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Strategy and ERP in the Cloud

Strategy and ERP in the Cloud

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Strategy and ERP
Strategy and ERP

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11/10/2015

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Carter Utzig

Dan Holland
Michael Horvath
Muthu Manohar
Perspective
ERP in the Cloud
Is It Ready?
Are You?
Booz & Company
Contact Information
Beirut
Raymond Khoury
Partner
+961-1-985-655
raymond.khoury@booz.com

Chicago
Cindy L. McNeese
Partner
+1-312-578-4638
cynthia.mcneese@booz.com

Chris Ramos
Executive Advisor
+1-312-578-4719
chris.ramos@booz.com

Mark Kibby
Principal
+1-312-578-4566
mark.kibby@booz.com

Dallas
Donald Dawson
Partner
+1-214-746-6503
don.dawson@booz.com
Carter Utzig
Executive Advisor
+1-973-410-7611
carter.utzig@booz.com
Mariano Gonzalez
Principal
+1-214-746-6511
mariano.gonzalez@booz.com
DC
Nathaniel A.F. Clark
Principal
+1-703-682-5762
+1-703-905-4050
nathaniel.clark@booz.com
Delhi
Suvojoy Sengupta
Partner
+91-124-499-8700
suvojoy.sengupta@booz.com

Detroit
Dan Holland
Principal
+1-248-680-3105
dan.holland@booz.com

Düsseldorf
Dietmar Ahlemann
Partner
+49-211-3890-287
dietmar.ahlemann@booz.com

Jens Niebuhr
Partner
+49-211-3890-195
jens.niebuhr@booz.com

San Francisco
Danielle Phaneuf
Principal
+1-415-627-3318
danielle.phaneuf@booz.com
Also contributing to this Perspective was Nicolai Bieber.
1 Booz & Company
EXECUTIVE
SUMMARY
As a wide variety of information technology services move to
online offerings in the cloud, more and more IT executives
are considering whether to move their enterprise resource
planning (ERP) systems there as well. Although some IT
organizations have succeeded in moving a portion of their
“fringe” ERP services, such as human resources systems, into
the cloud, many CIOs remain skeptical of doing the same with
core fnancial and supply chain operations.
There are a number of factors that executives should consider
in deciding whether and how to use cloud-based services for
their ERP systems. Industry type, company size, solution
complexity, security needs, and several other organizational
issues must all be addressed. In this Perspective, we analyze
the pros and cons of moving ERP services to the cloud and
present a framework that CIOs can use to evaluate the
viability of cloud-based ERP systems for their organizations.
Whether or not you choose to jump in now, it is essential that
this be marked on your agenda.
2 Booz & Company
Ever since the advent of full-scale
enterprise resource planning
(ERP) systems in the early 1990s,
companies have struggled to
balance the systems’ high costs and
complexity against the need for
customized features and fexibility.
Early on, the only choice was an
on-premises model: Long available
from companies like SAP and Oracle,
these systems are still the preferred
choice for some organizations. The
early 2000s saw the arrival of hosted
solutions, in which the platform is
managed off-site but the software
must be installed on end-users’
computers.
Recently, a third model has arisen, in
which the ERP system is distributed
from the cloud and accessed by
end-users via Web browsers. This
solution can offer substantial
benefts, including decreased capital
expenditures, lower overall costs,
and quicker implementation. Indeed,
much of the ERP market is already
moving in this direction: SAP
recently announced that its HANA
platform–based applications will be
available via the cloud, and Oracle’s
cloud-based offering for ERP,
budgeting, and planning continues
to build interest (see “Selected Cloud-
Based ERP Vendor Offerings,”
page 6). Although signifcant
concerns remain—limited
functionality, the potential loss
of internal control, performance
reliability, and security among
them—cloud-based models continue
to gain traction (see Exhibit 1).
So is the cloud the right choice?
Not necessarily. And even when it
is, there are several approaches IT
leaders should consider. We offer
an analysis of the benefts and
