NetSuite Cloud ERP is an online service that enables companies to manage all key business processes in a single system. There is no hardware to procure, no large, up-front license fee, no maintenance fees associated with hardware or software and no complex set-ups.
NetSuite Cloud ERP is used to manage inventory, for enterprise resource planning (ERP), to keep track of financials, to host e-commerce stores, and to maintain customer relationship management (CRM) systems. It is a flexible platform that can be applied to a wide variety of business applications.
One of the most important decisions a company will need to make is whether to select a cloud-based ERP solution or one that’s installed locally.
On-premise ERP solutions are installed locally on a company’s hardware and servers and then managed by an IT staff while cloud ERP—also called SaaS, or Software-as-a-Service—is provided as a service. With this type of deployment, a company’s ERP software and its associated data are managed centrally (in the internet “cloud”) by the ERP vendor and are accessed by customers using a web browser.
On-premise ERP systems usually require large upfront and ongoing investments to purchase and manage the software and the related hardware, servers, and facilities necessary to run it. If the company doesn’t have a large or experienced IT staff, it may also have to also invest more time and money in additional personnel and train them.
Even more importantly, on-premise systems require that a company’s IT team spend a significant amount of their time and budgets ensuring that the system is up-and-running when it’s need it, including maintenance of hardware, server rooms, and more. When its time for the ERP system to be upgraded, IT must then redeploy the system across the various users’ computers and re-implement various customizations and integrations that the business installed on its previous software.
For cloud-based ERP, initial costs are typically much lower because companies simply implement the software they need then access it through their computer’s internet connection. The cloud ERP provider hosts and maintains all of the IT infrastructure for the customer, ensures the system is always running, that the data is secure, and that product enhancements are rolled out painlessly without breaking previously implemented customizations. Cloud ERP also offers a predictable, pay-as-you-go subscription model that can make cash flow management and planning much easier.
Over time, those IT savings add up. When comparing the total cost of ownership of on-premise ERP solutions relative to cloud systems, one industry analyst study found that cloud-based ERP can cost 50 percent less than on-site ERP for a 100-employee company over a four-year period.
Cloud ERP often delivers better performance than on-premise solutions. Cloud software architecture is designed from the ground up for maximum network performance, which can mean better application availability than traditional on-site ERP systems. Cloud-based ERP also offers optimized performance that can adapt to a company’s needs. If there is a spike in the business, cloud ERP automatically adjusts and dynamically provisions additional resources to handle the surge. For example, NetSuite Cloud ERP software commits to 99.5 percent availability for its customers, has 99.98 percent average uptime performance over the past 12 months, and makes uptime performance information available to all customers at all times at http://status.netsuite.com. A local IT department is unlikely to be able to achieve these results, and may not even be able to regularly report their system uptime results to management.
Cloud-based ERP provides better security as well. Because it’s their core competency, Cloud ERP providers like NetSuite make securing their systems a top priority by providing strong, industry standard data security certifications such as compliance with PCI DSS and SAS 70 standards. Moreover, NetSuite follows other rigorous security, disaster recovery, and back-up procedures that would be cost-prohibitive with on-site ERP solutions.
NetSuite Cloud ERP also offers clear advantages in speed of deployment. Since cloud ERP requires no additional hardware, businesses waste no time procuring and installing IT infrastructure. With cloud ERP, businesses can easily roll it out across multiple regions, subsidiaries, and divisions, avoiding the cost associated with those rollouts.
Cloud-based ERP systems are also easier to scale, giving you the flexibility to add more users as your business grows. On-site ERP solutions don’t offer the same freedom—to give more employees access to an on-site system, it’s often necessary to provision additional hardware.