Newer companies with Software as a Service (SaaS) options are slowly changing the landscape of the ERP marketplace. Integrating legacy ERP with SaaS solutions to create hybrid ERP is not as complex as it once was. With vendors offering a wide range of customizable pay-as-you-go options, it is left to the companies using them to weigh the pros and cons of what is on offer and put together a solution best suited to their specific needs.
Besides offering greater mobility, the modular structure of hybrid ERP applications allows companies to choose functionalities that suit to their particular requirements. Here are four areas they can benefit from:
New hybrid SaaS offerings are flexible enough to allow organizations to link their legacy ERP to newer technology. This opens up new avenues to connect with customers through social media networks. This amalgamation provides businesses with customer preferences, demographics, and insights into consumer behavior. The value of hybrid ERP in terms of customer engagement can be estimated through customer surveys and the speed with which new functionalities can be implemented.
The success of any ERP system depends on the employees' willingness to use it. Employee attitude can easily get viral. Hybrid solutions come with mobile applications that allow employees to collaborate with their team from anywhere. Mobility entices and ensures employee engagement.
With traditional ERP, it is difficult to judge the viability of the software without first implementing it. If the software does not suit the requirement of the business, the investment is a wasted exercise. However, pay-as-you-go hybrid ERP makes it possible to assess the benefits of investing in the software as well as helps assist the functioning of the business.
Thanks to the evolving cloud-based hybrid ERP systems, procurement management along the entire supply chain has become more transparent.
Pay-as-you-go hybrid ERP does not involve a huge one-time payment. Neither is it free. SaaS subscription models involve recurring costs. Since it appears cheaper, it is easy to end up subscribing to applications your business may not actually use. Therefore, companies should have in place a clear ERP strategy to evaluate the pay-as-you-go functionalities they'll actually benefit from and stop subscribing to applications they find ineffective.
In spite of the myriad steps taken by cloud and SaaS vendors to step up security, breaches in information security remains a major concern. In order to make optimum use of pay-as-you-go hybrid ERP, security concerns like authentication, data encryption, etc. should be addressed. Besides these, there are several other settings in which data security can be compromised. This can happen during communication between the enterprise and cloud, between the internet and cloud, and between the various functionalities within the cloud, to name a few.
When data is moved to the cloud, a company invariably loses some of its control over the data, opening it up to threats from outside forces. Furthermore, the chances of the data being leaked intentionally or unintentionally by employees are much greater. This can result not only in financial loss but also damage to reputation. Campaigns to educate employees and periodic vulnerability checks are some of the measures that can be taken.
In its quest to engage more effectively with customers and efficiently manage supply change, companies are moving beyond traditional ERP to embrace SaaS and hybrid ERP. But in order to realize the full potential of these solutions, they need to carefully address the risks and periodically evaluate the results of implementation.