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Cloud ERP Software for Small and Midsize Businesses: Top 7 Benefits Explained

Cloud-based ERP software is being widely adopted by small and medium sized organizations to drive efficiency and reduce cost. According to a study by McAfee, a whopping 97% of IT professionals surveyed use some type of cloud function in their organization. The result? Many partners are shifting away from on-premises ERP to deliver vital services in the cloud.

What is Cloud ERP?

Cloud ERP is Software as a Service (SaaS) for enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. Essentially, it allows users to access software over the internet unlike on-premises ERP software that has a physical location. It empowers users to access full-function applications at an affordable price.

Cloud ERP for Small and Midsize Businesses

At Catapult, we’re seeing an increase in small to medium sized businesses gravitating towards cloud ERP software. What was once only available to larger organizations is now becoming popular among the masses due to its accessibility and numerous benefits.

We understand that you can’t make the shift to the cloud overnight and that there are many factors that will influence your decision on whether to deploy on-premises or in the cloud. In this article, we look at the top 7 benefits of migrating to the cloud and explain why it can have such a profound effect on your business.

1. Reduced Cost

Cloud-based ERP solutions run on a subscription based model. A predictable, monthly payment which covers the cost for software licences, upgrades and regular back-ups. This model eliminates the need for annual contracts as well as the need to invest in hardware. Unlike on-premises, there are no significant upfront fees or underlying IT costs for ongoing investments as you continue to upgrade software.

2. Scalability

The flexibility that comes with cloud-based software provides small and medium sized companies with the opportunity to scale their business. You only pay for what you use and can easily scale to meet the everyday demands of your company. On-premises can inhibit you from scaling your business because dated infrastructure requires regular upgrades that take up time and resources.

3. High Level Security

There is often apprehension (quite often among financial services) to adopt cloud-based ERP solutions due to a fear of online security. This is only natural due to the sensitivity of the data being stored. However, you’ll actually find that data stored on the cloud is often safer than on a server in your office. Data centres invest heavily in security measures and take steps that go beyond the affordability of most SMBs. You’ll also find there are cloud-based technologies built solely around the protection of your data. Platforms such as Microsoft Azure use automation and sophisticated monitoring to minimize disruption in the event of a disaster and reduce the potential for data loss.

4. Low Energy Costs

Do you care about making your company more green? It’s worth noting that the cloud is better for the environment. According to an Oracle report, 91% less energy is used by the cloud than it is on-premises. Not only that, migrating to the cloud also means that you no longer need to pay the hefty fee associated with powering on-premises servers. You’ll not only be saving the world, but reducing the amount of money you spend on energy bills!

5. Quicker Deployment

If you are implementing a cloud-based ERP solution without connecting legacy on-premises solutions then it can be done in a shorter amount of time. On-premises solutions can take a lot longer to deploy due to the complexity of the applications that need to be stored on a physical server and on each PC and laptop within the office.

6. Automatic Upgrades

If you use on-premises solution then you’ll be familiar with the consistent challenge of dated infrastructure. Hidden costs and manpower involved in updating these systems can be mammoth. The benefit of cloud-based solutions is that the software is hosted for you. There’s no need to worry about the continuous maintenance of software or the hardware that it lives on. Upgrades and compatibility are looked after by the cloud service provider.

7. Remote Flexibility

Ever got frustrated not being able to access key information? Maybe you’ve been on a long train journey or stuck at an airport without access? One of the key benefits of a cloud-based ERP solution is that you can access your applications anytime, anywhere, via any device. All you need is a web browser and stable internet connection. This type of flexibility allows you to work in real-time and scale your company globally. It caters to employees who work remotely, which has become critical since the global pandemic struck earlier this year.

The Best Cloud ERP Software

Cloud-based ERP solutions are often dubbed better due to their security, reliability and flexibility. Don’t get us wrong, we certainly appreciate that it’s not a one size fits all situation when it comes to choosing between an on-premises or cloud-based ERP. There are often complexities within organisations that mean you can’t just transition to the cloud with a click of a button.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is the next generation of ERP and CRM cloud-based applications that help small to medium sized companies digitally transform their business. The software operates like many other Microsoft programmes that you’re likely familiar with, and allows you to access all the applications you’d run throughout your day with one login. Dynamics 365 has an intelligence edge that allows customers with legacy on-premises solutions to connect to the Power Platform. This allows you to gradually become familiar with cloud-based capabilities without taking that leap of faith right away.

If you have questions about Microsoft Dynamics 365 then contact us and one of our experts will get in touch with more information.

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Catapult Team

Talk to as many internal stakeholders as you possibly can, because the more input you have about what you really need, the better chance you have of a successful implementation.

Blair Hurlbut, VP - ERP Solutions