Believe it or not, the mid-year is upon us, and the question of the moment is: How are your 2017 goals treating you?
As the summer lull sets in for many industries, now is the perfect time to reassess this year’s goals and the tools that can help you reach them. If your on-premise ERP solution is holding you back, now is the time to take a hard look at what other options (and there are many) are available.
Frankly, if your ERP solution is not in the cloud yet, you’re not alone, but the on-premise crowd is rapidly shrinking. According to a recent report from IDC, by 2018, at least half of IT spending will be cloud-based, reaching 60% of all IT infrastructure. By 2020 it will have reached 60–70% of all software, services, and technology spending. (Side Note: IDC also predicts that by 2018, cloud will also be the preferred delivery system for analytics.)
The bottom line is the cloud has brought about an IT revolution in just about every sector, and that is especially true for ERP solutions. The cloud is bringing the power and sophistication of ERP to businesses of all sizes without all the hassles of on-premise legacy solutions.
If you’re still managing your business with QuickBooks, Great Plains or an epic collection of Excel spreadsheets, mid-year is a great time to take another look. As we round the bend toward the home stretch of meeting those year-end goals are you sure you have the best tools in place?
But what should you consider when thinking about making the move to the cloud? Here are a few key areas to take into account:
If you’re paying through the nose to keep your legacy ERP system up and running, it’s definitely time to compare the total cost of ownership (TCO) of your on-premise solution vs. a cloud ERP solution like NetSuite.
Like it or not, you have to consider the bottom-line when determining which ERP solution (cloud or on-premise) will suit your business best. On the one hand, on-premise offers the allure of control and customization, but with a rather hefty upfront price tag as well as the ongoing expense of maintaining and updating hardware and facilities. And depending on the size and skill of your IT department, additional investments in hiring and/or training may be necessary.
With a cloud solution like NetSuite, TCO can be up to 50 percent less over a four-year period than comparable on-premise ERP. That can add up to significant savings for small to mid-sized businesses. Not to mention, ongoing costs are also much more predictable with a pay-as-you-go model. And IT expenses are negligible as maintenance and IT infrastructure is managed by the vendor.
With cloud ERP, upgrades happen on a routine basis, and are delivered by the software provider. That means your ERP is always up to speed with the latest features with little to no action on your end; another plus for smaller businesses without large in-house IT staffs.
On-premise ERP is a different story. When you need ERP upgrades on-site (and even in a private cloud scenario), maintaining and upgrading software is par for the course, and the burden is on your IT staff to do so. It’s a time-intensive process that, due to complexities, cannot happen as frequently as the cloud allows for — and can impact the customizations you’ve made over time.
As your business grows, you’ll want to be sure your ERP can easily grow with you. With an on-premise solution this can become an expensive headache quickly. Additional hardware may even be required in order to add access for more employees. With a cloud solution, adding new users is simple, and although there may be incremental costs, it’s more cost-effective than adding hardware and IT resources. With cloud ERP, growing your ERP as your business grows is simple.
And learn more about the benefits of Cloud ERP in this complimentary copy of NetSuite’s white paper: “From QuickBooks to Cloud Financials”