When to take a hybrid approach to cloud-based ERP

Our IT team is interested in cloud ERP, but we aren't sure we're ready to put all our data into the cloud. Are there any benefits to taking the hybrid cloud approach to cloud computing, meaning putting some functionality into a cloud, while keeping others in-house?

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There are multiple benefits in a hybrid approach to cloud-based ERP, and this seems to be the more common approach now. Such benefits include stricter governance, data cleansing opportunities, control of your data, closer administration, monitoring and tracking, and tighter system controls.

A new trend for the hybrid approach is that organizations are keeping some information in the cloud -- specifically, a secured public cloud -- while storing other information internally. Often, private and financial data are kept internally and the less important data goes to the cloud for storage.

The major distinction to ascertain for cloud ERP systems is to identify which components reside where. Where is the data being created, stored, accessed, modified and where the database for the ERP resides -- internally or based in a public cloud? This will assist the organization in determining the flexibility and portability of the system and its data, should it need to move in or out of the cloud. Some cloud ERP architectures limit individual customer movement, due to restrictive public cloud tenancy configurations. These tenancies are a major part of the decision as to whether to move to a hybrid cloud approach, as both sets of information must work seamlessly and not create data silos.

This was first published in December 2013

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