Is Cloud Computing the Best ERP Approach for Manufacturers?

This is a writing sample from Scripted writer Kathleen Allardyce

Small to Medium Businesses are Evaluating Cloud Computing for ERP Systems

Small to Medium Businesses (SMBs) are embracing the implementation of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems. ERP systems are equipping these businesses with the ability to operate more like their large corporation cousins. They are enjoying increased productivity and better business decision-making due to advanced reporting.

The question for many of these SMBs is whether to manage ERP systems in-house or in the cloud. There are advantages in both approaches.

Why SMBs Decide to Manage ERP Systems In-House

Security and reliability are the major issues for companies who prefer to manage their own ERP systems. When a small business implements an ERP system, it represents a huge component controlling the company's ability to thrive.

If the company's management isn't convinced that cloud computing is safe, they face the possibility of losing customer information and giving away their competitive edge. In other words, when hackers access their cloud system, they can steal customer records, and gain access to any proprietary information that the company uses to beat out competitors.

Reliability is a key issue because once a company has implemented an ERP system, their ability to produce their product or service will be severely curtailed if that system goes down.

The Advantages to Utilizing the Cloud for ERP Systems

If company executives can assure themselves that their cloud computer alternative will provide as much or more safety and reliability as their own systems, they will find a number of advantages to computing in the cloud. Here are just a few examples.

  • More stable disaster recovery. No one wants to think about a disaster that prevents their company from continuing to operate. But, disasters do happen, and operating in the cloud typically offers more disaster recovery options than a company would have on its own.
  • Extensive data analysis capability. Manufacturers can potentially gather a massive amount of data. Analyzing that data will give the company outstanding insight into current operations and opportunities for improvement. A cloud system that is easily scalable will give the company the horsepower they need to excel.
  • Time to Create. Establishing ERM in the cloud frees up a company's resources to do things that go beyond simply running existing systems. The time saved can be used to develop new processes that can contribute to a company's growth.

Making an Informed Decision is Critical

If you're planning a move to the cloud, evaluate potential cloud vendors to find one that understands your goals and is familiar with the manufacturing environment. Getting the most from your ERP system will make a big difference in your company's future growth.

Written by:

Kathleen Allardyce
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