Businesses world over are looking to become agile, dynamic, and globally integrated. As such, they demand greater speed, control, security and transparency in the way their business is run. Business flexibility results from ERP flexibility – easy connectivity across a wide infrastructure and ecosystem of partners. This ERP flexibility can be achieved though cloud computing solutions that are completely secure and robust based on the demanding needs of today’s businesses – rapid deployment, clear visibility of assets, robust governance, and seamless mix of delivery models.

The root of cloud computing is ICS (Internet Consumer Services) and it is about creating a delivery and utilization model of ERP-enabled services that is all about the end user experience, end user control, and end user self-management. It has been seen that typical deployments of ERP systems on dedicated servers do not achieve more the 20-percent of average CPU consumption while at peak times they may be 100-percent memory or capacity. Cloud computing, on the other hand, leverages a pooled resources environment that uses virtualization in order for the physical assets to support multiple workloads.

Cloud computing is a paradigm shift in achieving optimization of:

  • User self-service
  • Cost reduction
  • Economies of scale
  • Utilization of resources
  • ERP agility, flexibility and delivery of value
  • Workload optimization
  • Service management and delivery

In order to drive efficiency of the delivery to enable the self-service, self-management of cloud computing requires standardization of the hardware and software assets as well as automation. This is what delivers a responsive end user experience. So from the end user’s point of view it is scalable, accessible from any device, and delivers cost advantages. From a ERP vendor’s perspective, it’s about an environment of highly virtualized resources that are location independent and have automated service management to handle provisioning, de-provisioning, change management, security and overall environment controls.

The economic factors driving cloud are the combination of existing technologies (with a focus on the end user) and the enablement of the end user experience. Virtualization drives higher utilization which lowers capital expenses. Standardization also reduces capital and labor costs, while automation reduces management costs, drives an enhanced user experience, reduces errors and reduces the costs associated with managing an environment.

Benefits to your ERP landscape as result of cloud are:

  • Improved flexibility and  elasticity of highly virtualized resources allowing much higher utilization rates and reduced labor efforts from management
  • Highly improved ERP IT services in terms of speed of delivery, reliability and ease of use
  • Improved quality of application delivery by allowing the introduction of more and more easily set up test cycles
  • Reduced cost through less hardware and associated licenses and cooling requirements (including significantly reduced carbon footprints)
  • Flexibility to leverage and integrate existing investments in most hardware, operating systems and databases as well as expand with new investments

Of course we also need to take the following steps to ensure a secure ERP cloud computing environment:

  • Mitigate the risks associated with user access to corporate resources
  • Understand, deploy and properly test controls for access to and usage of sensitive business data
  • Keep applications secure, protected from malicious or fraudulent use, and hardened against failure
  • Optimize service availability by mitigating risks to network components
  • Provide actionable intelligence on the desired state of physical infrastructure security and make improvements

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