challenges of these systems and a
framework for how to choose.
THREE
MODELS FOR
HOUSING ERP
11.0 million = Subheads or highlighted text
in Subheads
Guidelines:
aölkdfölka = Plain text / Body copy in Content
Bullet points as dashes with tab position
32.8% = numbers in Data (Black)
30.1% = just white text on
100 % color
TABLE HEADINGS
A4 format:
- width for 3 columns: 169 mm = 6.654 in
- width for 2 columns: 111 mm = 4.37 in
Letter format:
- width for 3 columns: 167,64 mm = 6.6 in
- width for 2 columns: 110,35 mm = 4.343 in
Lines: 0,5 pt
Lines for legend: 0,5 pt dotted, black
Note:
Please always delete all unused colors, after creating the exhibit,
otherwise InDesign will import the spot colors of this Illustrator
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These colors can’t be deleted in InDesign. Thanks.
Approved Colors, Tints and Patterns:
Line Weights:
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0,75 pt
1 pt
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solid
dashed
dotted
On-Premises Hosted Cloud-Based
Implementation
Size
Large Medium Small to medium
Solution
Complexity
High Medium Low
Capital
Costs
High Medium Low
Operating
Costs
Low to medium Medium Medium
Implementation
Time
12–36 months 9–18 months 4–8 months
Company
A
Company
A
Hosted
Cloud
Company
A
Company
B
Source: Booz & Company analysis
Exhibit 1
ERP Systems Deployment Models
3 Booz & Company
The brief history of ERP systems
has been marked by both signifcant
successes and notorious failures—no
surprise, given the cost and complex-
ity of these huge implementations.
The cloud promises a new way
to address ERP’s most notorious
challenges.
Cost
Rather than being purchased
outright, cloud-based ERP imple-
mentations are paid for through a
subscription model, which typically
includes not just the software but
also the hosting and support costs.
Thus, the initial capital expenditure
required for implementation is sig-
nifcantly lower than for traditional
systems, and operating costs can
often be lower as well.
Cloud-based providers can scale
up their offerings with relative ease
as an organization’s needs evolve.
Vendors are responsible for main-
taining both the hardware and the
software—including all patches,
upgrades, and refreshes. They also
provide the necessary backups,
system monitoring, and user support.
Transferring all of this responsibility
elsewhere should allow companies
to reduce the size of their IT support
organizations and free up resources
for other activities that cannot be
outsourced. Overall, the total cost of
ownership for a cloud-based solution
can be 50 to 60 percent less than for
traditional solutions over a 10-year
period (see Exhibit 2, page 4).
Rapid Deployment
One major drawback to both in-
house and hosted ERP systems is
that vendors and system integrators
frequently use existing templates that
must be customized and confgured
to match a company’s specifc prac-
tices and processes. Implementations
typically take months and sometimes
years.
Cloud-based solutions, on the other
hand, offer a basic confguration
with a limited range of options that
are designed to meet the require-
ments of most businesses—an
approach that can signifcantly
reduce deployment time while still
addressing the most critical needs
of the organization. How long it
takes to roll out a cloud-based ERP
system is determined not by the
time required to build the system,
but by the time needed to update
any affected business processes and
convert the pertinent data. In other
words, companies must revamp their
business practices to ft the system—
a reversal of traditional ERP imple-
mentations that can signifcantly
reduce complexity. And despite the
limits on confguration, cloud-based
systems are designed to let compa-
nies quickly add new business func-
tionalities—sales lead generation,
for example—while meeting any
common requirements, such as high
availability and disaster recovery.
Flexibility and Scalability
Vendors have been developing new
ways for companies to acquire
