So, after weighing up all of the different hosting options for your enterprise software, you’ve decided to go for a cloud-based CRM or ERP for its scalability, ease of implementation and lower total cost of possession. Decision done now just to shift on with the rest of the implementation. Easy, right? Not so fast.
Although manufacture the choice to go for the cloud strength seem like it would be the end of the decision creation process; you still have to pick your cloud provider and what type of cloud you will be hosting your ERP on. There are more than a few different types of cloud services that you can go for, and picking one vendor might be more complex than you think. Yes, all of the cloud-based options will allow you to save important amounts of investment on the initial overhead of a CRM or ERP system, but they will have unreliable long-term results depending on your specific business processes and precisely what you are looking to gain by hosting your ERP or CRM in the cloud. In this post, we explain some of the key differences between options you’ll be looking at when choosing a cloud supplier for CRM or ERP, and what you need to consider when it comes down to decision time.
It’s critical that you understand all of the different kind of forms a cloud-based solution can take on when you decide to spring for web ERP. Some vendors provide true cloud solutions, where they host your system from first to last web-based servers, whereas other companies may have repackaged their ‘hosted’ services as a private system on an online server. In this case, the vendor merely hosts your services for you on bodily servers that aren’t on your site and are associated with you via private link still strictly provided over the web but not as innovative as a vendor might like you to think.
Your next question when deciding should be is the upkeep of the ERP given over to the vendor or value-added reseller (VAR) as a managed service? Some vendors may rely on partners for all the heavy lifting when it comes to the implementation, including custom development and maintenance after go-live. They may host their software through Amazon Web Services; one of the most popular clouds calculate providers of choice for modern enterprise software companies or they may go through their own stack. Do your research first on the web services your provider will be using, including their history of reliability and security. Before jumping into bed with a partner, make sure you know the full particulars on how your specific system will look, where it will be hosted, and how you and your employees can then access that system.
The true difference between SaaS and privately hosted software is a crucial avenue that you need to explore before selecting a cloud provider; some companies may be able to provide all of the options for you, while others may only have a single offering. It's all down to what your business needs to truly do well when it comes to software.
Providers run completely on a cloud multi-tenant model. Other vendors turn to a single-tenant model; a virtual ‘private’ cloud exclusively for your company to run the ERP on. You still don’t need to purchase all of the expensive hardware needed to host the software on-site, but you benefit from the added feeling of security that a private cloud can provide. In essence, a single-tenant instance resides in an individual 'stack' that must be maintained and implemented separately from each of the vendor's clients.
However, you shouldn’t dismiss the multi-tenant model straight out of the gate for data security concerns. In fact, many multi-tenant vendors have been seeing extraordinary growth recently due to the scalability and flexibility of their model. Because they host all of their clients through the same multi-tenant services, they have a huge amount of overhead and incentive to invest in the security and maintenance of your system. Additionally, the multi-tenant model allows for much more flexibility and coding within your instance; it stands to reason that when you have much more people operating within a framework that you will have more brainpower on the task of improving and customizing the system.
All this choice might seem extremely overwhelming, and it is. However, the prevalence of choice is good for your business in the end and will ensure that you come out with the best possible enterprise system if you go into the process well-informed and knowing every business process you need your software to support. Once you have a grasp on how each cloud-based solution differs and how those differences support varying needs, it shouldn’t be so hard to select the perfect cloud provider for CRM or ERP for you.