Fortunately, there are several different ERP systems to choose from, so in the majority of cases it’s possible to find a model that covers the basics and deal with any further details once it’s up and running. After all, given the modular nature of enterprise resource planning, it’s easy to adapt the upper levels—it’s establishing the right foundation that really matters.
ERP delivery modelsThe first thing to consider is what delivery model to use. This requires weighing up access and security concerns with thought going to what the business needs at present and what it is likely to come to need in the future.
ERP delivery models can basically be categorized as follows:
- On site : everything is run from a server on the company’s premises. This provides absolute privacy (providing there are no break-ins) but has the downside of making it hard for staff to work while on the move and limiting ERP-coordinated activities to a single facility.
- Hosted : everything is run from a server elsewhere. This means the hosting company potentially has access to data, but often hosts can afford much better security systems than businesses can set up alone. It also entails a hosting charge.
- Public cloud : keeping information in a public cloud makes it easy for any staff member to access it at any time but has the downside that strangers can access it too. Nevertheless it can be practical for managing data that isn’t very sensitive.
- Private cloud : this provides access to staff members only with the flexibility described above, but it tends to be more expensive.
- Hybrid cloud : this combines the attributes of public and private clouds, allowing some data to be kept private while other information is publicly accessible. It’s ideal for inter-organizational collaborative projects.