Traditionally, in the 1990s and early 2000s, there was only one option for hosting ERP.
Large servers and miles of cabling ensured that an office, warehouse and factory were suitably provisioned with access to the ERP system.
Rolling the clock forward, we now have Wi-Fi, high-speed internet, cloud servers and remote workers; the days of office-based ERP access are gone. Based on this, it does not make sense for ERP to live on-premises if much of its use is not.
Private hosting and Cloud provision both offer competitive alternatives to traditional on-premises hosting. They provide extensive business benefits such as guaranteed uptime and a real-time operating system, outsourced IT staff, upgrade management and disaster recovery redundancy options.
On–Premises: Physical infrastructure within the premises of the business hosting software.
IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service): Typically a pay-as-you-go service, e.g. storage, networking, and virtualisation. Usually excludes software, OS, DBMS, etc. It’s a physical infrastructure replacement.
PaaS (Platform as a Service): Hardware and software service provision from a datacentre or Cloud-service. The business only manages the application and data layers.
SaaS (Software as a Service): SaaS is a model of software licensing and delivery. Typically, multi-tenant, centrally hosted subscription software. Updates, patching, and application management are covered within the SaaS agreement. The business merely accesses the system and administrates usage of the application.
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What is Happening Now?
ERP vendors tend not to sell on-premises hardware anymore. Instead, the end users tend to have their own IT departments with infrastructure plans and longer-term architecture objectives. Many businesses are still investing in internal hardware for a variety of reasons, but particularly those working in highly regulated and sensitive industries, such as defence. This may still be a desirable option for some, but is becoming less common as it is more capital intensive and can have ongoing staffing and internal costs that are not factored into the original purchase price.
Private hosting has become the most common approach for businesses to take in recent years. The convenience of external hosting infrastructure and management while retaining full control and access to the servers is attractive to users. There are various models available in the private hosting world but the preferred option is PaaS. The VM infrastructure is created and manged by the provider, but the client has access to the servers to manage application level control.
Finally, the concept of ‘Cloud’ is, in this context, taken to mean the provision of a solution into a multi-tenant environment. Access to the underlying infrastructure is restricted, and only application access is possible. This is the most restrictive of models, but can offer significant benefits and is the option for those wishing to pursue a complete SaaS solution. However, be aware that this is not suitable for all businesses. The Cloud model is restrictive when modification to the system is required or Computer System Validation (CSV) is required, such as the pharmaceuticals and life science industries. In cases where more flexibility is required, a private-hosting solution is a better fit with wrap-around patching and management services (Private-SaaS).
Which is Right for Your Business?
SaaS is ideal for: small businesses with small or non-existent IT teams or infrastructure; start-ups; and businesses with limited capital to invest in hardware or personnel. This offering may limit the option of development and modification of the system, so only standard functionality can be configured. However, the basic SaaS solution can make for a great ‘time-to-value’ option.
Hosted (IaaS/PaaS) and On-Premises solutions are better suited to mid-sized and large business with the capability to look after the system themselves. These businesses are also typically the ones with sites that require modification to the system, which may not be available in a SaaS offering. This can be bolstered with wrap around services, which brings the benefits of multi-tenant SaaS to single-tenant environments.
Mysoft as a Service
As a complete Sage X3 delivery partner, Mysoft can arrange for a Private-SaaS offering with the benefits of Public-SaaS, but without the limitations. Mysoft offers Private Cloud hosting, with application management services which include patching, system administration and service hours. This ensures a hands-off customer experience with the control and access required for integrated ERP deployments.
Contacts us now to further discuss which option is right for you and to find out how Mysoft can create a service that is perfect for your business.