Enterprise resource planning programs have been one of the last software holdouts in the move to off-premise cloud computing, according to CRN's Rob Wright. However, with programs like Dynamics NAV taking the initiative in the migration to the cloud, businesses may have to start taking notice this year.

"ERP software has lagged behind other software markets, such as office applications, email and CRM, in the move to the cloud," Wright said. "One of the barriers has been the software itself; enterprise resource management software is, after all, enterprise software, and it's more complex and contains many applications than just your basic word processing and spreadsheet programs."

Another barrier has been the licensing deals, which cost more money up front and will likely generate more immediate cash flow for ERP providers. However, Wright said cloud services are inevitable, as they offer organizations the access to long-term value with less overhead.

Andrew Evers, a chief technology officer, said the type of model that comes with the cloud is far different than organizations would get with other kinds of software and said the "outside layers of the core ERP are starting to peel off" with the new trend toward cloud computing.

"Cloud is quicker," he said. "And it's quicker throughout the entire process – sales, delivery, support, everything. So you can get up to speed quicker than traditional on-premise software, and the subscription model also allows you to not have to worry about all the little bits of software out there and who's using it."

More organizations now looking to the cloud for ERP
One software company recently surveyed its users and found that 74 percent of ERP decision-makers are likely to move into the cloud within the coming year. Less than 20 percent do not see the cloud as an important or inevitable step in the industry technology. About 44 percent of companies were not sure their provider had a strategy for helping them move into the cloud, which highlights a confusion that there are "false cloud solutions" which are just hosted versions on the on-premise software.

Users said some benefits of moving to the cloud include the ability to access da​ta anywhere on any device, the latest version of software within reach at all times and lower maintenance costs than on-premise tools.

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