Getting Started with Cloud ERP
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software has been transforming business operations for decades. By integrating various functions into a centralized system, ERP delivers a holistic view of an organization and helps improve efficiency. Cloud-based ERP takes this a step further by delivering the capabilities of these powerful systems via the cloud. More recently, Connected Cloud ERP has emerged – not only harnessing the flexibility of the cloud – but also enabling deep integration with other business systems.
In this post, we’ll explore what Connected Cloud ERP is, its key features and benefits, and things to consider during implementation.
What is Connected Cloud-ERP System?
Cloud ERP refers to ERP software that is hosted on remote servers and accessed via the internet and a web browser. This contrasts with traditional on-premise ERP where software is installed on computers at a company’s physical premises.
With cloud ERP, resources like compute power, storage, security, backups etc. are all managed by the software vendor. Organizations pay for this as a subscription based on usage rather than owning licenses and servers outright.
Connected Cloud ERP takes the capabilities of regular Cloud ERP further. As well as integrating various business functions into a single suite, it also enables deep connectivity between other cloud services and existing on-premise software systems.
This bi-directional connectivity provides complete and live visibility across all business operations, from inventory to accounting, HR, sales, and more. Connected Cloud ERP eliminates data silos and provides organization-wide transparency.
The Importance of Connected Cloud-ERP System
Cloud ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) has become a critical software solution for modern organizations. By hosting ERP systems and data in the cloud, businesses gain a number of benefits including lower upfront costs, flexibility, automated updates, and scalability. The on-demand nature of cloud ERP allows organizations to adjust usage and costs based on their changing needs. It also enables a mobile workforce since employees can access the system from anywhere with an internet connection.
Migrating ERP to the cloud frees up a company’s IT resources from maintaining infrastructure and managing updates. Instead, they can now focus on more strategic initiatives to support business growth and enhance operations. Overall, cloud ERP delivers increased agility, cost efficiency, and innovation velocity for organizations looking to transform digitally.
Key Features and Capabilities of Connected Cloud-ERP System
Some of the key features and capabilities of Connected Cloud ERP systems are:
Accessible from Anywhere
Rather than being installed on desktops internally, Connected Cloud ERP is accessible on any device from any location via a web browser. As long as there is an internet connection, employees can log in and use the system. This supports flexible and remote work arrangements.
Cloud-based systems can scale up or down computational power and storage as needed. This means usage can align closely with costs and requirements. Seasonal peaks and troughs in operations can be accommodated.
New features, fixes, and improvements are rolled out seamlessly via the cloud. Organizations no longer need to manually install patches and upgrades across a complex IT infrastructure.
Connected Cloud ERP systems use modern APIs to integrate with other cloud services. This includes platforms like CRM, accounting, email marketing, HR, payroll, and more. Workflows span multiple systems delivering productivity.
At the core of Connected Cloud ERP is a unified data model bringing information from across systems into a single version of truth. This data can then be leveraged for insights via analytics and business intelligence.
Native mobile apps allow employees to view and update information on-the-go via smartphones and tablets. Management and staff are no longer tethered to desks and can work from client sites or home.
Modern platforms incorporate social tools like messaging, discussions and document sharing into the user experience. This facilitates collaboration and communications between teams and departments.
Benefits of Connected Cloud-ERP System
The innate capabilities of Connected Cloud ERP deliver substantial benefits across multiple aspects of an organization:
No investments are required in on-premise infrastructure like servers and data centers. Vendor managed cloud resources are paid for based on actual usage. Automatic updates also alleviate the IT costs related to maintaining and upgrading legacy systems.
Integrations between systems prevent duplicate data entry. Intuitive user interfaces facilitate employee adoption. Unified data and mobile access also support efficiency gains.
Speed and Agility
Leveraging the cloud’s scalability, organizations can rapidly deploy extra capacity to support new initiatives and growth. New capabilities can also be rolled out quickly via the cloud.
With data consolidated across systems, organizations can deliver powerful analytics and business intelligence using online data visualization tools. Identifying trends and opportunities is easier.