THE BENEFITS
OF CLOUD-BASED
ERP
4 Booz & Company
additional software and functions
without going through the usual
cumbersome software delivery
process. Both SAP and Salesforce
.com, for example, offer bolt-on
applications for advanced analytics,
collaboration, fnance management,
and the like through Web-based app
stores that resemble the iTunes store.
This makes cloud-based systems
even more appropriate for companies
that are quickly evolving to meet a
changing competitive environment.
Although the benefts of a cloud-
based solution seem clear, many
companies are apprehensive about
adopting this technology for ERP
systems.
11.0 million = Subheads or highlighted text
in Subheads
Guidelines:
aölkdfölka = Plain text / Body copy in Content
Bullet points as dashes with tab position
32.8% = numbers in Data (Black)
30.1% = just white text on
100 % color
TABLE HEADINGS
A4 format:
- width for 3 columns: 169 mm = 6.654 in
- width for 2 columns: 111 mm = 4.37 in
Letter format:
- width for 3 columns: 167,64 mm = 6.6 in
- width for 2 columns: 110,35 mm = 4.343 in
Lines: 0,5 pt
Lines for legend: 0,5 pt dotted, black
Note:
Please always delete all unused colors, after creating the exhibit,
otherwise InDesign will import the spot colors of this Illustrator
file.
These colors can’t be deleted in InDesign. Thanks.
Approved Colors, Tints and Patterns:
Line Weights:
0,5 pt
0,75 pt
1 pt
Arrows:
Line Textures:
solid
dashed
dotted
On-premise Hosted Solution Cloud-based
Implementation
Size
Large Medium Small to medium
Solution
Complexity
High Medium Low
Capital
Costs
High Medium Low
Operating
Costs
Low to medium Medium Medium
Implementation
Time
12–36 months 9–18 months 4–8 months
Company
A
Company
A
Hosted
Cloud
Company
A
Company
B
Cloud-based
7
3
4
Traditional in-house
80
72
2
6
Software License
Labor
Hardware
TYPICAL ONE-TIME COSTS
(US$ IN MILLIONS)
42
119
3
12
Low Range
High Range
2.5
3.1
6.9
Cloud-based
21.3
3.8
Traditional in-house
17.5
7.5
TYPICAL ONGOING COSTS
(5-YEAR CUMULATIVE, US$ IN MILLIONS)
11.8
23.3
13.8
28.8
15.0
Source: Booz & Company analysis
Exhibit 2
Cost Comparison of In-House and Cloud-Based Solutions
5 Booz & Company
Because cloud-based ERP services
are still new to the market, and
maturity is a concern to CIOs, some
companies remain wary. Other
primary concerns include restricted
functionality and customization, and
perceived data risk.
Limited Functionality and
Availability
So far, vendors of cloud-based ERP
systems have focused on delivering
core ERP functionality such as
general accounting, purchasing,
and accounts receivable and
payable. They continue to invest
in developing new functions like
statistical forecasting, constraint-
based planning, social media, and
production management—but
these offerings have not caught up
to the advanced functionality of
traditional on-premises and hosted
ERP offerings. Furthermore, cloud-
based applications are currently
confned to certain geographies, in
part because they cannot yet support
the fnancial reporting requirements
of every region in which a company
might operate.
Reduced Customization and
Integration
Compared with traditional
on-premises and hosted applications,
cloud-based solutions typically offer
a limited range of confguration
options. That makes cloud options
most appropriate for companies that
use highly standardized business
processes in areas like sales,
purchasing, and accounts receivable.
Cloud-based ERP may not be able
to handle the needs of companies
with either highly tailored business
processes or highly developed
application architectures (such as
those involving multiple points
of integration across a variety of
legacy IT systems, highly customized
software, or packaged software).
For example, SAP’s current
on-demand ERP system for small
and medium enterprises offers only
standard connections via NetWeaver
and integration with common
applications such as Salesforce.com.
Perceived Data Risks
Companies choosing a cloud-based
ERP system must be willing to
trust a third-party provider with
sensitive company information,
