ERP Insights

The Top Cloud ERP Systems for 2024

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2024 cloud erp

Your search for 2024's best cloud ERP systems ends here. Our extensive guide covers top systems and offers expert strategies for selecting the ERP solution that aligns with your business goals.

In this article we cover

Introduction to Cloud ERP in 2024

First, there’s some good news and some bad news when it comes to cloud ERP in 2024.

The good news is that the selection of cloud-based ERP solutions has exploded, with more diverse and powerful options available than ever before. Top platforms like Epicor Kinetic, Netsuite ERP, and Acumatica Cloud ERP are leading the charge in terms of cutting-edge capabilities for modern businesses. 

The bad news? All that choice can be paralyzing for businesses looking to upgrade. With so many excellent systems touting advanced features like artificial intelligence, predictive analytics, and seamless integrations, determining the ideal match for your needs is no easy feat.

According to a report by MarketsandMarkets, the global cloud ERP software market is expected to grow from $64.7 billion in 2020 to $130 billion by 2027, at a compound annual growth rate of 15% during the forecast period.

Cloud erp growth rate

And with so many solutions, you might feel like pulling your hair out.

For 15 years, we’ve been the ERP software matchmaker for hundreds of businesses, big and small, connecting them with their perfect system. And now, we’re pouring all our expertise into explaining the most crucial cloud ERP concepts for you.

In 2024, most companies we serve preferred a cloud ERP System, ideal for many small and medium-sized companies. However, there are cases where an on-premises ERP system might be a better option. We will also address those scenarios.

So, are you ready? Let us be your co-pilot, navigating you through the cloud ERP skies.

The Top Cloud ERP Systems

We have meticulously curated a list of top-tier cloud-based ERP systems that boast exceptional features and unparalleled value. 

Our selection process involved a comprehensive assessment of each system’s unique capabilities and benefits, ensuring that businesses of all sizes and industries can find the perfect fit for their needs. 

Cloud erp vendors
Top cloud ERP system vendors

Epicor Kinetic

Epicor Kinetic, formerly Epicor ERP, is tailored for various manufacturing needs. It offers both cloud and on-premises options and excels in real-time monitoring, quality management, and global financial integration. Its user-friendly design ensures intuitive navigation and robust global support, fostering business growth and efficiency.

Deployments
Yes Icon Cloud
Yes Icon On-Premise
Cost Per User $125/mo
Price Range $4K - $500K
Retention Rate
97%

First up is Epicor Kinetic, a user-friendly ERP system designed to keep up with the ever-changing manufacturing landscape. Designed for manufacturing, here’s what makes Epicor Kinetic stand out:

  • Industry-specific functionality: Epicor tailors its software to meet the unique needs of your manufacturing business.
  • User experience: A sleek, intuitive interface makes navigating and using the system a breeze.
  • Flexible deployment options: Choose from cloud, on-premises, or hybrid deployment to suit your preferences.
  • Mobile access: Stay connected and informed with the Epicor mobile app, which grants you access to crucial data and processes from anywhere.

Epicor Kinetic is perfect for mid-sized manufacturing companies seeking a powerful and easy-to-use system, offering the flexibility to grow with their business.

NetSuite ERP

NetSuite ERP is a leading cloud-based solution for managing back-office operations and financial processes. It serves over 24,000 global customers and offers robust financial management, inventory, supply chain, and real-time analytics. This platform prioritizes innovation, growth, and swift decision-making through unified business insights.

Deployments
Yes Icon Cloud
No Icon On-Premise
Cost Per User $125/mo
Price Range $10K - $100K
Retention Rate
N/A

Next on our list is NetSuite, a versatile and comprehensive cloud-based ERP system that caters to various industries. Here’s why Netsuite is the top-selling cloud ERP system:

  • Scalability: NetSuite adapts seamlessly to your business growth with features and modules that can be added or removed.
  • Real-time visibility: CFOs love Netsuite’s clear view of business data with real-time dashboards and reporting.
  • Customization: Tailor NetSuite to your needs with industry-specific solutions and custom workflows.
  • CRM integration: Streamline customer relationship management with a built-in CRM module.
  • Global capabilities: NetSuite supports multiple languages, currencies, and tax regulations, which is perfect for businesses with international operations.

NetSuite is ideal for small and mid-sized companies seeking an all-in-one cloud solution that’s both customizable and scalable, allowing them to focus on what matters: growing their business.

Acumatica Cloud ERP

Acumatica Cloud ERP is a versatile system tailored for growing businesses. It integrates accounting, sales, and customer management with industry-specific add-ons and advanced technologies like AI and IoT. With a user-friendly interface and global adaptability, Acumatica stands as a premier, affordable ERP solution.

