To Cloud or not to cloud? That is the question. The cloud has unquestionably altered the enterprise world in ways that have been staggering. It has opened up capabilities and flexibility to complex business systems that were unimaginable just a few years ago. It has unleashed a creative potential among developers to make our work applications as fun, and yes, I’ll say as sexy, as our consumer applications. But on-premise enterprise solutions still have important merits – particularly with respect to security and even predictability.
Aye, there’s the rub! So what’s an enterprise to do?
Well, unlike Hamlet, I say there’s no need to have an existential crisis. It really depends on what cloud application your company is using and whether it is being used as intended. In my last blog, I talked specifically about business intelligence – and the incredible capabilities that these tools provide when used correctly, and their severe limitations when they are abused.
Today I want to talk about the pros and cons of the cloud – specifically for performance management. Let me switch from channeling my best Laurence Olivier to Clint Eastwood, and I’ll lay out the Good, the Bad and the Ugly of the cloud. (Hey, this former CPA can dream, right??)
- The Good – Usability is the biggest benefit to going with a cloud-based solution or tool. You can access most of your information from anywhere with an Internet connection. Also, cloud software automatically updates current features and functions – which means less maintenance for your IT team. You can also quickly scale up or down depending on changes to your business.
- The Bad – Security is not guaranteed with the cloud. Extracting information out of the ERP to be replicated and held within the cloud storage is risk. Frankly, whenever information is disconnected from the native source of the ERP then one runs a risk. That’s why native integration is so key to your ERP! Cloud, on-premise or otherwise. More on that here.
- The Ugly – Cost can be unpredictable with the cloud, especially as you move beyond your initial toe-dip and into a much larger footprint of data and business users. However, paying to expand and maintain your own on-premise data warehouse isn’t exactly cost effective either. Also, ERP data isn’t necessarily available in real-time in the cloud, depending on how frequently your cloud application synchs to your ERP.
“Hmm,” you say. “I’m back to having that existential crisis.” Well, I am here to challenge the notion that you have to sacrifice any benefits of the cloud or on-premise when choosing a performance management solution for your organization. Next-gen technology found in solutions such as Hubble bring together the best of both worlds.
The technology we have developed in our hybrid option of our solution minimizes the need for IT oversight by putting the application in the cloud but de-risks the bad and the ugly by directly linking to your on-premise ERP system and data. So, you get all of the benefits of cloud software, like easy access anywhere and minimal IT management but with a direct connection to all of your private data within your secure ERP.
Imagine a virtual tunnel – travelling at the speed of light – that connects your company’s ERP to easy-to-use cloud applications. You never have to worry about when the cloud last synced your data. You can access all of your data in real-time and within your own secure infrastructure. This integrated cloud application is always up-to-date and always on. Hubble’s hybrid approach allows you to access reporting, analytics, and planning through a web browser with access to your live ERP data – all of it. You won’t need a data warehouse. Data is always live and synched to your applications.
So there you have it. Congratulations, you have read this far about the benefits of a cloud/on-premise hybrid approach. I’d like to hear your thoughts about what your enterprise is facing with respect to corporate performance management. And I always want to hear your best (bad?) Hamlet and/or spaghetti western puns. You know what to do.