Cloud-based computing (also called on-demand computing, Software as a Service, or SaaS) uses the Internet to provide shared computing resources, such as processing power, memory, and disk storage, to run a multitude of software applications. Resources are added as needed for use by cloud applications. Cloud computing covers everything from accessing a simple photo sharing application to hosting the entire computing infrastructure of a global corporation from remote data centers. For more insight, a formal US government definition of cloud computing is provided from the National Institute of Standards (NIST).
Cloud ERP is Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software that is accessed in “the Cloud” – using the Internet to access servers that are hosted remotely from your business. Traditionally, ERP and other business productivity software is located on premises, meaning your company is responsible for purchasing, housing, and maintaining the software and all related hardware. Cloud ERP generally has lower upfront costs, because computing resources are leased by the month from centralized data centers rather than purchased outright and maintained on premises.
While technically the only difference between Cloud ERP and on-premises ERP is where the software is kept, there are other significant differences. Here we explain some of the key characteristics and advantages of Cloud ERP.
The Cloud is particularly valuable to small and medium-size businesses (SMB’s) because it provides access to full-function applications at a reasonable price without a substantial upfront expenditure for hardware and software. Using the right cloud provider, a company can rapidly scale their business productivity software as their business grows or a new company is added.