Built For The Cloud vs. Adapting To The Cloud

Built For The Cloud vs. Adapting To The Cloud

Built For The Cloud vs. Adapting To The Cloud

It may just sound like semantics, but there is a real difference between something that was “built for” versus “adapted to.” Would you rather buy a house that was “designed for” energy efficiency or one that was “adapted to” be energy efficient?technology

Built for” describes a software product that engineers designed from the ground up to utilize and incorporate the features of cloud computing technology. “Adapted to” implies a software product wasn’t specifically designed with cloud computing in mind, but rather a company made its older, legacy solution “compatible “ with the cloud.

This is an important distinction for several reasons.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology’s definition of cloud computing identifies “five essential characteristics“:

On-demand self-service: A consumer can unilaterally provision computing capabilities, such as server time and network storage, as needed, automatically without requiring human interaction with each service provider.

Broad network access: Capabilities are available over the network and accessed through standard mechanisms that promote use by heterogeneous thin or thick client platforms (e.g., mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and workstations).

Resource pooling: The provider’s computing resources are pooled to serve multiple consumers using a multi-tenant model, with different physical and virtual resources dynamically assigned and reassigned according to consumer demand.

Rapid elasticity: Capabilities can be elastically provisioned and released, in some cases automatically, to scale rapidly outward and inward commensurate with demand. To the consumer, the capabilities available for provisioning often appear unlimited and can be appropriated in any quantity at any time.

Measured service: Cloud systems automatically control and optimize resource use by leveraging a metering capability at some level of abstraction appropriate to the type of service (e.g., storage, processing, bandwidth, and active user accounts). Resource usage can be monitored, controlled, and reported, providing transparency for both the provider and consumer of the utilized service.

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software that is “designed for” the cloud incorporates all of these features. The result is that a wide variety of devices can access such software, thus increasing application portability. Additionally, the dynamic optimization of computing resources and elasticity ensures a consistent user connection experience regardless of time of day or location. This open accessibility and resource optimization without human intervention on the part of the user is the essence of cloud computing technology.

This capability may be critical to companies whose operations include offices in international locations or span multiple time zones domestically or who run multiple shift operations. Even more important may be the need for 24/7 availability for customer ordering and customer self-service applications.

Then there is the issue of deployment options. ERP solutions that are designed for the cloud can usually be deployed in the public cloud, a private cloud, of a combination (hybrid) configuration. The greater the available options, the greater the flexibility and potential “fit” to a given company’s needs.

In terms of scalability, the public cloud is virtually limitless. Recent investments by companies such as Amazon and IBM in cloud infrastructure are indicative of the growing scalability and acceptance of the cloud as a primary enterprise computing platform.

Private cloud instances are limited by in-house infrastructure but provide similar potential scale constrained only by an organization’s ability to make the necessary investments. A hybrid cloud configuration is often a perfect solution when internal infrastructure is limited.

ERP software that is “adapted to” the cloud may not incorporate many of the accessibility and resource transparency features of a true cloud environment. As a result, the use of computing devices may be limited and the user connection experience may vary depending on location or time of day.

A variety of deployment options also provides for growth. A company may start with ERP software hosted in a public cloud, because it requires minimum investments in hardware and IT resources to set up and maintain. However, as that company grows in terms of transaction volume and process complexity, it may makes sense to move to a private cloud or hybrid configuration in order to more easily integrate its ERP system with other internal applications or databases. The limitations of an ERP solution that is “adapted to” the cloud to support a variety of platform configurations may inhibit a company’s ability to change or may require a “re-implementation” of its ERP software at great cost and disruption of business focus.

Finally, but perhaps most importantly, software that is designed for the cloud ensures future releases will keep pace with the evolution of cloud computing technology in terms of security, Application Program Interfaces (APIs), database integration, and other technical features. There can be little doubt that the cloud as a platform for enterprise systems is here to stay. Cloud computing technology will continue to evolve in terms of its underlying design, as well as integration with new technologies. By contrast, ERP systems that are adapted to the cloud may not be able to keep pace with cloud computing technology due to limitations or incompatibility of their underlying technology design.

These differences are important ones for any organization to consider in their selection of an ERP software platform. However they are of particular importance for small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) that are considering an ERP software suite for the first time. For them, choosing an ERP solution that is designed for the cloud ensures that they will employ the latest ERP technology to optimize their business processes and improve customer service. It also means they will have selected a technology platform and vendor that can grow with their business and deliver the future capabilities they will need to succeed.
There’s just no way one can “adapt” that!

For more information on Acumatica and its services, please click here.

