News & Views | Cloud Computing

News & Views is published monthly by 180 Systems. Our objective is to provide recent articles to our readers on business technology topics. In some cases, our blog contains a title with a hyperlink to a source article, a quote from the article and our comments. In other cases, we have provided a blog without a hyperlink for original content by 180 Systems. We encourage you to post your own comments. You can also access our blog by topic.

CPA Magazine cloud survey results

Cloud Computing

April 1, 2016 from CPA Magazine – “If CPA Magazine’s first-ever cloud survey is any indication, CPAs are generally a cloud-friendly group. About 40% of you are already using the technology and the rest plan to do so within the next year or two…”

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Cloud security: fact or fiction?

Cloud Computing

June 1, 2016 from CPA Magazine – “As our cloud survey article showed, data is moving to the clouds at high speeds across all kinds of organizations. But is the data safer than it was when these organizations kept it locked away on their own premises…”

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What the cloud really is

Cloud Computing

December 1, 2015 from CPA Magazine – “…Below you’ll find a short primer on the cloud and how to decide if the technology is right for your business needs. We’ve also designed a short survey to see how many of you are using the cloud in business – and if so, how…”

180 View – I (Michael Burns) wrote this article with a lot of help from Margaret Craig-Bourdin who is the editor of the online edition of CPA Magazine. The first version of the article was considered by Margaret to be way too technical for the readers of CPA Magazine and she worked hard to simplify the article for CPAs. Hopefully it’s not too simplified for the readers of our newsletter.

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Cloud ERP

Cloud Computing, ERP

January 28, 2015 from InformationWeek – “Enterprise resource planning software is the ultimate legacy application. On the downside, ERP has earned a reputation for costly, time-consuming deployments and maintenance, outdated user interfaces, and general inflexibility.…”

180 View – The cloud is supposed to make ERP implementations a lot easier according to pundits and vendors alike. However the cloud is really just a different way of deploying the software and most of the tasks and risks in an implementation don’t vanish into the clouds.

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Top 10 Trends in Cloud ERP

Cloud Computing, ERP

May 19, 2014 from enterpriseAPPStoday – “Cloud enterprise resource planning (ERP) software hasn’t really caught on yet. But according to a recent Gartner survey, it will soon. Here are some of the top trends shaping cloud-based ERP…”

180 View – Most of our clients are more interested in finding a solution that is a good fit, not overly difficult to implement, in their budget and supported and implemented by a company that knows their industry really well. They don’t care that much how it’s deployed. Cloud deployment does not seem less expensive than on premise deployment even when factoring in savings in infrastructure and IT resources over a five year period. Today the cloud ERP vendors are still charging a premium for their wares. And some of them just offer annual user fees rather than monthly which would be very good for seasonal businesses. It won’t be long before the prices for cloud ERP drops as each and every ERP vendor jumps on the cloud bandwagon. At that time, the cloud will blot out much of the on premise landscape for new sales especially for small and mid-sized organizations that don’t have or don’t want IT departments.

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Cloud Users Spend Less, Spend Smarter on IT

Cloud Computing

February 2014 from computer economics – “…The study finds that organizations fully utilizing cloud computing save on average more than 15% in IT spending, whether measured as a percentage of revenue or on a per-user basis, as shown in Figure 2 from the full study.  Detailed analysis of respondents’ IT spending mix shows that the savings come not only from a reduction in data center spending but also in IT personnel costs.

As a result of these economic efficiencies, cloud users are able to devote a higher percentage of their IT spending to new initiatives and less to ongoing support. The cost savings, combined with strategic benefits in speed, scalability, and agility, argue in favor of organizations moving aggressively to the cloud…”

180 View – You can bet that an on premise vendor will be able to show you statistics with the exact opposite findings. In our opinion, there is currently a high price tag to get on the cloud for ERP systems but as the price comes down, more organizations will go up.

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Cisco Invests $1B in Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing

March 24, 2014 from Newsfactor – “More than $1 billion over the next two years — that’s what Cisco Systems is planning to spend to build what it’s dubbing the Intercloud, the world’s largest global network of clouds to enable the Internet of Everything…

Here’s the big picture: Cisco has pegged the networked connection of people, data, processes and things, which it calls the Internet of Everything, as a $19 trillion economic opportunity in the next 10 years.”

180 View – So far Amazon is the leading cloud in the sky and charges a premium for their hosting. Competition will lower the costs making cloud computing more compelling.

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Infor bets big on Amazon Web Services for cloud ERP

Cloud Computing, ERP

March 26, 2014 from Computerworld – “Infor is betting big on Amazon Web Services for its cloud ERP (enterprise-resource-planning) software strategy, with plans to begin offering a series of product suites on the company’s IaaS (infrastructure as a service)…”

180 View – We just completed contract negotiations with another vendor that uses Amazon for hosting its system. The vendors need to pay Amazon and also add a markup on the hosting fees leading to an expensive solution for the client. There are alternatives which are less expensive. The trouble is that the alternatives probably don’t have a lot of experience with the application. Our client wanted one throat to choke if there was a problem and so chose hosting from the applications vendor using Amazon Web Services.

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SaaS and Cloud ERP Observations: Is Cloud ERP right for you?

Cloud Computing, ERP

December 12, 2013 from Aberdeen Group – “Over the past six years, Aberdeen has ben measuring the willingness of organizations to consider Software as a Service (SaaS) as the deployment model for their ERP implementations…”

180 View – Although the article is a year old, it is still relevant. The article distinguishes between 2 cloud models – one is SaaS or a public cloud and the other is a hosted model or private cloud. The definition by Aberdeen is confusing as both models are hosted. However public cloud and private cloud does make sense. In the public cloud, organizations are sharing the same instance of the ERP system. In the private cloud, organizations can have their own instance of the software. The public cloud has the advantage of lower costs as multiple organizations are sharing the same resources and are all updated at the same time with bug fixes and enhancements. A private cloud has the advantage of being customized for unique requirements that are not possible without changing source code.

The article does show that there has been a 53% increase in the adoption of SaaS in small organizations which is not surprising in that small organizations don’t have the resources or expertise to manage the infrastructure. The article also claims that SaaS implementations achieved a Return on Investment (ROI) in 23.61 months and on premise achieved ROI in 31.09 months. It’s not clear where these numbers come from but we can’t imagine they are accurate. Our experience is that ROI is wishful thinking in an ERP implementation as many of the benefits can’t be quantified.

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Larger Companies Lead SaaS Adoption

Cloud Computing, ERP

September, 2013 from computer economics – “Contrary to popular wisdom, the greatest adoption of software as a service is not in small companies. In fact, the opposite is true: the larger the organization, the more likely it is to have SaaS technology in place….”

180 View – We don’t have the stats to prove it, but we doubt very much that larger companies are using SaaS for ERP as much as smaller companies. Larger companies already have their own IT department and the business case for them is not as compelling as it would be for smaller companies.

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