Home Resources Articles Cloud ERP Selection – How to choose a Cloud ERP system

How to choose a Cloud ERP system for your business

With so many ERP software to choose from, how do you know which is right? This guide will show you how to choose the cloud ERP software that best fits your business.
How to choose the right Cloud ERP solution for your business

Why Choose Cloud ERP?

Today, there are few—if any—businesses that are managing their operations with manual, spreadsheet-based processes. Many embraced technology years ago, becoming more efficient and profitable as a result. Unfortunately, their once-new and sophisticated technology is fast-becoming obsolete in today’s global and digital economy.

This is where a cloud-based Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution comes into play. As an intuitive, innovative, and integrated business management tool, a cloud ERP solution brings an organization’s data, departments (e.g., sales, financials, CRM, human resources, etc.), and critical third-party applications onto a single, centralized platform. A cloud ERP solution provides a 360° view of a business while also standardizing business processes, increasing business-wide collaboration, and promoting strategic, data-driven decisions.

And choosing a cloud ERP solution means businesses can easily and effectively adapt to future business growth.


Cloud ERP vs On-Premises ERP: what is the difference?

There are a few distinct differences between a cloud ERP and an on-premises ERP solution, and they hinge on one important factor: how you implement the solution.

An on-premises ERP solution is installed on a company’s physical servers, and the servers are stored in its own facility. The company’s IT team shoulders the responsibility for implementing, deploying, and maintaining the software, which includes loading the software on employees’ devices, ensuring updates happen regularly, and keeping the entire network secure. In terms of cost, the initial investment includes buying the hardware and the software license as well as paying for an expensive but knowledgeable IT staff. Additional long-term costs include paying to replace aging or failing hardware.

In comparison, a cloud ERP solution is accessed via the internet with the IT infrastructure located in virtual servers. Because users connect to the ERP solution using any web-enabled device, they have unfettered, any time access to their critical business data from any location. Additionally, the cloud ERP vendor maintains the servers in its datacenters, providing automatic software update, hardware upgrade, and enterprise-level data security services as part of their subscription fee.


How to choose the right Cloud ERP system for your business?

5 ERP Selection Steps

Choosing the right cloud ERP system for your business is a critical decision. There are many factors to consider, including your specific business requirements, financial constraints, timeline, and industry specifications.
How to Choose the Right ERP

Here are some steps to go through when choosing the right cloud ERP system for your business:

  1. Identify pain points: The first step is to identify the pain points that your business is facing. What are the areas where you are not getting the data or insights you need? What are the processes that are inefficient or time-consuming? Once you have identified your pain points, you can start to look for a cloud ERP solution that can help you address them.
  2. Examine existing tech stack: The next step is to examine your existing tech stack. What software are you currently using? What are the strengths and weaknesses of these systems? How well do they integrate with each other? The goal is to get a clear understanding of your current IT landscape so that you can choose a cloud ERP solution that will fit seamlessly into your environment.
  3. Set budget: Cloud ERP systems can vary in price, so it’s important to set a budget before you start your search.
  4. Consider hosting options: There are two main hosting options for cloud ERP solutions: public cloud and private cloud. Public cloud solutions are hosted by the vendor and are accessible to multiple businesses. Private cloud solutions are hosted by your own IT department or a third-party hosting provider. The hosting option you choose will depend on your specific needs and requirements.
  5. Determine industry specific needs: If your business is in a specific industry, such as manufacturing, healthcare, or retail, you’ll need to make sure that the cloud ERP solution you choose meets the specific needs of your industry. For example, a cloud ERP solution for a manufacturing company will need to have features that track inventory levels and manage production schedules.


Once you have considered all of these factors, you can start to narrow down your choices and choose the right cloud ERP solution for your business.

Choosing the right cloud ERP system is an important decision, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. By following these tips, you can find a system that meets your business needs and helps you achieve your goals.

Understanding the differences between cloud and on-premises ERP solutions will help you in your search for the right ERP solution. But recognize that this project isn’t a one-person endeavor. Finding the right ERP solution requires the assembling of a project team made up of strong representatives from all areas of the business—including finance, sales, customer service, production, IT, and more—who will fill certain roles.

Once your team is built, its initial job will be to communicate the ERP implementation plan to the organization at large with the goal of unifying every team member around the idea before the implementation commences. One way to ensure robust organizational support is to encourage team members to share which features they’d most like to see in the new ERP solution. As end users, they know what will—or will not—help make their jobs easier.

