Planning a safe journey to ERP in the cloud

Last updated:November 2014

Editor's note

For businesses facing the challenges of a fast-paced, global marketplace, the cloud has become an appealing alternative to traditional on-premises deployments. Opting for cloud-based ERP, particularly software as a service (SaaS) ERP, can save manufacturers time and money while giving them access to the capabilities they need to stay competitive -- including anywhere, anytime access to ERP data.

As the cloud ERP software market expands and matures, organizations would be wise to evaluate the cloud's effects, now and in the future. But despite the benefits of flexibility, cost savings and scalability, putting ERP in the cloud is not yet the best choice for every organization. Many continue to proceed with caution, often because cloud-based ERP requires moving data outside company walls. While the benefits may eventually outweigh the risks, it's a good idea to devise a plan for data security and governance, or even consider a hybrid deployment that leaves the most sensitive data in-house.

In this guide, learn more about major trends and vendors in the ERP market, discover some best practices for getting the most out of a cloud deployment, and read some real-world examples that explore the ups and downs of the journey to cloud-based ERP.

1Finding the best path to cloud-based ERP

A major part of the cloud ERP decision is calculating return on investment (ROI). As companies come to terms with the inevitability of the cloud, they strive to find the approach that will offer them the best payoff down the road. The articles in this section explain the many forms of cloud ROI and the various ways to approach the cloud. Even organizations that decide to keep ERP on-premises for now should recognize that the cloud remains on the horizon, and should plan accordingly.

2Cloud-based ERP in the real world

Many manufacturers have made the cloud work for them, despite initial obstacles such as cultural change management. Here are real-world examples from companies that have realized some of the benefits of cloud-based ERP.