SOURCE: UNIT4 Business Software

UNIT4 Business Software

August 20, 2013 12:30 ET

Five Key Questions for Non-Profits Considering Moving ERP to the Cloud

VICTORIA, BC and MANCHESTER, NH--(Marketwired - Aug 20, 2013) - With interest in cloud computing moving past the early-adoption phase, non-profit organizations are increasingly considering moving their systems to the cloud. There are many benefits to be derived from cloud computing -- including reduced complexity, reduced IT support costs and unlimited scalability. But, according to UNIT4 Business Software, the North American subsidiary of UNIT4 (EURONEXT AMSTERDAM: UNIT4), the global enterprise software provider for Businesses Living IN Change (BLINC)™, moving an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system to the cloud can be a complex move, and non-profit organizations need to proceed carefully.

To help non-profit organizations as they consider migrating to the cloud, UNIT4 Business Software has released its UNIT4 checklist that identifies five questions they should ask so they can develop a good project plan and testing methodology to ensure success.

  • Have you defined the scope of the move to the cloud? The first decision is whether to move all your systems in one go or start with non-core components before looking to move your ERP. A hybrid approach to cloud is often ideal for organizations that use highly configurable systems which have been designed to meet their specific needs. For those organizations, movement to the cloud will likely be a gradual one.

  • Is your current system agile enough to cope with changing requirements? Not all ERP systems are created equal -- especially in the case of cloud versions. Some ERP solutions have one version for on-premise deployments, and a different "lite" version for the cloud. Be certain that you are not giving up any flexibility or functionality when you move to the cloud version. In particular, be sure that when you need to make changes to your system in the future, your cloud solution doesn't create barriers to action.

  • Have you prioritized which data to move? Do you need to move all historical data or can you pare it down to the data that's vital for running the organization today? There are no hard and fast rules. Many non-profits assume they should retain mission critical data in their own on-premise data center, thinking it will be safer there. (Actually serviced cloud data centers are highly secure with all the state-of-the-art systems to ensure reliability, security and performance.)

  • What service and security considerations do you need? Whatever the promises of cloud computing, it's important that you know what's happening in the cloud, how your applications are being delivered, and how traffic is being controlled and directed. Evaluate the cloud provider's security capabilities, reliability history and privacy clauses including their back-up and recovery programs and service level agreements. Service providers should openly share the results of internal or external security audits, as well as statistics on security incidents (e.g., data breaches or downtime) and security certifications.

  • What Disaster Recovery (DR) plans do you need? Ask your potential cloud providers about their disaster recovery offerings to ensure continuous availability, operational continuity for your organization and insure against the loss of critical ERP-related IT infrastructure and data. You should know when data is moved to another data center, and be kept abreast of uptime, and physical location of data storage.

"Many non-profit organizations are already using cloud applications for a number of functions and this trend is continuing into the finance, grant management and HR areas. The upfront benefits of the cloud have been firmly established; subscriptions reduce initial costs while cloud infrastructure frees up the IT department," says Shelley Zapp, CEO of UNIT4 Business Software. "However, not all clouds are equal and if the system doesn't meet an organization's needs, the benefits of moving to the cloud are greatly reduced. Based on our experience moving organizations to the cloud, this five-point checklist is critical for any non-profit transitioning to the cloud," she concludes.

About UNIT4 Business Software

UNIT4 Business Software is the North American subsidiary of UNIT4, a $624 million global business software and services company that creates, provides and supports software for Businesses Living IN Change. It offers solutions that help these fast-changing public, private, non-profit and higher education 'BLINC' organizations embrace business change -- simply, quickly and cost-effectively. UNIT4 Agresso, the company's flagship Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) suite and UNIT4 Coda Financials, its best-of-class financial management software, are used by 6000+ organizations in more than 100 countries. For more information visit our website or follow the company on Twitter, LinkedIn and our company blog.

Contact Information

  • Media contact:

    Margaret Bonilla
    Birnbach Communications
    Phone: (603) 548-0693
    Email: Email Contact
    Twitter: @Marg_Bonilla