Vendors manage the reliability and backup of cloud-based systems. The risk of data loss or unexpected outages is greatly reduced. Disaster recovery is simpler as data and apps are accessible from anywhere.
Connected Cloud ERP Implementation
While the benefits are clear, there are some important considerations when implementing Connected Cloud ERP:
Legacy data from existing ERP and other systems needs to be selectively migrated to the new platform. This is an exercise in data mapping and ensuring continuity of information.
Connecting to other cloud services and on-premise systems will require planning. Vendor partnerships and technical factors have to be coordinated. APIs and web services enable these integrations.
Training and Adoption
Extensive training is crucial to ensure employees embrace the new system rather than resist change. The user experience should facilitate rapid adoption across all departments.
While cloud vendors provide robust security and backups, organizations still need to implement access controls and data policies. Especially with deep integrations, openings can emerge for breaches.
Any organizational transformation needs structured change management. Clear governance and protocols must be defined across technologies, processes, and personnel to aid the transition.
Is Cloud Connected ERP secure?
Cloud ERP can absolutely be secure with the proper precautions in place. While no system is completely immune from cyber threats, cloud vendors employ the latest security measures such as encryption, network segmentation, role-based access controls, and advanced threat monitoring. They also ensure redundancy across multiple geographic data centers, regular back-ups, and disaster recovery protocols to prevent loss or leakage of sensitive data. However, organizations still need to do their due diligence from an end-user perspective. It includes establishing strong password policies, multi-factor authentication, and protocols around access.
With cloud systems, it’s also critical to classify data types and usage scenarios to determine appropriate security layers. For example, financial data may require tighter controls than general operational data. Overall, with strong security governance by end-users combined with the expertise and infrastructure of reputed cloud vendors, organizations can certainly keep their ERP data secure. The key is proactive planning, assessing risk areas, and constant vigilance through ongoing audits and access reviews.
Final Thoughts on Connected Cloud-ERP System
Connected Cloud ERP platforms essentially underpin the vision of a “connected business”. With seamless integrations across customer relationship management, human capital management, financial management, inventory control, and more, organizations gain unprecedented transparency.
By consolidating data and systems in the cloud, Connected ERP delivers actionable insights while cutting IT costs and boosting productivity. Modern user experiences help drive user adoption. And by outsourcing infrastructure to vendors, organizations can truly focus on innovation rather than just “keeping the lights on”.
As long as data security considerations are addressed, and the implementation is accompanied by training and change management, Connected Cloud ERP allows businesses to achieve new heights of efficiency and agility.
FAQs on Connected Cloud-ERP System
How does Connected Cloud ERP differ from regular cloud ERP?
The key difference is the bi-directional connectivity of a Connected Cloud ERP. It exchanges data between finance, inventory, HR, CRM, and other systems to deliver complete visibility. Regular cloud ERP focuses more on core modules.
What are the benefits of a Connected Cloud ERP?
Benefits include real-time data access, improved productivity from workflow automation, lower IT costs, disaster recovery, and the ability to leverage advanced analytics for insights.
What applications can integrate with Connected Cloud ERP?
It can integrate with CRM, HCM, financial management, project management, payment processing, eCommerce and other cloud-based or on-premise apps via APIs.
Does a Connected ERP require migration from legacy systems?
In most cases, yes. Data and apps from existing ERP and peripheral systems needs to be selectively migrated to the new cloud environment. This requires planning.
How can data security be ensured on Connected Cloud ERP?
Vendors use encryption, access controls, network security etc. But organizations also need data policies, user access reviews, authentication mechanisms, and cybersecurity training.
What happens if a Connected Cloud ERP goes offline?
Reputed vendors maintain extremely high uptime exceeding 99.9%. But they also provide failover infrastructure and backups across multiple data centers to minimize downtime risk.
Is Connected ERP more expensive than regular Cloud ERP?
Not necessarily. The integration capabilities may require more upfront investment. But over time, the benefits and automation typically deliver a positive ROI.
Amelie Lamb is an experienced technical content writer at SoftwareStack.co who specializes in distilling complex software topics into clear, concise explanations. She has a talent for taking dense technical jargon and making it engaging and understandable for readers through her informative, lively writing style.