Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software has come to play a larger and larger role in the management of business resources on a day to day level. It’s come to be standard operating procedure for companies to integrate these high tech planning and resource allocation solutions into every aspect of their operation, so that they will be more responsive to their own organizational needs.
When you are considering adding an ERP to your business or you’re looking at upgrading from your current ERP, it is helpful to understand all the options out there and how they affect your online security, ease of access, and ongoing resource costs. That way, you can make the choice that is best for your business.
Cloud-Based Enterprise Resource Planning
The first thing to remember about cloud-based ERP is that it is going to wind up hosted in a cloud computing environment, which means you are going to wind up with your data hosted on your vendor’s servers. There are a lot of advantages to this. First and foremost, access to the cloud can be handled with either a web-based login or a private login using a virtual private network or through an API interface built in to your existing corporate networking system. That gives you options for your access, and it also helps you with security.
How does it help with security? Well, with a cloud system your information has less front-end visibility on the web, which makes it easier to avoid trouble in the first place. Using a cloud system also makes your vendor responsible for the bulk of your security. When you are dealing with top-level vendors, it means you get a huge section of your overhead handled as part of your subscription.
Licensing for this software is always subscription-based, but other than the costs of operating the workstations used to access the software, there is no additional overhead cost to consider.
Web-Based Enterprise Resource Planning
Web-based systems can be hosted on vendor’s servers just like cloud-based systems. They do not have to be hosted that way, though, which is what makes them different. Web-based systems can be hosted on the vendor’s servers or on your own servers within your corporate technology infrastructure. For businesses that already host their own tech services on site, this might present an advantage, because the costs for self-hosted web-based services are substantially lower than cloud services. The trade-off, though, is that setting up self-hosting can be expensive, so the savings are difficult to realize if your infrastructure is not in place.
When it comes to vendor-based ERP software, prices can be competitive with cloud-based systems and the main difference you will notice is the lack of availability for terminal-based login services. This minor difference only affects a portion of the businesses that use ERP software of any kind, though. For users that access both types of systems through web-based logins, there is very little experiential difference, so the decision really comes down to cost considerations and the features of individual software packages.
Is One Form of ERP Software a Better Deal?
There are distinct advantages to both forms of ERP software, and the decision your company makes should be based in your individual needs in this moment and your plan for growth going forward. This infographic on Cloud vs. Web ERP outlines some of the main differences between the two models. That way, you can be sure you have made the choice that will best serve your company going forward.