Tuesday, 3 February 2015

YOUR BUSINESS IS DYNAMIC. SHOULDN'T YOUR ERP & CRM SYSTEM BE TOO? IS THE ULTIMATE LEGACY SOFTWARE READY TO DRIVE THE NEXT WAVE OF CLOUD ADOPTION?

Enterprise resource planning software is the ultimate legacy application. On the downside, ERP has earned a reputation for costly, time-consuming deployments and maintenance, outdated user interfaces, and general inflexibility. On the plus side, ERP is software that very often runs the business, from manufacturing to financials to sales, and it's often highly customized to serve specific company needs. The category, at least until recently, has also been synonymous with on-premises implementations, in part because of concerns that the cloud couldn't deliver the reliability, speed, and data control companies wanted from such a crucial system.
While other business application categories such as CRM and email have shifted heavily toward cloud deployments, ERP has been seen as the last to move. It's not that cloud-based ERP hasn't existed; it just hasn't enjoyed the same interest and adoption as early drivers like CRM.
That appears poised to change. Users and IT want faster deployments and less maintenance. Meanwhile, cloud use -- especially in the form of software as a service (SaaS) -- has gone from new and trendy to mundane.

Research firm Gartner predicted last year that at least 30% of service-oriented businesses will move the majority of their ERP applications to the cloud by 2018. Gartner expects that over the next decade and beyond, the ERP norm will switch from on-premises to cloud. It said that heavily customized, on-premises ERP deployments will be commonly thought of as "legacy ERP" beginning in 2016.
The good news for CIOs and their teams considering moving some or all ERP functions online: Vendors have been prepping for this shift, and there's already plenty of choice. The conventional ERP heavyweights -- Microsoft, Oracle, and SAP -- are also in on the trend. You may have noticed how much all three, each in their own way, talked up cloud across the board in 2014.
Add in cloud-from-the-start companies plus a variety of other options, and it's apparent that ERP cloud advocates will have a range of choices. Moreover, expect 2015 to bring much added functionality related to mobile and remote access (which was one of the key complaints in the survey mentioned above), social business, big data and analytics integration, and more.
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