Repost from Avalara

Technology trends track much faster today than in the past. When the telephone first came on the scene, it took 75 years to get 50 million people to adopt it. It took 13 years for that same number of people to embrace television. The Internet took only four years. The Angry Birds app? 35 days.

A month may be a stretch, but onboarding new technologies is happening much more quickly. 2016 will definitely see the rise of the Cloud Generation. Advanced analytics and big data are gaining traction. 3-D printers are being used in manufacturing and production. Mobile is ubiquitous. And companies are getting much more comfortable with the Cloud. A new report by Verizon Enterprise Solutions shows that cloud computing is finally mainstream, with nearly every company using it in some way in their business. A third of those surveyed said that at least half their workloads are in the cloud; Oracle is predicting this will be 70% by 2025.

So what does that mean for businesses with ERPs? Does it require overhauling your platform, investing in expensive upgrades or (gasp) getting an entirely new system? The short answer: no. Hybrid ERPs (a combination of on-premises and cloud applications) are a great bridge option, enabling companies to keep the platforms they have and evolve their systems with new Cloud capabilities through their ERP vendor or third-party providers. Garter predicts Hybrid ERPs will be the norm within five years, but many vendors are accelerating that timeline. Oracle has signed 1,350 new Cloud ERP contracts in less than two years. Epicor added 39 modules to its cloud portfolio in the last year and saw a 71% year- dedicated IT resources. In fact, Nucleus Research found that cloud applications deliver 1.7 times the ROI of on-premises applications and Oracle estimates that the cost of ownership of on-premises solutions is 30 to 50% more than Cloud.

The whole point of an ERP is to help your business grow efficiently. Leveraging the Cloud lets you make faster decisions, often in real time, and scale operations or shift gears as needed. Do your due diligence. You want solutions that integrate easily with your existing systems to minimize any impact on your business. Choose a SaaS vendor who has experience with or is pre-certified to integrate with the business systems you are using. Done right, adding Cloud capability to your existing ERP system should be a smooth process. And there’s no better feeling for a business than starting a new year with a (re)fresh perspective.

Ready to have a conversation with your ERP vendor about Cloud? Arm yourself with our handy guide and checklist: Planning for growth: Could it be time for an ERP Upgrade?