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Is Cloud ERP Right for You?

Posted by Sean Harmon | 10/6/16 3:31 PM

If the mere mention of Enterprise Resource Planning software (ERP) summons visions of an army of consultants and IT staff that hasn’t slept in months, you may be surprised to learn that the cloud is bringing the power and sophistication of ERP to businesses of all sizes without all the hassles or prohibitive price tag. 

So is now the time to give ERP solutions a closer look?

Maybe you’re still managing your business with QuickBooks and/or Great Plains and/or Excel. If so, it’s definitely time to take another look. And if you are 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. But what should you consider when thinking about making the leap to the cloud? Here are a few key areas to take into account:

First things first, 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 can be accounted for as an operational expense instead of a capital expense and 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.

It’s also important to understand how changing needs and software upgrades will be handled by your ERP solution. With cloud ERP, upgrades happen on a routine basis, and are delivered by the software provider. Meaning, your ERP is always up to speed with the latest features with little to no action required 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 a bit of an expensive headache that may require additional hardware as you add access for more employees. With a cloud solution, adding new users is easy, and although there may be incremental costs associated, it’s more cost-effective than adding hardware and IT resources. With cloud ERP, growing your ERP as your business grows is simple.


There are many factors to consider when choosing the right ERP fit for your business. To learn more about how ManageForce can help you find the right solution, contact us.

Learn more about the benefits of Cloud ERP in this complimentary copy of NetSuite’s white paper:

netsuite white paper cloud ERP benefits  

Topics: Cloud, NetSuite

Written by Sean Harmon


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