Is The Cloud Right For You? The Short Answer

Lucy Thorpe

If you want flexibility, cost-efficiency, and offsite access, then there can be no doubt the cloud is for you.

Pros and cons of cloud ERP

As a significant proportion of the world’s workforce gets used to working via cloud services from home, it is very hard to make a case against the cloud.

In recent weeks, our teams have done everything from holding marketing meetings online to doing virtual project kick-offs in which major ERP projects have been launched with participants scattered across multiple locations.

Working from anywhere in the world on any device is a lot more compelling as a selling point when your city is in lockdown.

The truth is that the advantages of cloud fit very well with the way we live and work now, whether we are in a crisis or not. Many more businesses will be wondering about moving ahead with cloud projects even in better times.

However, there are still legitimate concerns about the cloud, and we should honor them with our time. So here goes.

Downtime

Since cloud computing is Internet-based, outages are possible. But with the majority of the world working at home for at least some part of the next few months, the pros are in your favor.

In the event of a disaster, hosting data offsite in a cloud environment ensures its safety.

Security

You must trust your provider to take care of your data and maintain its data centers. Small and midsize businesses without hardware or access to IT specialists usually have less of a problem with this concept than big corporations. But if you are nervous, rest assured that all reputable vendors provide information about security at their data storage centers. SAP, for example, has an entire website – the Trust Center – based on sharing information about cloud security, privacy, and compliance.

Control and flexibility

Selecting a trusted partner is key here. When you work together as a team to scope and implement your system, you are not handing over control but rather inviting in experts who can help and advise you.

You get advice on the most efficient way of organizing your processes, for example. We recommend always listening to these recommendations, as they invariably lead to smooth-running ERP systems.

Technical issues

If you experience technical issues with a cloud system, you may need to call on support outside your organization. Make sure you know what support is on offer and who to call.

If you understand your responsibilities and the responsibilities of the cloud vendor, there will be less scope for problems.

Partners are very useful here, as they can help you escalate problems with big vendors because of their contacts. In many instances, they can assist you directly via their own help desks.

Lock-in

Vendors are very aware that the cloud model gives you the power to switch providers and are therefore keen to give you the very best service to persuade you to stay. This can only be positive! Take comfort in this and enjoy the updates they roll out quarterly and the education and events they offer. If you are not getting great treatment, you might not be with the right partner or the right brand.

Terms and benefits

The cloud refers to data that you can send and access from a remote server. Your data and applications are hosted on someone else’s server rather than on hardware on your own premises.

Benefits include:

  • Flexibility
  • Cost-efficiency
  • Ease of use
  • Backup and recovery
  • Offsite access

A good cloud service provider will offer business advice going into implementation and support afterward. You are, in effect, getting the benefits and expertise of an IT department without having to have one of your own.

In Cloud Solutions is a cloud-first company dedicated to working closely with businesses in all sectors. The company focuses on SAP Business ByDesign, the all-in-one cloud ERP for the mid-market.


Lucy Thorpe

About Lucy Thorpe

Lucy Thorpe is a digital marketer and writer with SAP platinum partner In Cloud Solutions. Based in the UK, she is a former BBC journalist and presenter. Much of her work is now focused on explaining the benefits of digital enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems - notably SAP Business ByDesignfor small and midsize businesses.