Deployments
Yes Icon Cloud
Yes Icon On-Premise
Cost Per User N/A
Price Range $7.50K - $50K
Retention Rate
78%

Introduced in 2008, Acumatica ERP is a flexible and robust cloud-based ERP solution designed for mid-sized businesses across various industries, including distribution. Here are the reasons why Acumatica is the fastest-growing Cloud ERP system:

  • Adaptability: Acumatica ERP can quickly adapt to your business requirements. Its modular structure allows for the seamless addition or removal of features.
  • Real-time insights: Obtain a comprehensive view of your business through real-time dashboards and reporting, enabling data-driven decisions.
  • Personalization: Customize Acumatica ERP with industry-specific solutions and configurable workflows to fit your unique needs.
  • Mobile access: Access your business data on the go with Acumatica’s mobile app, keeping you always connected and informed.
  • Integrations: Seamlessly integrate Acumatica ERP with other business applications, including CRM, eCommerce, and project management tools, for a unified ecosystem.

Acumatica ERP is perfect for companies looking for a customizable, flexible, and robust solution that helps them focus on growth and operational efficiency. It’s an excellent choice for companies wishing to replace their outdated premise-based system.

Infor CloudSuite Industrial (Syteline)

Infor SyteLine ERP is a flexible solution for mid-sized and large manufacturers, enhancing efficiency in various manufacturing types. It offers cloud and on-premises options, prioritizes user-friendliness, and promotes smart manufacturing. It's designed for adaptability, operational improvement, and modern business agility.

Deployments
Yes Icon Cloud
Yes Icon On-Premise
Cost Per User $150/mo
Price Range $25K - $500K
Retention Rate
N/A

INFOR CloudSuite is a feature-rich and industry-focused cloud solution that supports various business needs. Here’s what makes INFOR CloudSuite stand out:

  • Industry-specific: INFOR CloudSuite offers tailor-made solutions for various discrete manufacturing industries, ensuring a perfect fit for your business.
  • User-friendly interface: Navigate through an intuitive and visually appealing interface, simplifying day-to-day operations.
  • Extensibility: INFOR CloudSuite can be easily extended and integrated with other business applications to create a cohesive ecosystem.
  • Analytics: Leverage powerful analytics and reporting capabilities for informed decision-making and improved performance.
  • Global reach: INFOR CloudSuite supports multiple languages, currencies, and regulatory requirements for businesses with international operations.

INFOR CloudSuite is an excellent choice for global organizations seeking a cloud-based ERP solution combining industry-specific features, an easy-to-use interface, and comprehensive analytics.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central

Dynamics 365 Business Central is an ERP for small to mid-sized businesses, offering integrated solutions for finance, manufacturing, and sales. It seamlessly integrates with Microsoft tools, offers real-time cloud access, and scales with business growth.

Deployments
Yes Icon Cloud
No Icon On-Premise
Cost Per User $175/mo
Price Range N/A
Retention Rate
91%

A robust and integrated cloud ERP platform suitable for small to mid-sized businesses. Here’s what you can expect from Dynamics 365 Business Central:

  • Seamless integration: Enjoy smooth integration with other Microsoft applications, such as Office 365, Power BI, and Azure.
  • Comprehensive functionality: Manage finances, operations, sales, and customer service all in one place with Dynamics 365 Business Central.
  • Scalability: Scale up or down with a flexible and modular architecture based on your business needs.
  • Intelligent insights: Access advanced analytics and AI-driven business insights to make data-driven decisions.
  • Customization: Personalize your Dynamics 365 Business Central experience with configurable workflows and industry-specific add-ons.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is ideal for all types of businesses looking for a cloud-based ERP solution that integrates seamlessly with other Microsoft tools and offers comprehensive functionality.

QAD Adaptive ERP

QAD Adaptive ERP is a cloud-based solution for global manufacturers, combining traditional ERP with a modern interface. It integrates features like Financial and Supply Chain Management, complemented by apps like QAD EQMS. Designed for adaptability and growth, it offers 24/7 support and rapid deployment.

Deployments
Yes Icon Cloud
Yes Icon On-Premise
Cost Per User $250/mo
Price Range $25K - $500K
Retention Rate
N/A

QAD is specifically designed for manufacturing companies by manufacturers. Here’s what sets QAD apart:

  • Industry focus: QAD specializes in providing solutions for discrete manufacturing industries, ensuring your business gets the best support.
  • Rapid implementation: QAD offers a streamlined implementation process to get your business up and running quickly.
  • Flexible deployment: Choose on-premises, cloud, or hybrid deployment options to suit your unique needs.
  • Global reach: QAD supports multiple languages, currencies, and regulatory requirements, making it ideal for businesses with international operations.
  • Continuous improvement: QAD is committed to ongoing innovation, ensuring your business stays ahead of the curve.

QAD is perfect for manufacturing companies seeking a cloud-based ERP software solution tailored to their specific industry and requirements.

Plex Manufacturing Cloud

Plex Manufacturing Cloud is a modern ERP solution optimized for manufacturing, delivered via the cloud. It provides real-time data and seamless updates, removing the need for traditional IT overhead. Offered as SaaS, it streamlines operations and supports growth.

