There is a huge amount of published content and interest in how we can take advantage of the Cloud. The majority of us now use smart phones and tablets to organise our life outside out of work via email, messaging, calendars and a whole plethora of apps. From a business perspective many of you will be accessing work email and calendars via mobile devices. Some of you may even be using apps to connect to your business systems or data. Less riskaverse businesses have moved their backups and even their email systems into the Cloud. But how many businesses today have actually moved their core business software and deployed it in the Cloud?
Business software products date back to as early as the 1970's with the release of ledger systems on huge mainframe computers through to stock control systems and MRP packages running on mini computers in the 1980's and onto MRP2 and what we now know as ERP accompanied with the likes of CRM, BI and WMS. However they have always resided on a server that was itself nearly always located on the business premises. This quickly became accepted as the norm – the Main Street of how to buy and deploy business software.
What are the commercial benefits of Cloud vs. On Premise?
This is where Cloud ERP has the clear advantage over On Premise, particularly for SME's as the upfront investment is significantly reduced. There is no need to buy new or upgraded hardware or to purchase licenses upfront. Instead there is a monthly subscription charge, which is largely based on the number of named users, and the systems they need to access, e.g. Accounts, MRP, CRM, and email, Microsoft Office. There may also be cost savings in headcount, or the ability to move people into other value add roles, as there is a much lower need for IT technical skills in the business, e.g. hardware, database skills.
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