Cloud-hosted ERP – the only answer to modern IT, business landscapes and users.

It’s not that we haven’t learned how to run large ERP systems like SAP ourselves. Building and operating the necessary on-premises infrastructure is a sport that most businesses and organizations have had over two decades to master.

We now play it well, and issues with availability or performance are rare. ERP vendors don’t leave much to chance or creativity either: They have made the rules of the game clear by certifying specific hardware configurations and issuing detailed best-practice guidelines for building proper infrastructure.

But then the modern age threw us a few curveballs. The game of “running your own hardware” is coming to an end, and players are leaving the pitch.

Where will we go next? IT is no longer about changing broken hard drives, tuning storage array performance or upgrading CPUs and NICs on the application servers. Computers now play a role in many more areas of people’s and organizations’ daily lives, and IT professionals are expected to release new functionalities on a quasi-continuous basis.

Connect all those new devices and “things” that crank out data. Make sense of all that data. Visualize, predict, suggest, warn. Enable users with new tools. And above all, do it in a secure way.

It hurts to give up the sport we excel in, that many of us even developed a taste or affection for – but running ERP software on your own infrastructure deviates attention away from what IT is truly about today. ERP should go to the cloud, and this is just the first reason why.

The age of faster living requires permanent change. If it isn’t users demanding new ERP functionalities, it’s the agile business environment: a successful marketing campaign, new market conditions, new competition, an internal organizational change, restructuring, or even an acquisition.

There are no more nights or weekends: ERP systems now have to be online all the time.

They used to be locked away – now they have to open up to third parties, including suppliers and customers, but at the same time stay secure.

Achieving this degree of agility, scalability and security on your own hardware is becoming both difficult and costly. Today, it is already hard to beat the economies of scale and knowledge offered by the large cloud providers. In the future, it will be entirely impossible.

Even the referees have changed the rules of the game. SAP and other vendors now officially approve and certify cloud environments as being suitable to run even the most demanding ERP workloads. Times have changed, and if you choose not to migrate your on-premises ERP servers to the cloud when they begin to age, there should be some very compelling reasons why.

Author: Miroslav Pikus Cloud Expert
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