Deployments
Yes Icon Cloud
Yes Icon On-Premise
Cost Per User $500/mo
Price Range $50K - $500K
Retention Rate
N/A

Released in 2000, Plex was one of the first cloud ERP systems on the market. Designed to optimize manufacturing operations and featuring all-inclusive pricing, here’s what makes Plex a top contender:

  • Manufacturing focus: Plex is built for manufacturers, offering specialized tools and features to support your unique processes.
  • Real-time data: Access real-time information on production, inventory, and more, enabling informed decision-making and improved efficiency.
  • Shop floor integration: Plex connects your shop floor with your back office, ensuring seamless communication and collaboration.
  • Quality management: Maintain high standards with built-in quality management tools that help you monitor and improve production processes.
  • Easy integration: Integrate Plex with other business systems for a cohesive, streamlined IT environment.

Plex Manufacturing Cloud is an excellent choice for manufacturers seeking a cloud-based ERP software solution that optimizes production and promotes efficiency.

Oracle Fusion Cloud ERP

Oracle Fusion Cloud ERP is a modern, cloud-based suite offering AI and real-time analytics for manufacturers. It provides automatic updates to streamline processes and improve decision-making. The suite includes modules for financial management, project management, and supply chain management, aiming for faster deployments and lower ownership costs.

Deployments
Yes Icon Cloud
No Icon On-Premise
Cost Per User $500/mo
Price Range $25,000K - $500,000K
Retention Rate
85%

Oracle Fusion Cloud is a comprehensive, highly configurable ERP software solution catering to larger businesses. As Oracle’s latest and greatest ERP solution, here’s what Oracle Fusion Cloud has to offer enterprise-level organizations:

  • Flexibility: Oracle Fusion Cloud is highly customizable, allowing you to create a solution tailored to your business needs.
  • Advanced analytics: Leverage powerful analytics and reporting capabilities to gain valuable insights and make data-driven decisions.
  • Seamless integration: Connect Oracle Fusion Cloud with other Oracle applications and third-party systems for a cohesive and streamlined IT environment.
  • Scalability: Oracle Fusion Cloud’s modular architecture ensures it can adapt to your business growth and changing requirements.
  • Security: Benefit from Oracle’s robust security measures and compliance features, protecting your valuable data.

Oracle Fusion Cloud is ideal for larger businesses seeking a highly configurable and secure ERP solution that can scale with their growth.

IFS Cloud

IFS Cloud (previously IFS 10.0) is a versatile enterprise software combining ERP, EAM, and ESM functionalities. Started in 1983, its latest version boasts an intuitive user interface built on a component-based, Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), emphasizing adaptability across core processes like Manufacturing and Supply Chain.

Deployments
Yes Icon Cloud
Yes Icon On-Premise
Cost Per User N/A
Price Range N/A
Retention Rate
N/A

IFS is a versatile and user-friendly cloud ERP platform that supports businesses across various industries. Here’s what makes IFS shine:

  • Comprehensive functionality: Manage finances, supply chain, manufacturing, and more with IFS’s extensive feature set.
  • Industry-specific solutions: Benefit from IFS’s industry expertise and tailored solutions, ensuring the perfect fit for your business.
  • Mobility: Access IFS on the go with mobile devices, making it easy to stay connected and informed.
  • Customizability: Configure IFS to your unique needs with user-friendly customization tools and add-ons.
  • Global support: IFS offers multi-language, currency, and regulatory support, catering to businesses with international operations.

IFS Cloud is an excellent choice for larger organizations seeking a solution offering comprehensive functionality and industry-specific expertise.

SAP S/4HANA

SAP S/4HANA Cloud is an ERP system for manufacturers with AI, machine learning, and analytics. It provides real-time insights into manufacturing processes, facilitates quick adjustments to demand changes, and enables better decision-making. The system supports seamless integration with other SAP solutions and is extendible for enterprise-wide processes.

Deployments
Yes Icon Cloud
No Icon On-Premise
Cost Per User $2,000/mo
Price Range N/A
Retention Rate
78%

Last but not least, we have S/4HANA, SAP’s newest, most powerful, and most intelligent cloud ERP designed for businesses of all sizes. Here’s what you can expect from SAP S/4HANA:

  • Real-time insights: Access real-time data and analytics, empowering you to make informed decisions and optimize business performance.
  • Machine learning and AI: Leverage advanced machine learning and AI capabilities to automate processes and gain valuable insights.
  • Integration: SAP S/4HANA integrates seamlessly with other SAP applications and third-party systems, creating a unified IT environment.
  • Scalability: Adapt to your business growth with SAP S/4HANA’s modular architecture and flexible deployment options.
  • Industry solutions: Benefit from SAP’s vast industry knowledge and expertise, with tailored solutions for various sectors.

SAP S/4HANA is an excellent option for small to large businesses seeking an intelligent and scalable cloud ERP platform with powerful analytics and automation capabilities.

Comparing Cloud ERP Systems

As you can see, there’s no shortage of fantastic cloud-based ERP software in 2024. But how do you know which is the perfect fit for your business? That’s where we come in.

Compare cloud erp
The Top10ERP Best Fit” ERP system comparison tool

We highly recommend trying out our Best Fit ERP comparison tool to compare all these top cloud systems and more. Use the tool to quickly narrow your options and identify the cloud ERP software systems that align with your unique needs.

You can also review the ERP white papers we have available for these vendors here.

Still trying to figure it out? Don’t hesitate to contact us for personalized recommendations.

