Before looking to adopt a cloud-based enterprise resource planning program such as Dynamics NAV, Doug Henschen wrote on InformationWeek that there are many aspects that must be considered. Most Important is getting past the buzz words and understanding what type of impact this kind of solution could have for an organization.
“With the next major release of Dynamics AX (presumably AX 2015, set for beta release in 2014), Microsoft says it will offer both on-premises deployment and an Azure-based public cloud SaaS version,” he wrote. “In this case, the cloud offering will be managed as a multitenant service by Microsoft. This is how Dynamics CRM has been offered for nearly two years, and Microsoft boasts that it gives customers the choice of running the same application on-premises, in a private-cloud (provisioned on your own datacenter or in a third-party one), on Microsoft’s Azure public cloud, or in a hybrid combination.”
Before an organization decides that it wants to move to this platform, it will be essential to look at some key questions about this kind of hosting. First, it will need to be decided what kind of agility will come with the new solution and whether functionality will be there right away. Henschen said establishing a clear understanding of whether the business or cloud provider will be handling deployment and administrative tasks will need to be done as soon as possible.
Control of the services will also be a need. Organizations will need to figure out where data resides physically, how quickly the can access it and what the local compliance and regulation laws are. It also must be decided how upgrades will be handled and whether or not they might disrupt business in some way.
Security, flexibility a concern as well
Tim Brown, a security professional, said on CIO.com that while concerns about the safety of the cloud shouldn’t stop a business from adopting a cloud-based ERP system, any worries need to be addressed before implementing the system.
Some issues to figure out before adopting the cloud include:
– How the cloud might change the organization’s business profile
– What is needed to ensure the existing security policies fit the cloud solution
– If there is a breach on the provider level, how will it be handled?
– Are there any regulatory issues that need to be shored up before adopting the solution?
Getting the right cost model and having flexibility will also be necessary parts of any cloud computing ERP service a business chooses to adopt, according to Henschen.
“The bottom line for many companies choosing the cloud is the desire to lower IT costs and shift resources – both money and people – toward business innovation,” Henschen said. “Don’t assume any old cloud offering will help you get there. Dig into the details, so you have a clear understanding of what you’ll gain, lose, and leave unchanged with a prospective cloud ERP deployment.”
To discuss Microsoft NAV solutions for manufacturing, join the Microsoft Dynamics NAV for Manufacturing LinkedIn group.