Avoiding Cloud ERP Mistakes
David Linthicum in his article 3 cloud computing mistakes you can avoid today describes some good policies for potential cloud ERP customers.
1. Consider public clouds
We agree, with some additional advice. The article says “while private clouds are great solutions in many instances, not considering public clouds could mean you’re missing opportunities to leverage on-demand and inexpensive capacity.” Our additional advice: select an ERP vendor which provides solutions on both private and public cloud computing environments so you are not locked into a deployment model.
2. Plan for security and governance on day 1
We agree, with some additional advice. As David says, “you just cannot layer security and governance on top of your clouds; they must be accounted for in the architecture and planning from day 1.” Our additional advice: maintain the flexibility to switch between private and public clouds so you can meet your compliance needs — even after you have deployed. Sometimes your needs change, even when you plan from day 1. The freedom to choose your cloud allows you to adapt should your needs change from your initial requirements.
3. Plan for business continuity
We agree, with a caveat. The article says “it’s your (the customer’s) responsibility to plan the continuation of service around your systems, on-premise or in clouds – it is not your cloud computing providers’ job to do so.” Our caveat: the cloud provider should give you the tools to make this job easy and cover some aspects of business continuity. There are two things to worry about.
a. Application availability. The cloud provider should provide a service level agreement as well as multiple fault zones so a power outage in the provider’s datacenter does not hobble your business operations. Consider backing up to your own datacenter if you have the money.
b. Data integrity. What happens if somebody accidentally deletes all of your customer records? The cloud provider will usually make sure that this accident is replicated in multiple places (providing continuity). But you should create backups so you can mitigate data entry errors, accidental period closings, etc.