Our team at Top10erp​.org can save you time and help you find the ideal ERP solution to drive your business forward.

Essentials of Cloud ERP Software

Before you select and implement a cloud ERP system, it’s important to have a solid understanding of some key concepts. In this context, we will cover the basics of cloud ERP, compare cloud with on-premise systems, and discuss the different deployment models and types of SaaS applications. 

Having a strong foundation of knowledge in these areas will enable you to make the right decision for your business.

What is Cloud ERP Software? 

In short, cloud-based ERP software is an all-encompassing software system hosted on the vendor’s servers and accessed via a web browser. Cloud-based ERP systems work by hosting the software and data on a cloud service provider’s servers. This enables seamless access to real-time data and essential business tools from any device with an internet connection.

Cloud erp quote

Picture all your critical resources – finance, supply chain management, manufacturing, and operations – harmoniously managed and linked within one centralized platform, adapted specifically for your business, and accessible from any internet connection.

In contrast, on-premises ERP software is integrated into your company’s servers and computers locally, requiring costly physical storage and ongoing maintenance and accessible only in specific terminal locations. Generally, on-premises ERP software is paid through a hefty, one-time license fee. In contrast, cloud-based software is paid for on a per-user, monthly subscription basis.

Cloud ERP Software Modules & Features

Cloud ERP systems have various modules and features catering to different business processes.

Cloud erp blocks

Here’s a quick rundown of some standard cloud ERP software modules and features you should know about:

  • Materials Management: This module helps you keep track of raw materials, finished products, and inventory levels. Features include material planning, stock control, and procurement to ensure smooth operations and cost control.
  • Sales & Order Management: Streamline your sales process with order management, pricing, invoicing, and shipping features. This module helps you manage sales orders, track customer interactions, and ensure accurate and timely fulfillment.
  • Financial Management: Stay on top of your business’s financial health with features like general ledger, accounts payable and receivable, cash management, and budgeting. This module ensures regulatory compliance, improves cash flow, and offers real-time financial insights.
  • Production Management: Monitor and optimize your manufacturing processes with features like production scheduling, work orders, and shop floor management. This module helps you manage resources, reduce production bottlenecks, and improve efficiency.
  • Supply Chain Management: Stay ahead of the competition with better supply chain visibility and collaboration. Features include demand planning, supplier management, and transportation management to help you streamline your supply chain and reduce costs.
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM): Nurture lasting customer relationships with CRM features like contact management, sales automation, and customer service. This module helps you gain valuable customer insights, improve sales, and enhance customer satisfaction.
  • Additional Capabilities: Some cloud ERP systems offer extra features like project management, human resources management, artificial intelligence (AI), and business intelligence to provide a comprehensive solution for your business needs.
  • Services & Support: Last but not least, look for cloud ERP systems that offer complete services and support, including implementation assistance, training, ongoing maintenance, and customer support, to ensure a smooth transition and maximize the value of your investment.

By understanding cloud ERP software’s various modules and features, you’ll be better equipped to choose the right system that aligns with your business needs and drives growth and efficiency.

Erp module examples
Example modules available in Cloud ERP

Artificial Intelligence Features in Cloud ERP

As we move into 2024, artificial intelligence is all the rage in the world of enterprise software. Many businesses will be looking to leverage the benefits of AI to take their cloud ERP systems to the next level. 

Key AI capabilities like predictive analytics, virtual assistants, computer vision, and intelligent process automation are elevating supply chain planning, reporting, customer service, and more. Leading cloud ERP platforms infuse machine learning and AI solutions to drive greater forecasting accuracy, process efficiency, and data-driven decision-making. 

Be sure to check our AI ERP system comparison and guide, plus our research article on the future of AI in ERP, to stay on top of this major trend when evaluating cloud platforms. Prioritizing cutting-edge AI abilities will ensure forward-thinking solutions tailored for growth and competitiveness in 2024 and beyond.

Cloud-Based ERP vs. On-Premises ERP

When shopping for the best enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, you’ll come across two deployment options: on-premise and cloud-based. Most vendors offer their system in both options. Understanding the differences between cloud ERP and on-premise ERP and their individual benefits can help ensure that you get the best possible solution for your business needs, no matter your industry, budget, or operational goals. Since almost all of the top manufacturing ERPs offer cloud and on-premise deployment, this will undoubtedly be a decision you must make when selecting new software. 

The shift to cloud ERP is a prominent trend. In a 2017 Panorama Consulting study, most companies chose on-premise (67%). In 2022 the majority was adopting cloud ERP (65%). Another growing trend is for businesses with on-premises ERP software to upgrade to a new cloud-based ERP system.

Cloud erp adoption

Suppose you currently use a premise-based system and want to upgrade to a new cloud solution. In that case, it’s essential to understand the key differences between cloud ERP and on-premises ERP systems. Let’s dive into the pros and cons of each:

On-premises ERP

  • Greater control: With an On-premises ERP, you’ll have complete control over your servers and data, allowing for a high level of customization.
  • Data security: Your in-house IT team will manage the security of your servers, giving you peace of mind.
  • Higher upfront costs: Purchasing and maintaining your own hardware can be expensive.
  • Limited remote access: Accessibility is typically restricted to on-site locations, which could hinder remote work.

