20 Sep Cloud ERP systems for SMBs
In the business world today, more and more small and medium-sized companies recognise the need to implement cloud ERP systems to expand their business initiatives, streamline the flow of information, become more competitive, better collaborate with suppliers, partners, and customers. For the last couple of years, cloud computing has become a viable and competitive means by which most small and medium-sized companies can implement an ERP system in a short time frame and cost-effective way. With the advent of cloud computing, SMBs are provided with unprecedented opportunities to implement a wide range of application services in the cloud, that are tailored for their business needs. As such, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) in the cloud has become a promising and affordable alternative for delivering applications to companies of all sizes, especially small and medium-sized demonstrating that the increased knowledge of cloud computing has decreased the perceived risk of cloud implementation, influencing a company’s decision in implementing cloud services to reduce costs and improve efficiency. The enhanced benefits and lower switching costs associated with the cloud solutions have a significant impact on the intention of implementing these services at the company level.
In the course of selecting the best ERP solution for a company, an important decision concerns whether the company should implement a cloud-based or an on-premise ERP. It is widely recognised that cloud-based ERP systems are becoming increasingly popular for small and medium-sized businesses due to their cost-effectiveness and flexibility.
Cloud-based ERP systems can be subdivided into three delivery models: Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). Software as a Service is concerned with the delivery of an application to multiple end-users or customers through the underlying object code and database. In a PaaS model, a cloud provider delivers IT infrastructure tools to its users as a service. Then, the provider hosts the software and hardware on its infrastructure. As a result, there is no need for users to install hardware and software in-house to run or develop a new application. The IaaS delivery method is principally targeted at administrators. This service involves usage and capacity-based pricing structure in which a customer only pays for the amount of capacity that is used Cloud ERP is delivered via the SaaS model. They are usually accessed via a regular web browser over an Internet connection, with access that has a little dependency, configuration by the client.
Key benefits of Cloud ERP systems:
- Lower initial costs. Cloud-based ERP systems significantly reduce the initial costs related to hardware, licenses, and implementation compared to other traditional ERP models, which typically involve a high initiation cost.
- Lower operating costs. The cost involved in operating a cloud-based ERP system is also lower in terms of maintenance, configuration, upgrades, and other costs. It has been argued that this major benefit continues to increase the relevance of the system to small and medium-sized companies.
- Quick implementation. The fact that cloud-based ERP systems can be deployed quickly, and that it takes less time to configure, makes it very attractive for companies looking for fast and flexible implementation processes.
- Improved scalability. The integrated built-in feature of cloud computing deliver flexible levels of scalability to IT resources what in its turn reduces expenditures. The broad level of flexibility and adaptability that a cloud-based ERP system can bring to a company’s processes can lead to increased competitiveness. This factor is reported as leverage for SMBs that compete with larger rivals.
- Core competencies specialisation. Because of their cost-saving benefits and simplicity of design, cloud-based ERP systems allow internal capacities and resources to be focused on other important areas of the business. In terms of the design and architecture perspective, most IT departments do not take responsibility for supporting such systems, thereby freeing up more time and resources to be employed elsewhere.
- Quick upgrades and updates. One of the major advantages of cloud-based ERP solutions is that they tend to get faster updates, upgrades, and functionality than traditional on-premise ERP systems.
- Improved mobility, usability, accessibility, and integration. Cloud-based ERP systems boast greater usability and user-friendliness. The major advantage is that all information and business data can be accessed at any time and any location.
- The reduced total cost of ownership. In a SaaS ERP environment, customers generally pay on a per-user basis, and as a result of the faster implementation, less capital expenditure, and automatic upgrades and maintenance, the total cost of ownership for SMBs is expected to be less than on-premise systems.
- Security and integrity of data. Despite some controversies surrounding inherent security issues of cloud computing, especially cloud ERP, small and medium-sized companies may perceive SaaS vendors to be safer and more reliable than their premises. One of the reasons behind this fact is that SMBs tend to be exposed to a wide range of attacks due to flaws in hardware and software resources, poor configuration, and weakness of security mechanisms. SaaS is optimally targeted at small businesses to address these challenges. Cloud providers offer comprehensive security to protect their customers, thereby allowing the customer to transfer their core security activities such as disaster recovery, redundancy, and data protection to the cloud under a shared security responsibility model.
Acumatica Cloud ERP
Acumatica is the fastest-growing Cloud ERP software for small and medium-sized businesses. It provides the best business management solution for transforming your business to thrive in the new digital economy. Through advanced technology, best in class functionality, and customer-friendly business practices, Acumatica Cloud ERP delivers unparalleled value to small and mid-sized companies. Integrated workflows cover the full range of business management applications, from Financials, Project Accounting, and Inventory Management to CRM. Specialised industry solutions include Construction, Manufacturing, Commerce, Field Service, and Distribution Editions. Acumatica Cloud ERP was built on a future-proof platform with an open architecture for scalability, ease of use, and fast integrations.
Acumatica was designed in the cloud and works with all modern devices via the latest browser technology. From the moment you create your cloud environment, you can access your business data from any remote location. This way, you can keep track of your major business operations 24 hours a day. With intuitive reports and analytics, you can monitor your business’s performance and make better-informed decisions based on these analytical data.
Final thoughts. Moving ERP to the cloud undoubtedly brings numerous benefits to SMBs, including innovation, improved efficiency, agility, scalability, and cost savings. Although there are different kinds of ERP solutions with different pricing and delivery commercial models, the decision to select the most suitable ERP goes beyond the issue of cost and other important standardised selection criteria. The SaaS Cloud model has become a highly game-changing and yet cost-effective option for agile companies looking to pay based on level of usage and not essentially for hardware and infrastructure, allowing the capital to be applied to other operational areas. This Cloud ERP model presents a viable option especially for small businesses looking to start with a small number of modules and then increase their functionalities when the need appears or the business grows.
Cloud ERP systems help small and medium-sized companies to leverage;- the power of latest technology and modern computing, improved scalability and connectedness, real-time decision making and all within relatively short time frames whilst still achieving compelling rates of ROI.