the OPEX model as opposed to a CAPEX model?
It's not about just plugging a value, there has to be a roadmap for the user to use as a guide for execution. Which would mean the ERP solution provides the methodology, tools, product offering and more importantly make it commercially viable. In conclusion, coming to my point of being "Born on the cloud", it is not easy for an ERP which had started its life being an on-premise solution, as it would band-aid solutions to make it work on the cloud. Even if that is resolved, there are other factors as I mentioned above about methodology and commercial factors to consider. Which would be another challenge that needs to be overcome.
If it's not built for the cloud then skip it!
So Cloud ERP - the fact that something is cloud-based doesn't really change the constructs of evaluation. Certain basic thresholds of due diligence are of course important with any cloud offering - is it secure? How long has it been cloud-based? Are development ongoing and release and rollout of new versions appropriate for our purposes? That sort of thing.
More importantly to our clients, the most critical evaluation criteria is whether this was made-for-cloud or ported-to-cloud.
Made-for-cloud indicates the development of a software product that by definition, cannot be older than the modern internet itself (1996) and was designed to work in a cloud-based environment.
Ported-to-cloud defines a group of older, often legacy codebase systems from the '80s which are now available in a cloud version to compete with the phenomenal success rates of NetSuite, Acumatica, Intacct - the initial made-for-cloud offerings.
From what our clients find (we're basically a software evaluation consulting group) is that the workings of modern made-for-cloud are more familiar to this generation of internet workers, designed for remote operation and generally easier to integrate, along with the App Store concept pioneered by iPhone and Salesforce to create huge, efficiency-driven developer communities.
Early ERP seemingly used proprietary codebase languages as almost a security element against piracy and demanded middleware for any integration - often different middleware in different modules of the same ERP. Made-for-cloud also uses middleware - it's called 'the internet'.
Anyway - some generalizations to make the points - I know there are exceptions. But these are what turn out to be actually important in ERP evaluation after evaluation - and although we'd like to claim expertise in knowing exactly what our clients want and need, since about 2017-2018 we're seeing them adopt made for cloud ERP more for these aspects than the reasoning behind why we'd initially presented ERP products for them in the first place.
Which has evolved to become our new 'expert advice' because if you don't learn something from almost every ERP implementation, you're stagnating in an ever-changing marketplace.
What top trends and challenges do you predict about ERP products and solutions for 2022?