Like many manufacturers, you’re probably concerned about the security and dependability of the systems that run your business. And for good reason. Downtime means no production, and no production means lost profitability. Security means safeguarding (or protecting) intellectual property and your customers’ trusted information. It’s good to be skeptical but when it comes to cloud ERP for manufacturing, make sure you’re getting the right information.
Unfortunately, some ERP vendors have created the discernment that the cloud is not safe or reliable. Legacy vendors say this, yet they are racing to retrofit their solutions onto some kind of cloud in order to make the necessary conversion to offering cloud. Manufacturers that buy into this thinking and choose legacy ERP software are perhaps unknowingly locking their business into a model that both their participants and modern software vendors are moving away from. There is a reason you don’t see industry headlines touting great new on-premise ERP software solutions, and it’s because modern software companies no longer focus investment on them.
Don’t let bad information stop you from moving to the cloud, because you’ll probably be left behind. Here’s why the information you’ve heard on cloud ERP security and reliability is wrong.
Security within the systems that run your business must be paramount. Legacy ERP vendors appeal to this fear by telling you that managing the software on your own provides greater levels of security. But cloud ERP customers quickly overcome this irrational fear by asking honest questions: are we a manufacturing business or an IT shop? Do we think our IT infrastructure is as safe as solutions whose entire business model is based on providing secure service? And can we realistically afford to keep an in-house staff focused entirely on managing the latest security measures?
It doesn’t make good business sense to focus manufacturing headcount, budget, and effort on something not directly tied to customer value or making quality products. It’s also near impossible for in-house IT resources to keep up daily with new viruses, malware, and hacking schemes because they’re inundated with helpdesk requests and user needs.
The cloud is more secure, here’s why. Manufacturing cloud ERP supports in-stream packet scanning, continuous application vulnerability and multi-layer firewall testing, and unparalleled facility security. If you’re thinking about installing security software one server at a time, one location at a time, or waiting for individual users to log in for new security measures to take effect forget it. Security in the cloud is applied to all customers simultaneously and without interruption.
You may have heard that outages occur more frequently in the cloud. This is a result of a few highly publicized cloud interruptions, and detractors want you to think the extreme exception is the norm. It’s not.
Knowing that your ERP server is in the IT closet or on a rack somewhere in the facility might be comforting, but how well are those servers backed up when they inevitably fail? What’s the redundancy scheme? If you have multiple plants, are all servers and software backed up with a solid failover plan? Considering how much your business relies on an ERP system for transactions and data storage, hardware and software outages are disruptive and can be catastrophic.
Cloud ERP is far more reliable. It’s the business of the cloud ERP vendor to ensure less downtime otherwise that vendor goes out of business. There’s also a routinely validated, geographically dispersed, fully pretend disaster recovery capability. Can any manufacturing IT organization scale this reliably? Can yours? Cloud ERP employs version-less software updated in real time and without impact in the background. Manufacturers running cloud ERP therefore completely avoid costly ERP server purchases and disruptive software upgrades.
When you hear myths about cloud security and reliability, think about the real reasons why legacy software companies perpetuate those myths. Don’t just read this blog post and believe it, read what industry analysts say about the cloud. Consider the level of effort and investment required by your company to support complex IT security and business continuity in-house. Once you dig in, you will rapidly find out why cloud ERP is a must-have strategy for your business.