Over the last several years, manufacturers have embraced cloud applications. According to one estimate, between 2013 and 2023 the percentage of manufacturing and distribution software delivered via software as a service (SaaS) will increase from 22% to 45%.1
Some manufacturers, however, remain reluctant to migrate enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems and other business-critical applications to the cloud. In many cases, their concerns are based on incomplete or inaccurate information about the true capabilities of modern, cloud-based applications.
The following checklist can help to address these issues. It covers four areas where manufacturers can benefit from a more complete understanding of how and why Epicor Cloud ERP offers unique advantages compared to on-premises systems.
Manufacturers continue to question cloud security. One recent study found that 72 percent view the risk of data loss as their chief concern about using a SaaS ERP solution.2
In reality, Epicor Cloud ERP typically delivers better security than an on-premises ERP environment. There are many reasons why, but the issue really boils down to questions of cost and commitment. Modern data security is a complex, challenging, and immensely expensive activity—and it’s one that contributes very little to a manufacturer’s competitive edge.
A cloud provider such as Epicor, by comparison, must view data security as a top imperative and invest accordingly. Epicor and our data-center partners offer reliable and cost-efficient data security capabilities that were previously available only to very large firms—and only at an extraordinary cost.
If you want to ensure the privacy, security and accessibility of your ERP data, move as quickly as possible to migrate away from an on-premises solution—not towards one.
This shift explains why so many experts agree that data security has become a key strength of the cloud—not a potential weakness. A recent Gartner estimate, for example, found that public cloud workloads will suffer at least 60 percent fewer security incidents than those in traditional data centers. Among IT professionals, according to one recent survey, 78 percent believe the cloud is secure.
Epicor Cloud ERP gives manufacturers transparent and predictable pricing, as well as a beneficial cost-accounting model.
Epicor commits to binding limits on potential price increases during the duration of a customer contract. In practice, actual price increases (if any) may be significantly lower than this upper limit. On-premises ERP, by comparison, can expose firms to significant—and often very unpredictable—price increases and cost overruns.
Epicor Cloud ERP enables manufacturers to shift spending from capital investments to operating expenses. Fixed subscription fees, savings on ongoing upgrades, and lower licensing costs allow companies to avoid long investment approval processes; require little to no upfront capital investment; and support predictable long-term spending.
The Epicor “cloud first” approach clearly demonstrates our commitment to— and confidence in—cloud-based ERP.
The “cloud-first” approach means that new capabilities—web portals, dashboards, self-service functions and mobile apps, to name just a few examples—are built and deployed as web-based services. This allows Epicor to deliver new, cutting-edge capabilities to our multitenant and single-tenant cloud customers quickly and cheaply—and in some cases these capabilities will be exclusive to Epicor Cloud ERP.
Epicor Cloud ERP enables manufacturers to benefit and profit from technology innovation in two ways—cost and agility.
Epicor Cloud ERP gives manufacturers fast and economical access to capabilities that may be prohibitively expensive to develop and deploy on their own. As a result, Epicor Cloud ERP offers an unprecedented opportunity to treat tech innovation as a low-cost, easy-to-consume resource—one that can translate to advantages in cost, product innovation, productivity, supply chain efficiency, customer experience, and other areas.
Epicor Cloud ERP sits at the center of a technology ecosystem that connects manufacturers with a vast pool of talent, opportunity, and innovation. Firms that identify a business need or opportunity can move quickly to extend or enhance their cloud applications with cutting-edge capabilities—something that happens far more slowly using on-premises ERP, if it is possible at all.
Manufacturing IT leaders often have mixed feelings about moving enterprise applications to the cloud—wondering whether it might even make their organizations irrelevant and redundant. IT leaders who view SaaS as a threat, however, are missing the real threat to their organizations and their careers—the perception within their own firms that IT is a cost center and a barrier to innovation.
Epicor Cloud ERP gives IT leaders a way to rewrite this narrative. Moving an ERP environment to the cloud enables IT leaders to free up the resources they need to partner with the business and to focus on more strategic technology initiatives. As a result, Epicor Cloud ERP can actually help to make an IT organization indispensable to the business.
Many manufacturers that consider these issues will realize two things. First, it’s clear that the opportunities and benefits associated with Epicor Cloud ERP are significant—and in many cases, they decisively outweigh the status quo benefits associated with an on-premises ERP environment.
Second, and just as important, these benefits aren’t lost on a manufacturing firm’s competitors—many of which recognize that the cloud offers the fastest and most sustainable way to turn modern technology innovation into tangible business benefits. While on-premises ERP solutions offer a familiar and comforting approach to a business-critical technology requirement, this is a case where manufacturers that choose the status quo are exposing themselves to far more risk—and sacrificing much bigger opportunities—than those that make the leap to cloud-based ERP.