Using the cloud is so common these days that most small- to mid-sized businesses (SMBs) have at least one cloud service supporting their operations. An increasingly popular cloud-based service is enterprise resource planning (ERP). But what is it? And what are the advantages of using a cloud-based ERP? Here’s a quick and informative overview.
Define: Cloud-based ERP
ERP is management software, usually offered as a bundle of applications, that aims to help businesses automate the collection, storage, management, and interpretation of data from various sources like accounting, inventory, marketing, service delivery, etc. With ERP, business owners and managers can get an integrated real-time view of business processes, resources, and commitments.
Cloud-based ERP solutions are simply a suite of ERP apps delivered to users over the Internet, usually accessed via a browser. The software usually does not need to be installed on computers and is offered on a per-user, per-month, flat-rate fee.
Companies using a cloud-based integrated ERP solution have experienced the following five benefits:
1. Increased ERP performance
One issue with in-house ERP solutions is that they require proper set up and maintenance to function at their most efficient. If all that is done poorly, then performance suffers.
With cloud-based solutions, the provider takes care of hosting the solution. You know that experts are the ones maintaining the system, so you’re assured that your ERP should perform at its peak performance.
2. Decreased operating costs
An in-house ERP solution requires the purchase of the software, its related licenses, and the hardware to support it. Plus you need to hire staff to install and maintain it. All that will drive up the overall IT budget, something most SMBs cannot immediately afford.
But with a cloud-based ERP, you normally only have to pay a flat-rate monthly fee, so the total cost of implementation will likely be far lower. Many providers can also manage the solution for you. This will even out your operating costs, and if implemented correctly, will result in an overall decrease in expenses.
3. Enhanced access to information
Companies that don’t have any ERP will likely struggle to find the information they need, when they need it. ERPs can help consolidate the relevant information in a more effective manner than, say, spreadsheets.
And since cloud-based ERP solutions are accessible via the Internet, you now have access to your information from anywhere with an Internet connection.
4. Increased security
ERP systems process critical business information, so you will want to keep your data secure from outside sources and unauthorized users within your organization.
To keep your data safe from unauthorized outside sources, cloud-based ERP solutions offer enhanced security measures that protect your data when it is at rest and when it moves from your systems to the host servers.
And for internal data security, users will need an assigned account to access your ERP systems. This gives you control over who is given an account or not. Furthermore, you can also limit who can access your system via central admin panels.
5. Continued support
Cloud-based ERP solutions offer 24/7 support. ERP solutions providers can fix problems faster than if you leave them to your employees.
Providers also make sure that solutions are kept updated. Hackers have been known to attack businesses that use outdated versions of popular ERP programs.
If you want to learn more about cloud-based ERP solutions, contact us. We’ll be glad to assist you.