E-Handbook: Key factors to consider before moving to SaaS-based ERP Article 1 of 3

Users face risks on their path to ERP as SaaS

Let's be honest about SaaS ERP. Cloud-based systems help a vendor's bottom line by providing a recurring revenue stream and high-fives from financial analysts. They also reduce the risk of users opting for third-party maintenance and support.

For users, there are considerable costs, risks and business challenges involved with moving an on-premises system to SaaS-based ERP. This procedure often requires hiring a system integrator and the re-engineering of business processes. The bigger the project, the greater the risks of cost overruns and courtroom battles. And SaaS ERP isn't necessarily less costly to operate than on-premises systems.

Is it any wonder then that some firms will delay a cloud migration as long as possible?

Vendors argue that SaaS-based ERP platforms have major advantages because the systems can be patched and updated with new features and functionality. Cloud-based systems have access to vast amounts of data and advanced algorithms, which can improve business decision-making, automation and productivity.

For now, SaaS ERP isn't always an either-or decision. Users can adopt some cloud-based functionality that integrates with on-premises systems. But vendors have a leash on their customers; it's called support.

Vendors say they can't afford to support both on-premises and cloud systems. Therefore, on-premises support eventually will come to an end. Yet vendors worry that users may switch providers as part of a SaaS-ERP migration, so they will promise support to "at least" a certain date and keep users guessing about deadlines and extensions.

Nevertheless, the future is clear: Adoption of SaaS-based ERP is inevitable. The only question is the timeline. This handbook explains the many advantages of cloud-based ERP for users considering moving their operations from the premises to the cloud.