While enterprise resource planning (ERP) software has become critical to the success of many businesses over the past decade, the convergence of ERP and the cloud remains a fairly rare occurrence despite the benefits the cloud offers. While businesses may always want to process certain types of data in-house, some in the industry now suggest that ERP systems are a prime example of where hybrid cloud solutions can provide the perfect middle ground.
Hybrid Cloud ERP
The problem at hand is that ERP solutions remain expensive to purchase, complex to set up and demand significant resources from an on-premise infrastructure once the solution is up and running, ZDNet explains. For many small and midsize businesses, this collection of issues means that if they embrace the opportunities a robust ERP solution can offer, they risk overwhelming their IT departments.
Cloud ERP can help alleviate a significant number of the issues midsize businesses may be having with legacy ERP solutions, but for some companies, that is just not the answer. Some executives may not trust certain types of financial data to a third party despite the security advances cloud providers have made. Some IT managers may be reluctant to abandon an existing ERP solution that has been tailored perfectly to the needs of that particular business. The solution here, which many IT managers may miss, is a hybrid one.
The cloud can be used for resource-heavy aspects of the ERP solution, such as transaction management, while the rest of the solution can continue to run on the in-house infrastructure. This process can shift up to 80 percent of ERP implementation and resource time off of company systems, according to ZDNet. Additionally, when this kind of hybrid solution is used to compute transactional data commonly shared with partners to the cloud, these partners can be brought into the loop, creating a much more synergistic supply-chain relationship.
ERP and Midsize Businesses
The cloud is becoming the default infrastructure method for many IT solutions, but that does not mean it is going to fit perfectly everywhere. For every company that finds ERP success through the agility of the cloud, there is another that needs to keep much of that data on-premise.
One of the best qualities of the cloud is that it does not have to be an all-or-nothing proposition. IT managers should investigate their existing on-premises solutions — ones that they simply cannot migrate to the cloud — and consider if having a cloud provider do some of the heavy lifting would relieve pressure on the infrastructure and IT department. In many cases, this kind of hybrid cloud computing solution would be a perfect fit.
Midsize businesses are in a prime position to get the most out of the cloud, as their size necessitates a large, agile computing solution while their IT budgets generally prohibit a robust, in-house data center. This kind of hybrid cloud solution, where resource-intensive aspects of a system are sent to the cloud for processing, should be in every midsize business IT manager’s tool belt.