Is SaaS ERP Right for Your Business? Four Things to Consider.
Have you tried Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions, only to find that they couldn’t meet your needs? It might be time to take another look. Not only can SaaS ERP applications help businesses overcome challenges presented by legacy, on-premises applications, but they have also improved their capabilities in the past few years. Here are four things to consider when looking into a cloud ERP solution:
1. Preparing for change
First things first: Are you ready for a solution change? Anytime you are looking to either upgrade or implement a new solution, there is a financial and time investment. Having a business requirement driving the change provides a tool to measure the investment value — and having a team that is excited about a change — can improve user adoption.
Take our free Business Readiness Assessment and receive a personalized emailed report detailing why your business might or might not be ready to invest in a new solution.
2. Solution capabilities
It might be stating the obvious, but list the capabilities you need out of an ERP. For example, do you only need a general ledger, accounts payable and accounts receivable? Or do you need a way to manage inventory, multiple warehouses or other business processes?
Equally important is understanding your future business plans. Look for an ERP that is comprehensive, easy to scale and incorporates pre-built third-party products. Having these options, such as Microsoft App Source for Dynamics 365®, can enable your business to grow.
3. Process improvement
Ideally, you want to improve some of your business processes when making an ERP investment. Don’t make the mistake of investing in a solution and then operating the same way you do today. Find a solution with built-in workflows that you can integrate seamlessly with collaboration tools you currently use, such as Microsoft Outlook® and Azure® Active Directory.
A Microsoft-commissioned Forrester Total Economic Impact™ study found Dynamics 365 Business Central provided an ROI of 162% over three years. The two key reasons were: (1) functionality improvement enabled businesses to grow without hiring additional resources and (2) improved operations due to better tools to execute daily tasks.
4. Application management
According to Forbes, SaaS ERP cost-effectiveness is one of the five reasons businesses move ERP to the cloud, with reduced infrastructure as one of the cost benefits. When calculating the savings, confirm the necessary costs to meet your change-management requirements, such as having separate dev, test and production environments.
You might also achieve savings because legacy ERP applications require upgrade investments every few years, whereas SaaS ERP applications have automatic updates. It is important, however, to understand the update process. For example, Business Central releases a major update twice a year, and your administrator may select a time window. Furthermore, third-party app vendors are provided access to the latest public sandbox build to test their app on future releases.
Is it time to invest in a SaaS ERP solution?
Many previous limitations, such as change-management control or lack of third-party applications, prevented companies from moving to a SaaS ERP application. But with recent investments to these applications, moving to a SaaS ERP solution is becoming a feasible reality.
Reasons to avoid moving to the cloud are quite infrequent. However, based on your business requirements you might have unique processes, applications, or customizations that make moving to the cloud impractical. Let us help you evaluate the possibilities.
Visit our Dynamics 365 page and select Get Started to speak with a specialist. We can help you understand if Business Central is the right fit for your financial management needs.
Considering a new cloud-based financial management application? Take our free, online Business Central Readiness Assessment and learn how your business may or may not be ready for a new solution.
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