The evidence now speaks for itself! An Enterprise Resource Planning system purpose built for your industry will take away the implementation and change management pains historically experienced by firms taking out- of-the- box software solutions. An integrated ERP solution will deliver increased visibility, control and efficiency. This makes it a no-brainer for progressive professional services firms looking to maximise their bottom line and ensure long term success.
The new dilemma emerging is whether to deploy ERP via a traditional on-premise server and infrastructure or via the cloud with a software-as-a-service (SaaS) application.
We see and hear a lot of debates about SaaS versus on-premise deployments. Professional services firms looking to deploy a professional services automation system, or upgrade their existing system, need to have a clear understanding of what benefits THEY want to receive. So several questions begin to pop up….
- Do you have the IT infrastructure to support an on-premise solution?
- Or would you prefer a fully hosted model which deals with servers, maintenance and upgrades?
- Do you want a predictable monthly cost?
- Or would you rather buy outright and have ownership?
- How robust is your internet connection? (amazingly still a factor in 2013)
- Are there economies of scale in selecting on-premise given the profile of your other essential software infrastructure and employee skills?
- Is your firm growing at fast rate and you want to be able to scale your system with ease?
- Is customisation and internal configuration important?
- What are your support requirements?
This is by no means an exhaustive list of considerations or pros versus cons, and there is no all-encompassing right answer. But there is a right answer for your firm and you need to be aware that as your business changes, your system requirements will change with it. So take the time to consider which deployment is going to offer you the flexibility, security and agility you need over time. And as a final thought, ensure you chose a supplier who will also offer you the choice to switch your deployment method if your requirements change.