Out with the old and in with the new. Although traditional, server-based offerings have long remained the preferred choice for enterprise resource planning users, changes are coming. In fact, Nucleus Research has predicted that cloud-based ERP, data management, and infrastructure support will soon reign supreme; the fact that a growing number of major venders have introduced cloud-based products in the past 6 months only backs up this theory.
Why the shift? A number of benefits appeal to organizations who are interested in moving to the cloud. The cloud offers the potential for significant cost savings, anytime-anywhere access to data, the simplicity of integrating ERP with analytics, supply chain and human resource elements, and, of course, faster implementation times. If all of this sounds great to your way of thinking, you're not alone. But having your head in the clouds isn't enough to make the transition. You need to be fully prepared before making your move.
Here are a few ways to determine whether your organization is ready for the cloud:
What is it that your organization is hoping to achieve from moving to the cloud? For some businesses, the goal is to improve customer response times, while others are in search of a way to make data more accessible to employees regardless of where they are located. Taking the time to understand your organization's objectives will help your business as you select a cloud service provider. Be as clear and thorough as possible so that your provider can accurately meet your needs while also providing recommendations on whether or not any of your applications should remain on-premise as opposed to being shifted to the cloud.
Data Integration and Migration Services
In many cases, organizations will find that existing data will need to be migrated or integrated from an in-house IT system into the cloud service. Not all system integrators are suited to this task -- especially in cases where you might not be quite ready to move all of your data to the cloud or where valuable data is tied closely to a legacy system, which could be difficult to separate. These things must be carefully considered and discussed with your IT professional to ensure that the transition is absolutely seamless.
Security should always be a top priority for any business, regardless of whether they are utilizing a premise or cloud-based solution. Although many people still live in fear that the cloud may not be as secure, this isn't necessarily the case. So long as the necessary precautions are taken, there's no reason for your data to be compromised when stored in the cloud. Before making your move, though, you'll need to evaluate the required security levels of specific sets of data and work to implement sufficient protective measures with your IT solutions provider.
Backup and Redundancy
You should never put all of your eggs in one basket, so to speak. In order to protect your data, you'll need to make sure that the information is replicated and backed up before moving to the cloud, and that your cloud solution offers redundancy to continuously back things up. This will ensure that you'll still be able to access crucial data even in the event of a failure within the cloud computing system.
All organizations strive to grow, and with this growth comes the accumulation of more data and increased system performance needs. Because of this, it's important to think ahead when selecting your cloud solution. Look for a system that is able to grow and scale with you in a way that aligns with your goals.
After reviewing these items, do you feel that your organization is ready to embrace the cloud and make your move? We'd love to discuss your options, map out a plan, and help you to make the transition smoothly and securely. Contact Uncommon Solutions today and we'll get you started!