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Debate over ERP systems in the cloud plays out on top 10 list

Cloud-based ERP or not? Based on the number of stories that appeared in our top 10 for 2018 list, CIOs seem to be asking the question.

While some of this year's most popular articles on SearchERP emphasized ERP systems in the cloud, others suggested companies are making the choice to keep their ERP systems within their own firewall. Questions of cost and customization continue to guide this debate.

And while smart manufacturing and AI both make appearances within our top 10 story list, so, too do stories that lay out basic information on, for example, the choices companies will need to make when buying ERP software.

Based on page views, here is a countdown of the top 10 most popular ERP stories for 2018.

  1. Smart manufacturing technology is changing business processes

This story lays out how manufacturing built on embedded sensors, 3D printing and artificial intelligence will soon streamline procurement, manufacture parts on site and eventually give rise to the automatic enterprise, where routine manufacturing processes are automated.

  1. Comparing SAP ERP ROI to Oracle, Microsoft and Infor

Consultant Mary Shacklett's detailed look at ERP products from SAP, Oracle, Microsoft and Infor puts practical and tactical information into the hands of technology buyers. She breaks down company products, strengths, potential drawbacks and ROI on implementation methods and strategies.

  1. Why some manufacturers stick with on-premises vs. cloud ERP

For some manufacturers, there is no business case for cloud ERP. This article explains how security isn't what's holding them back; instead it's the need for specific customizations and the realization that ERP systems in the cloud mean compromising on control.

  1. Core components and other basics of choosing an ERP system

In another piece by Shacklett, she provides a comprehensive look at the choices organizations will need to make when purchasing an ERP system. They include where to deploy the ERP system, as well as what ERP components or modules are best matches for the business.

  1. Key factors to consider before moving to SaaS-based ERP

This e-book on SaaS ERP warns buyers to be wary of all the cloud hype. While ERP systems in the cloud may be inevitable, the path ahead could be a bumpy one full of integration and business process reengineering headaches, as well as the risk for cost overruns and even lawsuits. The articles compiled here are meant to help prepare buyers for the journey ahead.

  1. AI in the workplace will change ERP systems

In this column, SAP partner Owen Pettiford postures that artificial intelligence in ERP will go from automating manual, routine tasks performed by humans to "intelligent ERP," where humans would only get involved as needed.  

  1. Colleges to share Oracle ERP system in effort to cut costs

Three Vermont private colleges banded together and agreed to share an Oracle ERP system. The article explains why the move is so unusual for private colleges to share services but may be a riff on a trend started by public universities.  

  1. E-commerce packaging waste becoming a bigger issue

The rise of online shopping is creating new problems for e-commerce companies, such as waste. But the same technology that got e-tailers into this mess could get them out of it. This story details how "packaging optimization" is paving the way for new, more sustainable packing materials and advanced analytics is giving companies a strategic edge in how they pack boxes.

  1. Get to Industry 4.0 with a smart factory roadmap

Turning a dumb factory into a smart one doesn't have to mean starting from scratch. Integrating modern technology into old machinery can bring added data -- the very cornerstone of intelligence -- into the mix. This story highlights the need for a well-thought-out roadmap before companies pull the trigger on any technology buying decisions.

  1. Office Depot says 'no' to Oracle ERP Cloud customizations

Office Depot's decision to migrate applications to Oracle ERP Cloud made headlines for good reason: The office supply retailer said it wanted to do so by relying on embedded best practices and without any customizations. One of the sources for this story called the decision "trendsetting."

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