such as fnancial data or customer
orders, where it may be mingled with
that of other companies. But cloud
providers, including Oracle and SAP,
have invested heavily in state-of-
the-art security that may exceed
what a hosted solution, or even an
on-premises solution, can provide.
Some of them are even willing to
guarantee that the data will stay in
the same national jurisdiction or
in a specifc data center. Moreover,
many providers of human resources
software already host and manage
sensitive employee data for
companies that compete with one
another.
It’s important to note that certain
regulatory requirements such as
the U.S. International Traffc in
Arms Regulations and specifc
business needs that involve storing
highly confdential intellectual
property may be too stringent for
a cloud-based system. Given the
measures that cloud providers have
taken to ensure security, however,
the perception of increased risk
tends to be based more on a lack
of familiarity with these emerging
options than on actual security risks
(see “Is the Cloud Secure Enough?”
page 7).
Organizational Resistance
IT organizations at most companies
have already put in place the teams
and developed the skills needed to
operate their ERP environment,
including data-center hosting,
support, maintenance, and ongoing
application development. Like any
outsourcing decision, moving ERP
to the cloud can create signifcant
organizational disruptions that
must be taken into account
when considering the options.
IT organizations with a strong
culture of pride of ownership of
technology solutions, or those
that are new to application and
infrastructure outsourcing, are likely
to feel threatened by moving ERP
applications into the cloud.
LIMITATIONS OF
THE CLOUD
6 Booz & Company
Selected Cloud-Based ERP Vendor Offerings
11.0 million = Subheads or highlighted text
in Subheads
Guidelines:
aölkdfölka = Plain text / Body copy in Content
Bullet points as dashes with tab position
32.8% = numbers in Data (Black)
30.1% = just white text on
100 % color
TABLE HEADINGS
A4 format:
- width for 3 columns: 169 mm = 6.654 in
- width for 2 columns: 111 mm = 4.37 in
Letter format:
- width for 3 columns: 167,64 mm = 6.6 in
- width for 2 columns: 110,35 mm = 4.343 in
Lines: 0,5 pt
Lines for legend: 0,5 pt dotted, black
Note:
Please always delete all unused colors, after creating the exhibit,
otherwise InDesign will import the spot colors of this Illustrator
file.
These colors can’t be deleted in InDesign. Thanks.
Approved Colors, Tints and Patterns:
Line Weights:
0,5 pt
0,75 pt
1 pt
Arrows:
Line Textures:
solid
dashed
dotted
On-premise Hosted Solution
Company
SAP
Large Medium Small to medium
Solution
Complexity
High Medium Low
Capital
Costs
High Medium Low
Operating
Costs
Low to medium Medium Medium
Implementation
Time
12–36 months 9–18 months 4–8 months
Company
A
Company
A
Hosted
Cloud
Company
A
Company
B
Cloud-based
7
3
4
Traditional in-house
80
72
2
6
Software License
Labor
Hardware
TYPICAL ONE-TIME COSTS
($ MILLIONS)
42
119
3
12
Low Range
High Range
2.5
3.1
1.9
Large
3.8
Traditional in-house
Implementation
Size
7.5
TYPICAL ON-GOING COSTS
(5-YEAR CUMULATIVE, $ MILLIONS)
7.5
17.5
13.8
28.8
15.0
High
“Advance”
Low
“Withdraw”
Very High
“Implement”
Medium
“Investigate"
Small
Low High
Solution Complexity
Cloud
Offering
Functionality
Target
Users
Market
Adoption
- Business
ByDesign
- Integrated suite with financials,
HR, sales, procurement, customer
service, and supply chain
management
- Serves professional services
companies, and manufacturing
and wholesale industries
- May have limitations serving all
geographies
- Small and
medium
enterprises;
subsidiaries
of large
companies
- Solution
initially
developed
in 2010
- About 1,000
customers
- Additional
components
available
as cloud
solutions
- Human Capital Management with
focus on talent and workforce
management
- Future expansion to include
Sales OnDemand, Financials
OnDemand, and HANA
- Large
companies
- Early-adoption
phase
Oracle - ERP Cloud
Service/
Fusion
- Focus on financial and
