In 2016, Forrester reportedthat the market for enterprise resource planning (ERP) software was moving clearly towards the cloud, with 43% of organisations planning to use such deployment models in the 12 months prior. Since then, the market has gone from strength to strength.
Why? Because there are myriad advantages that cloud ERP deployments hold over traditional on-premise models, particularly for smaller or fast-growing organisations. Let’s take a look at some of the main advantages.
Cloud ERP, like any as-a-service software, can easily be scaled up and down according to your needs at different times, without complicated installation procedures or incurring additional costs. This is particularly useful for smaller organisations looking to grow, or those which experience fluxes in demand at different times of year. Modular ERP solutions allow organisations to add new functions as their business develops, and pick and choose different applications in a highly flexible way.
On-premise ERP solutions typically require a hefty initial outlay compared with a cloud deployment, potentially on hardware as well as software. The installation and integration process is likely to be longer and more complex, which also eats up resource. With a cloud deployment, all the hardware, updates, patching and so on is managed by the vendor, leaving you to focus on actually running your business.
Cloud ERP solutions can be accessed by all staff, on all devices, wherever they are – all they need is an internet connection. Particularly for early-stage businesses where employees are more likely to take on multiple roles, or fast-growth businesses with aggressive sales and development strategies, it can be hugely valuable for staff to be able to access and use a central ERP solution on the move. All data is uploaded to the cloud in real-time and should a device be lost or stolen there is no need to panic about lost data – again, particularly valuable for early stage businesses which are typically less resilient to such technological disaster.
On a related note, it is important to be aware that cloud ERP solutions are extremely secure. Whilst it may seem that giving up control of your core business data and placing it in the cloud incurs security risks, for smaller organisations without an in-house IT security function it can actually be the more resilient choice, passing on control for data security to a larger expert, with responsibility for many organisations’ core business information. And as outlined above, when ERP information is held in the cloud rather than on individual devices, lost, damaged or stolen devices do not introduce the same security challenges as when information is stored directly on them.
A cloud-based ERP solution can unlock greater automation and therefore digital transformation for organisations, because data can be uploaded directly to the cloud in real-time, rather than collected manually and imported into an on-premise ERP solution later on. There is less need for copying and pasting, which in turn improves accuracy.
Odoo is open-source software which covers a vast array of different ERP functions, thanks the rich global developer community creating more than 7,300 apps. It comes in three versions, one of which is hosted in the cloud and therefore offers all of the benefits outlined above, customisable to the unique needs of SMEs.
We think it is the perfect choice for growing businesses, which is why we’re a Gold Partner.to explore more about how cloud-based ERP could help your business.