Netscope, a cloud application analysis and policy development firm, recently released some analysis of their “Cloud Confidence Index” showing industry sectors that have sufficient “confidence” in the usefulness, security and/or performance of cloud services and applications.
Looking at it from an industry by industry perspective they found that Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) along with Document Management and Security to be the services having the highest level of confidence among enterprises seeking to adopt cloud services. This could explain why more and more companies are either buying into existing ERP cloud providers or building their own private versions.
However, despite the level of confidence that statistics seem to show, ERP has not been as quick to move to the cloud as other types of enterprise applications already moved to the cloud.
Nonetheless, many of these same organizations have already moved their CRM to the cloud and now they are starting to think about taking their ERP systems out from behind the “firewall” and integrating it with their CRM systems in their public, private or hybrid cloud.
Many companies are utilizing systems that were primarily built on older technologies that were never quite as innovative as they could have been. This was because they were developed more to fill in the gaps left by other systems they were using like Oracle, SAP and IBM. As such they often were built on the backs of even older and more outdated tech.
The inflexibility of most of these systems is why customers want to move to the cloud. Unfortunately, the current enterprise resource planning providers are too entrenched in their old systems and afraid to “cannibalize” their base in order to embrace the cloud. Many ERP start-ups are taking advantage of this condition and are creating new levels of disruption in the ERP marketplace.
It is the SMB market that would greatly benefit from moving and integrating ERP, CRM and business intelligence management to the cloud. The cost of entry is starting to lower and dozens of businesses exist that will aid these smaller companies in the integration and movement of these critical business tools to the cloud. By utilizing the outsourced services of a development firm skilled at planning, executing and supporting the integration of services as well as moving them to the cloud, the cost of the move can be greatly reduced.
The big winners in the future will be the companies that can maximize their data across multiple disciplines to meet current and future challenges or opportunities. The cloud holds much promise, but be sure you have the “best of the best” in expertise aiding you. There are many choices now but not all will be right and the new systems can be complex to understand both technically and how they are priced.
Make the move, but be sure you have the right solution before you do.
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