There is no virtual limit to cloud computing and it can be customized to fit an organization’s needs provided there is an experienced, knowledgeable and trustworthy service provider. Here are some concerns to be addressed when we think about moving to the cloud.
1. Security – Today, security is a major concern that sets one service provider apart from another. So, how does the vendor provide security and data controls? Does it meet the security needs of your organization like access, storage, data security, physical transmission etc. There have to be security features built into their system – like access controls and data encryption. When you move part or all of your system into the cloud, you are transferring a certain degree of control to another centre, which is why security plays an integral role.
2. Licensing, Budgeting – How does the vendor provide his solution? Will there be an option to purchase a license? Should the vendor choose to hike the price at a later stage, you should be able to get your data and switch in case you wish to.
3. Deployment Method – Does the vendor provide the option to deploy the ERP on-premise or as a SaaS offering or to host the ERP solution on a virtual server?
4. Flexibility, Customization – As the company’s needs change, can the vendor let you switch from SaaS to on-premise deployment or vice versa? What degree of customization is offered? What is the impact that upgrades will have on the solution? By who/how are the upgrades provided?
5. Scalability – Does the software offer unlimited users, without additional costs and capacity constraints? Ideally, you don’t need to purchase additional hardware as you add users. Can the solution scale quickly to demanding technology or business or operational changes?
6. User Interface – Does the vendor offer user-friendly, interactive, accessible-through-mobile-device / access-from-anywhere, platform independent interface? The importance of web interface is often underrated; however, having an interactive and friendly interface will enhance the level of understanding of the solution.
7. Support System – Since moving to a cloud based ERP is transferring a certain degree of control to the solution provider, trust is a very important factor. By trust we mean the ability of the provider to have skilled and well-trained personnel to support the shift. Usually, the customer provides the domain experts and the vendor has the technology skills and they work together to make the transition as seamless as possible.