Cloud ERP or on premise: Key questions and capabilities to consider when evaluating an ERP solution

Cloud ERP or on premise: Key questions and capabilities to consider when evaluating an ERP solution

There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all. An idea that becomes even stronger when we are talking about ERP software. Nowadays, cloud ERP, on-premises or hybrid solutions are available in a variety of different flavours, each features a particular set of capabilities, strengths, and drawbacks. One must know exactly what he needs to support the business but, anyhow, still has a lot to choose from. Cloud computing will continue to revolutionize how these systems are used, accessed, and protected as well.

When we talk about cloud ERP, we talk about users accessing Enterprise Resource Planning software over the Internet. Although, technically, the only difference between cloud-based ERP and on-premises ERP is where the software and data are physically located, true is that there are some other significant differences to have in mind.

Cloud-based ERP gives companies access to their business-critical applications at any time and from any location. This option is particularly valuable to small and medium-sized businesses (SMB’s) because it provides access to full-functional applications at a reasonable price and without the necessity of substantial upfront expenditure for hardware and software. But, in fact, it fits all size companies, as long as they have their necessities well defined.

By choosing a vertical ERP software, you are choosing a tool built specifically to address the needs of some particular industry. Generic features do not enter here. In this article who can get to know more on vertical ERP software solutions for logistics or legal management.

By using the right cloud ERP solution, a company can, rapidly, scale its business productivity software keeping pace with the growth of the business or whenever a company is added. But there are some other fundamental questions and key capabilities to considerer when evaluating an ERP solution:

  1. What business problems am I trying to solve with this ERP system?

No matter if you are a small, medium-size, or big company looking for a software solution to support growth within the digital era.

Will you only need the core ERP essentials, or will you require specific ERP capabilities to manage a larger database?

The fact is that without an ERP system, SMEs may struggle to report on business performance in real-time as data becomes less accessible than needed. Investing in such a system is the same as to say you can view and export reports based on the latest business information.

ERP solutions hold all costs, marketing and sales data in one place, so business people can rest assure reports are accurate and up to date.

No more business impediments that may quickly result in missed opportunities! Now it is time to move forward. No more limited information outside the office.

  1. ERP system: – on the ground or in the cloud?

So now the question may be: yes, I want an ERP software for my business but…should it be on-premises or in the cloud? As we fully move into an era in which remote work(ers) are dictating the trends, cloud may well be the answer.

During and post Covid-19 crisis, working from home has become the new normal for many. The fact is that doing your job from home was less mainstream before the coronavirus and… even a bit stigmatized, we should say.

By the second trimester of this year, according to Instituto Nacional de Estatística numbers, there are some more 23,1% remote workers in Portugal, reaching almost one million people.

According to the study “Remote Work in Portugal”, made by JLL, 95% of all the respondents are saying they would like to keep working from home, after this pandemic situation is over, at least, two to three days a week. An increasing number of companies are already asking: should we work from home indefinitely? And if we do, how to assure full productivity and remote access to data, with all the security needed?

Data security in the cloud is a non-subject as the inbuilt security features of your hosting provider will deliver everything you need from a data safety perspective. But, beware that they can only go as far as you let them. So, as you choose an ERP software solution to your business, you should also understand the main pillars that drive cloud security and find out that this is a responsibility that is shared between the cloud provider and the customer. By doing this, make no mistakes, security on cloud ERP really becomes a non-subject for your business.

  1. Money saving with an ERP solution

By leveraging cloud ERP systems, businesses can continue their day-to-day operations via a mobile browser, with 24/7 access to business and with a higher profit at the end of the month. But that is only one side of the issue.

Cloud ERP has some other benefits in what concerns to money savings, that go from avoiding upfront costs for all computing infrastructure such as hardware and data servers, to reducing IT support services (IT support is provided by the data center) and shrinking the cost of maintaining and supporting those applications.

But the advantages go beyond money savings. With a cloud ERP solution, companies are able to pay only for the computing resources needed and have a fixed monthly rate; it is also possible to adjust the amount of cloud service as a company’s computing or storage needs fluctuate and enjoy the confidence that the data has been backed up and there is a disaster recovery plan to use if needed (so important in a time when data matters…a lot!).

Last, but not least, it is possible to access the system from anywhere, anytime, which makes it easy for a company to expand geographically.

  1. Horizontal or vertical: What’s best for me?

Before you go investing your money on a cloud ERP, one of the most important choices you have to make is to decide if you want a vertical ERP – mainly focused on your industry – or, a horizontal ERP that is powerful enough to broadly meet the back office demands of any industry.

In fact, horizontal ERP solutions are designed to serve a variety of industries and entities. From there, other systems are integrated to send and receive data for a variety of processes from eCommerce management to EDI or BI.

On the other hand, vertical ERP is a software solution built specifically to address the needs of some particular industry. Therefore, it supports very specific defined business processes, aimed at a certain sector, and is designed to serve users with specific job responsibilities. Generic features do not enter here, as this ERP works with a huge degree of verticalized customization.

So, by choosing a vertical ERP software, you are choosing a tool made to meet almost all your business needs. Let`s take a look into some specific examples like Logistics or Legal verticals.

For this last one, Blue Screen IT Solutions offers the Legal Management System (LMS) that eases management and administration of litigation and debt collection processes.

This software solution guarantees the fulfillment of dates and forwards the workflows in a sequential manner and has a rather comprehensive scope, from the creation of legal dossiers to the judicial sale of goods, including the management of auctioning. It also allows integration with other entities involved in the process the lawyer is working on.

The same goes for XPressBSS on the Logistics sector, offering an inventory optimization with a detailed record of raw materials, consumables, by-products, and any sellable goods. Stock can be perfectly described, and the solution is designed to offer a dynamic Inventory Management System that can virtually accommodate any kind of product.

If you want to know more about our vertical ERP solutions, just get in touch with our team.