In the course of the digital transformation, companies are becoming increasingly willing to use cloud ERP solutions. This is the result of a study commissioned by the magazines CIO and Computerwoche. It concludes that 70% of companies give high or very high priority to using cloud computing offerings. 40% of the respondents already use a native cloud ERP system as a software-as-a-service model. 45% plan to introduce a cloud ERP system or set up a hybrid ERP landscape within the next twelve months or at least in the medium term.


Numerous advantages after the successful changeover

For most companies already using an ERP system from the cloud, the transition from the on-premise solution went smoothly. Almost 70% rate their migration as a success. 97% have enlisted the support of external specialists. The fact that 80% of companies are also taking measures to improve data quality in the course of introducing the cloud ERP system is a clear indication of the great importance of data as a competitive factor in the digital business world.


In terms of the benefits resulting from the use of a cloud ERP solution, process standardization in an integrated IT system with central data storage in the cloud was most frequently cited (27%). A quarter of those surveyed primarily valued the increase in productivity achieved. Other positive factors are the time saved when searching for information, the reduced effort for data management and better cost control (24% each).


Simpler, faster and cheaper

It is no coincidence that in the uncertain times of the corona pandemic, many companies are pursuing the primary goal of reducing the costs of IT infrastructure and system management by introducing a cloud ERP system. They largely use pre-installed solutions, with maintenance, operation, support and further development in the hands of the providers. Consequently, implementing an ERP system from the cloud proves to be easier, faster and less expensive than the on-premise variant. For more than half of the respondents (56%), this aspect is even the main argument for a cloud ERP system. Other factors include the migration of business processes to the cloud (52%) and compliance with legal regulations and internal compliance rules (40%).


What does the cloud ERP system have to offer?

According to the companies, several factors play a role in selecting the right ERP system. Among the most important are long-term availability and a comprehensive range of functions. In addition, the connection to other IT systems such as a CRM system (49%) or a merchandise planning and control system (46%) as well as the integration of modern technologies, for example artificial intelligence (30%) or robotic process automation (23%), are also relevant. In view of the dynamics of today’s business world, companies also attach great importance to using the cloud ERP system from mobile devices.


Arguments against ERP from the cloud

The study also revealed critical voices. 36% of respondents have fundamental reservations about using cloud services. With regard to an ERP system from the cloud, the proportion is 14%. Other factors that speak against a cloud ERP system are insufficient or no support from the provider and poor usability of the application. A lack of expertise is a barrier to implementation for 29% of companies.


Overall, the study assesses the development and acceptance of cloud ERP systems positively. However, the majority of companies prefer hybrid deployment and operation models and do not pursue a cloud-only strategy. A typical scenario, for example, is the flexible extension of the stable ERP core with native cloud ERP functions for sales or service.

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