Cloud-based ERP

  • Lower upfront costs: Cloud ERP systems generally have lower initial costs since they don’t require purchasing and maintaining hardware.
  • Scalability: Cloud ERP systems can grow with your business, allowing you to add or remove users and features as needed.
  • Remote accessibility: Access your data and tools from anywhere with an internet connection.
  • Automatic updates: Your system stays current with the latest features and security measures.
  • Security: Cloud providers typically employ stringent security measures, but you must trust them to protect your data.

Unique challenges and considerations of cloud ERP vs. on-premises:

  • Data security and privacy: Cloud ERP systems store data in the cloud, making security and privacy concerns paramount. Ensure your vendor has robust security measures and complies with industry regulations.
  • Internet connectivity and speed: A reliable and fast internet connection is crucial for smooth cloud ERP operation. Consider your current infrastructure and whether it can support your new system.
  • Vendor dependency: With a cloud ERP system, you’ll rely more on your vendor for system maintenance, updates, and support. Thoroughly evaluate your vendor’s reputation, reliability, and support offerings.

When deciding between cloud ERP and On-Premises ERP, consider factors such as your budget, the need for customization, the level of remote access required, and your need to scale over the next five years.

Cloud ERP Deployment Models

As you explore cloud enterprise resource planning options, it’s essential to understand the different available types, as each has its own benefits and potential drawbacks.

Cloud erp deployment

Let’s break down the various types of cloud ERP software deployment models:

  • Public Cloud: In a public cloud ERP, the software is hosted on a cloud provider’s infrastructure and shared among multiple users. This model typically offers lower costs and faster deployment times. Public cloud ERP is best suited for small and medium-sized businesses that seek an affordable, scalable solution with minimal upfront investment.
  • Private Cloud: Private cloud ERP systems offer dedicated infrastructure only your business can access, ensuring enhanced security and control. While these systems deliver higher levels of customization and power, they also come with higher costs and require more maintenance than their public cloud counterparts.
  • Hybrid Cloud: Hybrid cloud enterprise resource planning combines the best of both public and private clouds. It allows businesses to store sensitive data on a private cloud while leveraging public cloud resources for less critical operations. Hybrid cloud ERP is suitable for companies that want the flexibility of both deployment models and have specific security, compliance, or customization needs.
  • SaaS (Software as a Service):Cloud ERP is a type of software as a Service (SaaS). SaaS refers to software applications delivered over the internet with a subscription rather than installed locally on a user’s computer or a company’s servers.

You may run into the terms multi-tenant SaaS and single-tenant SaaS. It’s essential to know their meaning.

Single tenant saas vs multi tenant saas

Multi-tenant SaaS and single-tenant SaaS can both be found within the three primary cloud deployment models: public, private, and hybrid clouds. Here’s how they fit in:

  • Public Cloud: Multi-tenant SaaS is more common in public cloud environments. Multi-tenant SaaS applications running on public clouds allow various organizations to use the same application instance, making it cost-effective and efficient. Single-tenant SaaS can also be deployed in a public cloud. Still, each organization would have a separate instance of the application running on dedicated resources.
  • Private Cloud: Single-tenant SaaS is more common in private cloud environments. This model provides greater control and customization options for the organization, making it suitable for single-tenant SaaS deployments. However, multi-tenant SaaS can also be deployed on private clouds, although it’s less common and might be used for specific cases where multiple departments or subsidiaries of the same organization need separate instances.
  • Hybrid Cloud: In this model, organizations can deploy single-tenant SaaS applications in their private cloud for better control and customization while using public cloud resources for multi-tenant SaaS applications to leverage cost-efficiency and scalability.

Understanding the differences between these enterprise resource planning software types will help you decide which solution is best for your business. Remember your company’s needs, budget, and security concerns as you evaluate your options. We have an additional article to help you with this decision: Choosing the Right ERP Deployment Option for Your Business and Budget.

Advantages & Benefits of Cloud-Based ERP Solutions

With cloud software, you’re free from handling hardware and server management, software updates, and other infrastructure-related concerns.

Say goodbye to physical servers and hello to flexibility.

Common Advantages of Cloud ERP

Cloud ERP provides businesses with a cost-effective, scalable solution that enables remote access to essential data and tools. With automatic updates and improved collaboration capabilities, your team can work seamlessly from anywhere (including mobile devices). Moreover, robust security measures from cloud providers ensure your business data remains protected and secure.

In a nutshell, cloud-based ERP software streamlines your operations, offering convenience, flexibility, and cost savings. With these benefits, it’s no wonder that more and more of the businesses we serve at Top10ERP​.org are moving to the cloud.

Key Benefits of Cloud ERP

The shift of IT spending continues accelerating toward the cloud. A recent study by Gartner indicates more than half of Enterprise IT spending will shift to the cloud in 2025.

