3 Things You Must Know about Cloud ERP

The term cloud computing is confusing enough by itself. But once we apply it to the field of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, it becomes very confusing indeed.

In this whitepaper, we will try to give you a sound understanding of what cloud ERP is, what distinctions are to be made between different cloud computing options, and what the benefits and downsides of various cloud computing models may be for your business.

We will organize this into three focus areas, the first being a definition of cloud, the second a definition and discussion of software as a service (SaaS) and finally, a thorough description of private cloud and how it differs from SaaS. We will draw from standard industry definitions, experience and a recent study on cloud ERP conducted by IFS North America.

#1: What is cloud?

First and foremost, Cloud is a way to consolidate and deliver computing resources. Cloud has for good or ill been seized upon by marketing people as a magic word that, when used to describe a software product, makes it look like a mystical solution for almost any problem. But let’s cut through the hype by looking at a definition from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)—part of the US Department of Commerce. NIST identifies five essential characteristics of cloud.

  • It is on-demand and it allows for on-demand self-service. This means a customer can unilaterally provision computing capabilities without human intervention on the service provider side.
  • It requires broad network access or it is accessible broadly and that means we can access it via the internet.
  • Cloud requires resource pooling. So that means the service provider pools resources so servers and networks can service multiple customers.
  • Another characteristic of cloud is rapid elasticity. Services can be scaled up or down on-demand.

Read the entire white paper for more information.

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