procurement functions such as
planning and budgeting, sourcing,
and inventory management
- Midsized
companies
- Initially
developed in
2004
- About 300
Fusion
customers
QAD - QAD on
Demand
- Specific focus on manufacturing
industry
- Includes financial, customer
management, supply chain, and
asset management functions
- Serves automotive, life sciences,
configured products, consumer
products, and food and beverage
industries
- Small and
medium
enterprises
- Supports
10 to 5,000
users
- QAD Enterprise
Applications
launched in
2007
Microsoft - Microsoft
Dynamics
ERP
- Cloud solution running on Windows
Azure platform
- Partners developing vertical
solutions and add-ons through
Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace
- Targets small,
midsized, and
enterprise
customers
- Support for
cloud via
Azure
announced
in 2011
7 Booz & Company
Is the Cloud Secure Enough?
Cloud-based technology solutions require companies to loosen their
control of critical data. Companies must take a comprehensive approach
to the risks, from both the business and the IT security perspectives.
Industry security standards are evolving rapidly, and cloud-based ERP
providers have invested millions of dollars in building state-of-the-
art security capabilities and information management processes. In
response, IT security managers need to reevaluate how they classify
applications and data based on level of risk, better identify specifc
security requirements and the controls required to manage risk, and more
thoroughly understand the ability of cloud providers to meet their security
requirements.
And although cloud-based ERP solutions offer distinct advantages in
terms of business continuity and disaster recovery, companies still must
conduct due diligence to ensure that any cloud-based solution meets
their business continuity requirements. Even if the cloud provider has
robust site-failover and other disaster-recovery capabilities, clients may
lose access to critical business systems if the network path itself is
compromised. Therefore, cloud solutions may force companies to place
greater importance on ensuring network redundancy to provide continued
access in the case of a disruption.
For additional information on Booz & Company’s perspective on
information security considerations of the cloud, see “Cloud Computing:
An Information Security Perspective,” by Jens Niebuhr, Matthew W. Holt,
Thomas Aichberger, and Angelo Rosiello, Feb. 2011, and “Standardizing
the Cloud: A Call to Action,” by Rainer Bernnat, Wolfgang Zink, Nicolai
Bieber, and Joachim Strach, Apr. 2012.
8 Booz & Company
Given the trade-offs involved,
companies must carefully evaluate
whether a cloud-based ERP system
is the right choice. In our experience,
two key factors stand out from
all the others: implementation
size and system complexity. These
issues take on different intensities
depending on whether the company
is implementing an ERP solution
for the frst time, migrating from its
current ERP system, or extending its
current system’s capabilities to include
additional functionality. Exhibit 3
provides a decision framework for
evaluating whether a cloud-based
ERP system would work for your
company.
Implementation Size
At present, small to midsized
companies are the most likely
candidates for cloud-based ERP
systems, because implementation
and support costs are relatively low.
Many large, complex companies
will fnd that cloud-based systems
do not yet meet their enterprise-level
needs, although they may be suitable
for smaller divisions if the cloud-
based solution can be integrated into
the existing enterprise-wide ERP
platform. Companies with large-scale
ERP systems may simply fnd the
benefts of scale gained from in-house
ownership to be greater than the
potential cost savings offered by a
cloud-based solution today.
System Complexity
The complexity of any ERP system
is measured along three dimensions:
the extent of integration, the amount
of functionality, and the size of the
footprint. Corporate environments