From here, the project team is ready to choose the right ERP solution.

Bryan Papé
"Our technological journey has been a bit crazy and I imagine most startups go through this. We’ve been happy to land on Acumatica. It’s robust, it’s flexible, it’s simple but it also has an API so as you need to connect into it, there’s an ability for that as well. "
Bryan Papé, Founder and CEO

Important Features to Consider When Selecting a Cloud ERP Solution

Let’s do a quick review. You’ve learned why you should choose a cloud ERP solution, what the difference is between cloud-based and on-premises ERP solutions, how to find the right ERP solution (including forming a project team and gaining organizational buy-in), and what features and functionalities you expect the right ERP solution to provide.


Core Cloud ERP Selection Criteria
Core ERP Usability Features for ERP Selection

But there are a few other important features to consider during the ERP software selection process.

Cloud ERP Cost

How much you can or will budget for a new ERP solution is one of the first factors to consider, but determining how much to budget for a new ERP solution isn’t the same as budgeting for a product with a fixed cost—like a car or a home. An ERP budget should be based on whether the ERP solution is on-premises (hardware expenses, software license fees, ongoing hardware and software maintenance, IT staff, storage, utilities, etc.) or cloud-based (initial implementation, data conversion, customization expenses, etc.). In addition, you’ll need to include whether the ERP vendor charges per user or for resources used, the time it takes to implement the ERP system (and to train the end users), and the adding of further application capabilities in the future. The total cost of ownership (TCO) is all of these expenses over a five-year period.


The ROI, or return on investment, is the comparing of the TCO to the direct and indirect benefits you expect to receive over a five-to-10-year period. Some ROI savings include increased revenue, reduced overall operating expenses, improved production efficiency, and better cash flow. When taken together, the cost and the ROI will provide you with a clear picture of the economic impact of the ERP solution you’re researching.


The ability to scale with a business, or scalability, is another indicator of suitability. Because your business needs will evolve over time, the ERP solution you choose should be able to grow alongside you. Scalability is also reflected in the ERP solution’s dedication to enhancing its product on a regular basis while keeping up with developments and innovations in the ERP industry.

ERP System Usability

Usability should be one of your top considerations when assessing your ERP options. As Nucleus Research notes: “What’s the point in having the best functionality if few people within the business can actually use it.” Technology users expect fast, friendly, and intuitive technology in their personal and professional lives, and your employees are no exception. If they are unable or unwilling to use your new technology because it’s cumbersome or clunky, then they’ll resort to workarounds, and your investment of time, money, and energy will have been a waste. Additionally, if a system is intuitive and well designed, then the training will be quick, leading to a faster implementation, less cost, and minimal disruption and ultimately increasing efficiency, customer satisfaction, and business growth. Distinguishing usability between different cloud ERP systems requires a deeper look into the
following categories:

Access to Tools and Data: An ERP system should deliver immediate access to real-time and historical event records, tools, and applications. Some providers deliver real-time data but charge for historical data.
Ease of Administration: A modern ERP system simplifies IT administration with a wholly contained solution.
Navigation and Automation: Users want software they can easily navigate and work without toggling between siloed applications and processes.


ERP Software Functionality

Though Nucleus Research considers functionality slightly less important than usability, it still is a major requirement for the ERP solution you select. Simply put, functionality is how the system performs and what it does for the user. Standard ERP functionalities include automating repeatable tasks; collecting, storing, and analyzing data; and providing visibility across the entire organization.

Tech & User Support

When selecting your ERP solution, one of the most underestimated steps is the choosing of your implementation partner or Value Added Reseller (VAR). A poor choice of VAR partner will impact the technical and user support you receive, from the installation to go live to after go live. You’ll want to research potential partners to ensure they have a solid reputation for offering expert, personalized service throughout the entire implementation journey. You’ll also want to investigate the ERP vendor they represent, confirming the vendor provides their VARs with exceptional training, resources, and support so they can provide the same to you.

Backup & Recovery

Finally, you’ll want to choose an ERP solution that rests on modern technology that receives ongoing, automatic updates to protect its users from security issues and disasters. Cybersecurity threats—such as malware, ransomware, phishing, and more—and natural or man-made disasters can wreak havoc on data security and the subsequent recovery activities. The right ERP solution and vendor should be able to readily showcase its disaster recovery and mitigation capabilities as well as provide consistent uptime and business continuity, regardless of external threats.

See what’s possible when you have a future-proof ERP platform that truly puts customers first.

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