The benefits of cloud-based ERP software are numerous and can significantly impact how businesses operate. These are some of the main advantages and reasons we guide our clients to select cloud ERP software when it is the right fit for their business:

Cloud erp benefits

More Affordable Up-Front Costs

The initial cost of implementing cloud ERP software is lower than that of an on-premises ERP system because it doesn’t require additional server, infrastructure, or hardware costs. Though you may pay more over time compared with an on-premises system due to perpetual licensing fees, you can expect what you’ll pay over time. You get more flexibility should your system not meet your needs long-term.

Faster to Implement

Because these ERP systems are web-based and require no lengthy, space-hogging installations, they essentially offer plug-and-play functionality. You’ll almost always gain immediate access to the platform when you activate your license. It’s important to note that you’ll still need to spend time on training, customization, and data transfer once you’ve chosen an ERP system. Still, by and large, implementation is speedier on the cloud.

Always Up-to-Date

Because Cloud-based ERPs are hosted on the web, they are automatically updated. On the browser, changes can be implemented in real-time, so you always get the latest version of the software without the need for time-consuming updates. 

Enhanced Security

Enhanced security is another crucial advantage of using a cloud-based ERP system. Cloud ERP providers prioritize the security of your business data, investing heavily in state-of-the-art infrastructure and employing strict security protocols to safeguard your sensitive information from cyber threats. By trusting a reputable cloud ERP vendor, your business can enjoy peace of mind knowing that your data is well-protected, enabling you to focus on growth and innovation without worrying about data breaches and cyberattacks.

More Flexibility and Access

Because most cloud-based software is paid via a subscription-based model, it offers more flexibility in terms of growth and access. Need to add more users? Upgrade your subscription to include new licenses. No new hardware or installations are needed, even if you onboarded several new hires. Need to access the software while you’re out of the office? Pull it up on any browser, mobile device, or desktop. Cloud services are always ideal for teams needing remote access and rapid scaling.

More Agility

We all know that for a company to be successful in the current digital landscape, agility is required, not optional. When you opt for a cloud-based ERP — or any cloud-based software, for that matter — you get next-level flexibility and analytics. This means you can make faster changes in real-time to adapt to the ever-changing needs of your customers, clients, or employees. The software is agile and constantly evolving (often without you even noticing), much like your business.

Cloud ERP for Specific Business Needs

Cloud ERP for Small Businesses

Let’s talk about small businesses and cloud enterprise resource planning systems. They’re a match made in heaven, offering the perfect blend of power, flexibility, and affordability.

Businesspeople working finance accounting analyze financi
ERP boosts small business efficiency with streamlined processes, real-time insights, remote access, seamless collaboration, and increased productivity

According to a study by Aberdeen Group, small and medium-sized businesses using Cloud ERP witnessed a 17% reduction in administrative costs and a 13% reduction in operational costs compared to their peers using on-premise solutions.

For small businesses looking to cut costs, cloud-based ERP solutions are a no-brainer.

With robust systems designed to cater to your unique needs, you’ll stay competitive and primed for growth.

So, let’s explore why cloud ERP can be your advantage and what you should consider when choosing the right system:

  • The impact of cloud ERP: As a small business owner, you know that efficiency and adaptability are crucial. Enterprise resource planning software streamlines your processes, boosts productivity, and gives you real-time insights, significantly impacting your performance. Plus, with remote access and seamless collaboration, your team can work smarter, not harder.
  • Choosing your cloud ERP: When it’s time to pick, keep these essential factors in mind:
    1. Ease of use: Intuitive and easy to navigate.
    2. Affordability: Great value that pays for itself in three years.
    3. Integration: Works well with your favorite tools, such as Shopify and Quickbooks.
    4. Support: Help when you need it because we all run into issues.
    5. Features, reviews, white papers, and case studies: Do your homework to ensure the system meets your requirements.
  • Top contenders: The best cloud enterprise resource planning platforms for small businesses include Netsuite, Cetec ERP, Global Shop Solutions, JobBoss2, Sage Intacct, SAP S/4HANA, and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. These systems are user-friendly, affordable, and packed with features tailored to your growing business.

Investing in the right system unlocks opportunities for your small business. See a side-by-side comparison of the best cloud solutions for small businesses here.

Cloud ERP for Manufacturing Businesses

For most manufacturing businesses, cloud enterprise resource planning will boost efficiency and streamline operations.

Cloud manufacturing erp
Cloud manufacturing ERP helps businesses optimize manufacturing operations for better efficiency and visibility.

Key features: For manufacturing businesses, a robust ERP solution should cover these essential aspects:

  • Production planning and scheduling
  • Inventory management
  • Bill of materials (BOM)
  • Shop floor control
  • Quality control and assurance
  • Supply chain management
  • Real-time data and analytics

Compelling benefits: Implementing cloud ERP in your manufacturing business brings a range of advantages:

  • Optimized production processes
  • Greater visibility into operations
  • Enhanced collaboration across departments
  • Efficient inventory management
  • Improved cost control and resource allocation
  • Quick response to changes in demand
  • Better quality and compliance management

With these improvements and added efficiencies, your manufacturing business will reach new levels of in efficiency and performance. Our manufacturing ERP guide covers all top manufacturing ERP systems.

