It’s no secret that businesses need to keep up with the latest technological developments if they are to stay competitive within their industry. Among the most recent advancements to sweep through offices around the world were cloud-based solutions (also known as SaaS, or ‘Software as a Service’). With this new standard, businesses helped themselves with the introduction implementation of new, cloud-supported systems such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Human Capital Management (HCM); both of which managed to bring obvious benefits to organisations everywhere.
Despite such obvious benefits, not all new cloud-based solutions manage to spread as quickly as they perhaps should throughout the global business ecosystem. An example of this type of relative “slow starter” can be seen in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). One of the main reasons that are often cited for the modest uptake of cloud-based ERP solutions was fear about its security. Though this was always going to be a natural concern, it is one that arises from misconceptions about SaaS ERP services and how they function. Time has a way of vindicating genuinely useful technologies, and following its trepid beginnings, businesses are now beginning to realise that cloud-based ERP solutions can be even more secure than their traditional on-premises ERP systems.
The global rise in adoption of SaaS ERP systems is only expected to continue over the upcoming years; Forrester Research even claim that it will see an increase of a staggering 21% worldwide by the year 2015. Take a look at the following clip on Epicor Express. A SaaS based ERP solution for small businesses.
Even with this in mind, some companies remain hesitant to step into the future and reap the benefits of a SaaS ERP system. This is understandable, as their benefits are not entirely understood. However, there are many great reasons to join the myriad of companies making this exciting change:
Low, manageable costs
People tend to think ‘upgrade’ and ‘expensive’ are synonymous with one another; however, this is certainly not the case with SaaS solutions. This is primarily because they are provided on a subscription basis, which means that they companies with smaller budgets are able to lower their initial capital costs. In addition to this, the ERP system becomes a monthly expenditure; this in turn allows the costs to be spread out over time. Reputable SaaS ERP providers will also give their customers piece of mind by capping any potential fees increases – saving the headache of having to “shop around” for the most competitive provider.
Speedy set up, quicker value
One of the major advantages of a SaaS service is that it is completely owned and managed by the vendor. This means that there’s nothing to install and no time wasted through having to set-up complicated software. Nowadays, the majority of quality services come ‘pre-configured’; this allows their customers to “hit the ground running” and see a much greater return on their investment.
No ownership, no extras
By making use of a cloud-based ERP system, a company negates one of the most costly aspects of such a system: the hardware. An on-site ERP system would require costly peripheral resources which would factor heavily into consideration if and when a company expands. With SaaS systems, the process is much simpler. Customers simply have to add a new user to their existing subscription at a cost that has already been specified.
Through specialising in a service, SaaS providers are often able to provide their customers with a much great level of reliability than they might be able to achieve by “going it alone”. This means a guarantee of service and operations that is typically highlighted in contractual form – allowing customers to be sure that their ERP system will be accessible over 99% of the time.
The majority of issues with any ERP system arise through how it is being used as opposed to the actual system itself. That is why quality SaaS vendors offer their customers superb support through troubleshooting services. This equates to less “down time” and less frustrated staff.
Great business focus
Ultimately, a business needs to be able to achieve what it has set out to achieve within its chosen sector. Although ERP is undoubtedly important, it is a means to an end and should not become the sole focus of whichever company is making use of it. Businesses around the world are realising that passing the burden of maintaining and operating their ERP systems to a cloud-based vendor makes sense from any angle it’s viewed.