that require basic functionality,
minimal customization, and limited
integration are particularly appropri-
ate for cloud-hosted solutions. More
complex organizations will likely fnd
that cloud-based solutions are not the
best option right now.
Some companies may beneft from
so-called hybrid models, where
some ERP functionality is retained
in a traditional hosted environment
while other applications are
implemented through the cloud. A
large company with complex supply
chain requirements, for example,
might continue to maintain its
customized ERP solution while using
a cloud provider for selected business
processes, such as talent management.
A business with multiple subsidiaries
might keep a centralized, hosted ERP
solution to run the enterprise while
providing its subsidiaries with a cost-
effcient cloud-based solution to run
their local operations.
THE EVALUATION
FRAMEWORK
11.0 million = Subheads or highlighted text
in Subheads
Guidelines:
aölkdfölka = Plain text / Body copy in Content
Bullet points as dashes with tab position
32.8% = numbers in Data (Black)
30.1% = just white text on
100 % color
TABLE HEADINGS
A4 format:
- width for 3 columns: 169 mm = 6.654 in
- width for 2 columns: 111 mm = 4.37 in
Letter format:
- width for 3 columns: 167,64 mm = 6.6 in
- width for 2 columns: 110,35 mm = 4.343 in
Lines: 0,5 pt
Lines for legend: 0,5 pt dotted, black
Note:
Please always delete all unused colors, after creating the exhibit,
otherwise InDesign will import the spot colors of this Illustrator
file.
These colors can’t be deleted in InDesign. Thanks.
Approved Colors, Tints and Patterns:
Line Weights:
0,5 pt
0,75 pt
1 pt
Arrows:
Line Textures:
solid
dashed
dotted
On-premise Hosted Solution Cloud-based
Implementation
Size
Large Medium Small to medium
Solution
Complexity
High Medium Low
Capital
Costs
High Medium Low
Operating
Costs
Low to medium Medium Medium
Implementation
Time
12–36 months 9–18 months 4–8 months
Company
A
Company
A
Hosted
Cloud
Company
A
Company
B
Cloud-based
7
3
4
Traditional in-house
80
72
2
6
Software License
Labor
Hardware
TYPICAL ONE-TIME COSTS
($ MILLIONS)
42
119
3
12
Low Range
High Range
2.5
3.1
1.9
Large
3.8
Traditional in-house
Implementation
Size
7.5
TYPICAL ON-GOING COSTS
(5-YEAR CUMULATIVE, $ MILLIONS)
7.5
17.5
13.8
28.8
15.0
High Low
Very High Medium Small
Low High
System Complexity
Source: Booz & Company analysis
Exhibit 3
Likelihood of Success with a Cloud-Based ERP System
9 Booz & Company
About the Authors
Carter Utzig is an executive advisor
with Booz & Company based in Dallas.
His areas of expertise include enhanced
supply chain operating models and ERP-
based transformation across multiple
industries.
Dan Holland is a principal with
Booz & Company based in Detroit. His
areas of expertise include information
technology structural change and process
transformation.
Michael Horvath is a senior associate
with Booz & Company based in Chicago.
He is a member of the frm’s IT strategy
practice and focuses on digitization and IT
effectiveness for consumer and fnancial-
services clients.
Muthu Manohar is a senior associate with
Booz & Company based in Dallas. His
focus is on IT strategy and effectiveness.
When is adopting a cloud-based
ERP system the right choice? That
depends. Providers are investing
signifcantly in enhancing their
offerings, expanding the functionality
and availability of their services,
and reducing the risks of adoption.
Smaller companies that want to gain
the benefts of scale, lower their costs,
and drive standardization should
consider this option now, as should
larger companies looking to lower
costs and drive standardization within
divisions or functional units. ERP
in the cloud is the future, and even
companies that have good reason
not to take the plunge yet should
be monitoring developments and
considering their longer-range plans.
CONCLUSION
Booz & Company is a leading global management
consulting frm focused on serving and shaping the
senior agenda of the world’s leading institutions.
Our founder, Edwin Booz, launched the profession
when he established the frst management consulting
frm in Chicago in 1914. Today, we operate globally
with more than 3,000 people in 58 offces around
the world.
We believe passionately that essential advantage lies
within and that a few differentiating capabilities
drive any organization’s identity and success. We
work with our clients to discover and build those
capabilities that give them the right to win their
chosen markets.
We are a frm of practical strategists known for our
functional expertise, industry foresight, and “sleeves
rolled up” approach to working with our clients.
To learn more about Booz & Company or to access
its thought leadership, visit booz.com. Our award-
winning management magazine, strategy+business,
is available at strategy-business.com.
The most recent
list of our offces
and affliates, with
addresses and
telephone numbers,
can be found on
our website,
booz.com.
Worldwide Offces
Asia
Beijing
Delhi
Hong Kong
Mumbai
Seoul
Shanghai
Taipei
Tokyo
Australia,
New Zealand &
Southeast Asia
Bangkok
Brisbane
Canberra
Jakarta
Kuala Lumpur
Melbourne
Sydney
Europe
Amsterdam
Berlin
Copenhagen
Düsseldorf
Frankfurt
Helsinki
Istanbul
London
Madrid
Milan
Moscow
Munich
Paris
Rome
Stockholm
Stuttgart
Vienna
Warsaw
Zurich
Middle East
Abu Dhabi
Beirut
Cairo
Doha
Dubai
Riyadh
North America
Atlanta
Boston
Chicago
Cleveland
Dallas
DC
Detroit
Florham Park
Houston
Los Angeles
Mexico City
New York City
Parsippany
San Francisco
South America
Buenos Aires
Rio de Janeiro
Santiago
São Paulo
©2013 Booz & Company Inc.

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