Considering new business software? There are some important questions to answer before you make a selection – especially when it comes to choosing a new ERP solution. After pondering your business issues, consider your technology environment.
For this part, stop and ask yourself, "How do I want to play?"
Today, there are several software delivery options: on-premise, hosted, and cloud. Each is different and comes with pros and cons.
Things to Consider Before You Decide
First and foremost, think about what your world looks like. Are you a small operation in a single location? Are you likely to grow or not? Are you an organization that has a fair bit of external activity – folks on the road, multiple locations, etc.? Is your company “dynamic” and anticipating quick and dramatic changes (e.g. acquisitions) that require a nimble IT infrastructure? Is a “Cap X” investment preferable to a monthly expense, or not?
So before you think about actual software requirements, consider your infrastructure. If you're a small, single office location that's stable, not growing, and not likely to grow, investing in a change to a hosted infrastructure may not be a viable option. It may make no financial sense. If, on the other hand, mobility, cash-flow, growth, and multiple locations are all considerations, you must ask yourself "Would an on-premise solution hinder flexibility?"
Don't Forget the IT Department
Consider internal IT management as well. Do you have critical IT staff but a poor understanding of what they actually do and the challenges they face? IT staff by definition speak technical language and deal with a world that may be difficult for management to understand. Providing value-added supervision can be problematic. Many times in a small business, owners have to go on faith that what the IT staff says is true. Commonly, nobody understands the nuances of their job and responsibilities, nor if and how they are keeping up with the rapid pace industry changes.
So as you consider your next ERP system, ask, "How you I deploy the software?" Also ask, “If I'm not in the IT business, should I be in the business of managing IT?”
Would you like some help answering these questions? Shoot us an email or give us a call at 877.361.6534.