Best Cloud ERP for Specific Industries

Regarding cloud ERP, one size doesn’t always fit all. Different industries have unique needs and challenges, and some systems are built for specific industries, so it’s essential to find a system that caters to the particular demands of your business sector.

Cloud erp food manufacturing
Tailored cloud ERP for your manufacturing industry can enhance efficiency, visibility, and scalability, driving better business outcomes.

Let’s explore some top cloud solutions for various industries, including Steel & Metal Fabrication, Food & Beverage, Automotive, Aerospace and Defense, and Distribution:

Steel & Metal Fabrication

An ERP system that supports robust material management, production planning, and quality control is vital for the steel and metal industries. A few top solutions are:

Food & Beverage

The food and beverage sector requires ERP systems with solid capabilities in recipe management, quality control, traceability, and compliance. The following options are worth considering:

Automotive

The automotive industry relies on efficient supply chain management, production scheduling, and lean manufacturing practices. These cloud ERP solutions excel in meeting those needs:

Aerospace and Defense

For aerospace companies, managing complex projects, strict compliance requirements, and rigorous quality standards is crucial. These ERP systems are designed for this industry’s demands:

Chemical

Chemical manufacturers need robust solutions to manage formulas, regulatory compliance, and track hazardous material. The following cloud ERP options are tailored to address these challenges:

Industrial Distribution

Robust Distribution ERP software should include specific features for a distributor’s needs. These include inventory tracking and management, kitting and assembly functions, warehousing and logistics, and mobile-friendly access.

Choosing the right cloud ERP software for your industry will empower your business with the tools to excel and overcome challenges. Remember to thoroughly evaluate each option based on your industry’s unique requirements and make an informed decision.

Cloud ERP Pricing and Selection Criteria

In many cases, cloud ERP offers a faster ROI. In fact, a study by Nucleus Research found that cloud ERP deployments delivered 2.1x the return on investment (ROI) compared to on-premise deployments. The payback period was 50% shorter for cloud ERP implementations.

When searching for a cloud ERP platform, it’s essential to understand the costs and selection criteria to make an informed decision. Let’s break down some key aspects to consider in your search.

Pricing models

Cloud ERP software has various pricing models for different business needs and budgets. You’ll find subscription-based models (usually charged monthly or annually) and usage-based models that charge based on the number of users or transactions. Choose a pricing model that fits your company’s requirements and growth plans.

Subscription licensing:

  • Subscription licensing has become increasingly popular for Cloud-Based ERP solutions, offering a pay-as-you-go pricing model. This approach provides flexibility and predictable costs and eliminates upfront capital expenditure. You’ll typically pay a monthly or annual fee based on your required number of users, modules, or resources.
  • While subscription licensing can lead to cost savings and easier budgeting, it’s essential to carefully assess the long-term costs and potential price increases over time.

Total cost of ownership (TCO)

Don’t just focus on the upfront costs of the software. Consider the total cost of ownership, which includes subscription fees, implementation costs, maintenance, and upgrades. You should also factor in the cost of training employees and any potential downtime during the transition. Analyzing the TCO gives you a clearer picture of your investment’s long-term value.

Other factors to consider when selecting a cloud ERP

It’s not just the costs. You’ll want to weigh these other essential factors when comparing the suitable cloud ERP systems for your business. 

Some key considerations include the following:

  • Customization and flexibility: Can the software adapt to your industry needs and business processes? Does it require costly customization options to tailor the system to your requirements?
  • Scalability: Will the software grow with your business, supporting increased users, transactions, and functionality over time? Will scaling up impact the overall costs of the system?
  • Integration: Can the cloud ERP integrate seamlessly with your existing systems and tools, ensuring a smooth workflow and reduced disruption?
  • Security and compliance: Does the software EXCEED your industry’s security and compliance standards?
  • Vendor reputation and support: Research the ERP vendor’s reputation and the quality of their customer support. Are they responsive and reliable when you need them? Make sure they have many satisfied customers in your industry and sector.

By understanding the costs and carefully evaluating the selection criteria, you’ll be well on your way to choosing the perfect cloud ERP that meets your budget and business needs.

Selecting and Implementing Cloud ERP

Selecting the ideal cloud ERP system for your business can be daunting, but with a well-thought-out approach and our help, you can find the perfect fit. We’ll walk you through the essential steps to ensure you make a wise and informed choice. Contact us for free selection help if you need more advice.

  • Assessing your business needs: Begin by closely examining your organization’s unique requirements, goals, and challenges. This in-depth analysis will help you understand what you truly need from your cloud ERP software and set the foundation for your search. Include all departments, identify which problems need solutions, and determine what you need in the system.
  • Identifying must-have features: With your business needs in mind, list the most critical features and functionalities you need in a cloud ERP platform. Keep the list focused on your core requirements by department to avoid being overwhelmed by endless options.
  • Extensively compare systems: You mustn’t limit your list too early, but compare 7 – 10 systems that fit your needs, your business size, and your industry. Compare pricing, capabilities, modules, support, and case studies. We created Top10erp​.org to support rigorous comparisons, so please use our decision tools to build and evaluate your shortlist.
  • Talk to customers using the system: You must find a system that is already working for a similar business. Ask for customer case studies and referrals to see how the system works in your industry. Ask if customization is needed, and be sure they have used the system for several years.
  • Evaluating ERP vendor support and services: Partnering with a reliable and responsive ERP vendor is crucial for successfully implementing and maintaining your cloud ERP system. Check out user reviews, ask for customer references, and engage with vendors to gauge their commitment to your success. If you buy the system through a VAR (value-added reseller), ensure they excel in support and services. This, too, can be verified by talking with current clients.

