Cloud ERP Adoption is Accelerating CIOs

As a CIO, one of your key responsibilities is to observe trends and ensure your business stays ahead of competition in the tech infrastructure game. Sometime last year, Gartner published a report that stated that at least two percent of businesses already have their core ERP in the cloud with close to 47% of businesses slated to migrate to the cloud alternative over the next five years. If that figure seems exponential, consider this - recent observations show that the Gartner study may actually be on the conservative side. The migration to the cloud may be happening faster than expected.

Even last year, there were reports pointing towards this. Commenting on the Gartner study, Louis Columbus, the VP of Marketing at iBASEt wrote on Forbes that the actual adoption figures may be higher considering that a lot of businesses consider two-tier ERP to be the Trojan Horse of cloud ERP. Thanks to faster time-to-market, ability to support twenty-first century compliance and growth of SaaS based manufacturing and distribution systems, the adoption of cloud ERP is accelerating faster than Gartner predicts.

A recent release from Palladium Business Solutions lends further credence to the claim. According to Stephen Corrigan, the managing director of the South African company, the typical disadvantage of new technology like cloud ERP has stabilized quite considerably in recent times. As a result, it is becoming increasingly common for new buyers to roll out the technology to dozens of users in their organization soon after purchase. The flexibility and ease of cloud ERP installation is possibly a major factor contributing to this.

The positive fallout from this growing awareness of cloud ERP solutions is the dramatic growth of solution providers in the industry. SuiteWorld, the annual user conferenceorganized by NetSuite saw more than 6500 attendants last year. Add to this the more than $500 million that the company reported in revenues last year and the mainstreaming of cloud ERP becomes quite evident.

What does this mean to a CIO? For one, it means redrawing the IT strategy for your company. If your business is still on legacy ERP systems, it needs to be acknowledged that at least half of the competitors in your industry would be migrating to a cloud ERP alternative over the next 3-4 years. As the analysis of companies that have already migrated to the cloud has shown, this could mean your competitors could soon be relying on faster project executions and a bigger margin to take on competition. Advancing your migration schedule could help your business retain your edge or even beat competition if they fail to read the writing on the wall.

Secondly, this calls for remapping your business targets. Adoption of cloud ERP is supposed to bring an improvement to your business. Ultimately, if the migration does not help with exceeding targets and drastically improving the bottom line, then it is a futile exercise to begin with. The role of a CIO in this case is to sit with the business heads from various departments to identify the benefits of the process and to re-evaluate the targets.

Migrating to a cloud ERP is not just a momentous occasion for your business, but it is also a wonderful opportunity to scale higher targets. As more and more businesses have come to realize this, it is time enterprises with legacy ERP systems acknowledged the need to migrate and effect the adoption sooner rather than later.  


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Bill has been a member of the technology and publishing industries for more than 25 years and brings extensive expertise to the roles of CEO, CIO, and Executive Editor. Most recently, Bill was COO and Co-Founder of and the parent company PSN Inc. Previously, Bill held the position of CTO of both Wiseads New Media and


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