In our previous post we highlighted some of the factors you should consider when deciding between cloud and on-premises solutions, including pricing, implementation and security. Below, we highlight a few more.
The difference between on-premise ERP and cloud ERP is fairly straightforward: on-premise solutions are installed and stored locally on a company’s servers and hardware, while cloud ERP lives on a centralized offsite server. In an on-premise model, every user owns a complete, self-contained copy of the software, which is then managed by a company’s IT staff. In the cloud model, ERP software, along with its data, lives offsite on remote servers managed by an ERP vendor and accessed using a web browser.
What isn’t so straightforward is the impact each of these deployment models can have across your organization. With that in mind we’ve decided to highlight some of the factors you need to consider before choosing a cloud or on-premise ERP solution to make it easier for you. This post is part two of two on this topic. Click here for part one.
Performance and Accessibility
In the food industry, time is critical. You can’t keep customers waiting or do without real-time data because reports have to run overnight to avoid overtaxing the system. Unlike an on-premises solution, cloud ERP transfers the obligation of maintaining hardware currency and performance to your provider. It helps take something critically important to your business, like accounting for a spike in your company’s productivity or scaling the size of your servers as your company grows, and puts it in the hands of experts.
Most reputable cloud solutions are also able to guarantee an uptime of 99% or higher and provide reports on these numbers. The same can’t always be said for local IT departments. JustFood, for example, offers 99.95% uptime in the cloud because of the high level of redundancy built into the system, resulting in better network performance and better application availability for customers. Companies like Microsoft, Amazon and others can offer their cloud customers this kind of redundancy because that’s their business. You simply can’t build it yourself.
Consider this: Keeping architecture and hardware up-to-date can be a full-time job for a local IT department. Leaving this piece of your business to the experts ensures that your software performs quickly and reliably without you having to think twice about it. There is one notable exception to consider, however: If you have a poor or non-existent internet connection, that’s probably the best argument for installing software on your premises instead of in the cloud.
Upgrades and Enhancements
As with any piece of software, staying up-to-date on the most current version is extremely important in terms of performance and reliability. Cloud ERP allows vendors to perform upgrades, software patches, hot fixes and updates in a more seamless fashion behind the scenes without you having to worry about it. Upgrades to on-premises solutions require planned outages or downtime and often require expensive simultaneous hardware upgrades as well.
It’s also important to note that customizations done to an on-premises solution are often tied to current versions of the software, making upgrading to newer versions much more complicated and costly. Many organizations simply avoid upgrading because of the amount of time and effort it takes to reimplement these customizations on newer versions. On the flip side, customizations done to a solution in the cloud carry forward from version to version. Even more attractive is that most cloud ERPs offer web services APIs, which allows a vendor to do customizations and enhancements in a more streamlined way without affecting the core software platform.
Consider this: An overwhelming number of companies with on-site ERP solutions are running on outdated versions simply because they do not want to risk losing valuable customizations. If your IT team has the capability (and budget) to stay up-to-date, then an on-premises solution may be right for you. If like most food manufacturing and distribution companies your IT team does not have this capability, choosing a cloud ERP is likely the better option.
Ready to learn more? JustFood ERP software is available in the cloud and on-premises. Whichever solution option is best for you, JustFood will be there providing your business with enhanced security, performance and reliability across any device, any time.