Too many businesses are talked into the wrong system for the wrong reasons. To ensure your list of systems to consider has the most reliable and appropriate contenders, use our Best Fit” ERP comparison tool at top10erp​.org to make your decision-making process even more efficient and accurate. By inputting your specific requirements, the tool will generate a tailored list of proven ERP solutions that align best with your needs. This means you start with only the best systems and can narrow further from a vetted list to determine the best ERP for your needs.

Cloud ERP Implementation: Steps, Best Practices, and Unique Challenges

While some aspects are similar to on-premise ERP implementations, cloud ERP has unique challenges and considerations.

Let’s explore the key steps, best practices, and distinctive challenges of cloud ERP implementation.

Cloud erp implementation

Key steps in the implementation process:

  1. Planning: Identify your organization’s specific needs and objectives for the ERP system, and select a reputable provider that offers the features, scalability, and support your business requires.
  2. Design: Assemble a project team, including IT staff, managers, and end-users, to collaborate on designing a cloud ERP solution that meets your business needs.
  3. Build: Develop a detailed project plan, set milestones, and monitor progress while building the system. Ensure seamless data migration, system integration, and any necessary customizations.
  4. Deployment: Train your team on using the new system, thoroughly test it before going live, and make any necessary adjustments. Deploy the cloud ERP and promptly address any challenges, such as user adoption. Assure each department has buy-in and is using the system successfully.
  5. Ongoing Support and Maintenance: Continuously refine the system to maximize effectiveness, provide user support, and ensure regular software updates for the latest features and security measures. Have all departments routinely meet to discuss how the system works and what adjustments are needed.

Our ERP Implementation guide is also a great resource to dive deeper into this topic.

By following these steps and best practices while addressing unique cloud ERP challenges, you’ll be well-prepared to make your implementation a success.

Embrace the journey, and soon, you’ll reap the rewards of a more efficient, streamlined, and data-driven business.

Cloud ERP FAQ

Below are several common questions surrounding cloud ERP that we provide helpful answers to.

Why is cloud ERP so popular?

Cloud ERP’s popularity stems from its cost-saving benefits, scalability, and ease of access. Subscription-based pricing, no need for expensive hardware, and IT staff reduction lower costs. Scalability allows companies to adapt to growth or fluctuating demands, while anytime, anywhere access enhances collaboration. Regular updates also ensure the latest features and security measures are always available. Cloud also requires less upfront financial investment.

What is the difference between SaaS ERP and cloud ERP?

SaaS (Software as a Service) ERP and cloud ERP, while related, have distinct differences. SaaS ERP is a specific type of cloud ERP where the system is hosted by a third-party provider and accessed through a web browser. The provider manages maintenance, updates, and security. Cloud ERP, in a broader sense, refers to any ERP software hosted on a cloud platform. This category includes SaaS ERP but can also encompass other models like Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) or Platform as a Service (PaaS), offering varying degrees of control over infrastructure and customization. Simply put, all SaaS ERPs are cloud-based, but not all cloud ERPs are SaaS.

How long does it take to implement a cloud ERP system?

The implementation time for cloud ERP software can vary depending on several factors, such as the size of your organization, the complexity of your business processes, and the degree of customization required. On average, implementation can take a few months to over a year. Poor implementations can take well over a year. To ensure a smooth and timely implementation, it’s essential to have a well-defined project plan, clear communication, and collaboration with your chosen vendor.

How does cloud ERP affect data security and privacy?

Cloud ERP vendors take data security and privacy very seriously. Most reputable vendors follow industry-standard security practices and comply with global data protection regulations, such as GDPR. They often invest in advanced encryption, firewalls, and secure data centers to protect your data. However, it is essential to evaluate each vendor’s security measures and ensure they align with your organization’s requirements and standards.

What are the ongoing maintenance requirements for Cloud ERP?

One of the benefits of cloud ERP is that the vendor takes care of most maintenance tasks, such as updates, bug fixes, and system upgrades. This means your IT team can focus on other tasks, and you won’t have to worry about managing hardware or software infrastructure. However, it’s essential to work closely with your vendor to understand their support and maintenance services and to communicate any specific needs or customizations you may have.

How do cloud ERP systems handle customizations and integrations?

Cloud ERP systems often offer a range of customization options to suit your business processes and requirements. Many vendors provide APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) and other tools for seamless integration with third-party applications, such as CRM, HR, or e‑commerce platforms. However, discussing your specific customization and integration needs with potential vendors and understanding their support level for these tasks is essential. Remember that excessive customization can sometimes make updates and maintenance more challenging and costly, so it’s best to strike a balance between customizing the software and adapting your processes to fit the system. The right system will not need extensive customization.

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