By Jon Roskill

About Jon Roskill

Jon is the CEO of Acumatica. He has more than 25 years of leadership experience in the software business, including a 20-year career at Microsoft where he led efforts in product development, business operations, strategy, and marketing. As the former Microsoft Channel Chief, Jon led a global sales and marketing team of more than 5,000 employees.

Find out more
View All Articles

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

E-Commerce Advances For Savvy Marketers

E-Commerce Advances For Savvy Marketers

Digital Marketing Platforms Advertising and marketing techniques have progressed rapidly in the last decade with both channel focus and the direction of content shifting considerably due primarily to advances in cloud technology. Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce 2016 singles out a few ecommerce providers who are topping their sector in both ability to execute…

The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – Energy Battle

The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – Energy Battle

By David Fletcher Please feel free to share our comics via social media networks such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest. Clear attribution (Twitter example: via@cloudtweaks) to our original comic sources is greatly appreciated.

Recent Articles - Posted by
Cloud Comings and Goings

Cloud Comings and Goings

Cloud Power Amazon Web Services – the giant of cloud computing – is on track to do $10 Billion in revenue this year. Yet, rumors swirl that Apple may take a huge chunk of business away from them and Dropbox has definitely left AWS. Is something wrong at AWS? Wait, Salesforce.com (SFDC) – the granddaddy of…

Digital Transformation: Not Just For Large Enterprises Anymore

Digital Transformation: Not Just For Large Enterprises Anymore

Digital Transformation Digital transformation is the acceleration of business activities, processes, and operational models to fully embrace the changes and opportunities of digital technologies. The concept is not new; we’ve been talking about it in one way or another for decades: paperless office, BYOD, user experience, consumerization of IT – all of these were stepping…

Connecting the Digital Dots with the Internet of Things

Connecting the Digital Dots with the Internet of Things

The IoT Explosion In The Cross-Industry Category Gartner estimates that 6.4 billion Internet of Things (IoT) devices will be in use in 2016, nearly a third more than last year, and with attentive patrons such as Samsung, recently committing to invest $1.2 billion into IoT research in the US over four years, we can happily…

Disaster Recovery And The Cloud

Disaster Recovery And The Cloud

Disaster Recovery And The Cloud One of the least considered benefits of cloud computing in the average small or mid-sized business manager’s mind is the aspect of disaster recovery. Part of the reason for this is that so few small and mid-size businesses have ever contemplated the impact of a major disaster on their IT…

5 Surprising Ways Cloud Computing Is Changing Education

5 Surprising Ways Cloud Computing Is Changing Education

Cloud Computing Education The benefits of cloud computing are being recognized in businesses and institutions across the board, with almost 90 percent of organizations currently using some kind of cloud-based application. The immediate benefits of cloud computing are obvious: cloud-based applications reduce infrastructure and IT costs, increase accessibility, enable collaboration, and allow organizations more flexibility…

Cost of the Cloud: Is It Really Worth It?

Cost of the Cloud: Is It Really Worth It?

Cost of the Cloud Cloud computing is more than just another storage tier. Imagine if you’re able to scale up 10x just to handle seasonal volumes or rely on a true disaster-recovery solution without upfront capital. Although the pay-as-you-go pricing model of cloud computing makes it a noticeable expense, it’s the only solution for many…

The Internet of Things Lifts Off To The Cloud

The Internet of Things Lifts Off To The Cloud

The Staggering Size And Potential Of The Internet of Things Here’s a quick statistic that will blow your mind and give you a glimpse into the future. When you break that down, it translates to 127 new devices online every second. In only a decade from now, every single vehicle on earth will be connected…

Cloud Infographic – The Internet Of Things In 2020

Cloud Infographic – The Internet Of Things In 2020

The Internet Of Things In 2020 The growing interest in the Internet of Things is amongst us and there is much discussion. Attached is an archived but still relevant infographic by Intel which has produced a memorizing snapshot at how the number of connected devices have exploded since the birth of the Internet and PC.…

Cloud Computing – A Requirement For Greater Innovation

Cloud Computing – A Requirement For Greater Innovation

Cloud Computing Innovation Sao Paulo, Brazil has had trouble with both energy and water supplies as of late. Despite it is the rainy period. Unfortunately Sao Paulo is very dependent on its rain as a majority of its power is generated from large dams. No water, no energy. Difficult situation for a city of some…

Cloud Computing – The Real Story Is About Business Strategy, Not Technology

Cloud Computing – The Real Story Is About Business Strategy, Not Technology

Enabling Business Strategies The cloud is not really the final destination: It’s mid-2015, and it’s clear that the cloud paradigm is here to stay. Its services are growing exponentially and, at this time, it’s a fluid model with no steady state on the horizon. As such, adopting cloud computing has been surprisingly slow and seen more…