July 12, 2011 // By: Neetin Datar // CloMoSo and Wholesale Distribution
Cloud computing for business management applications encompasses any subscription-based or pay-per-use application service that is available in real time over the internet. And it is gaining rapid popularity as it allows businesses to easily add enterprise level software capabilities without having to invest capital in new IT infrastructure, personnel training, or new application software licenses.
Nowadays, wholesale distributors have a wide variety of cloud-based application options to choose from. They can opt for an end-to-end ERP solution on the cloud to drive value for their business, or they can go with a specific solution for a line-of-business function, e.g. sales force automation, travel and expense management, talent management, or strategic sourcing solution. All of this, of course, is done at a predictable cost and low risk.
Although the economic-side of cloud computing is attractive, security continues to be a point of concern as corporate data resides in servers outside the company. Some businesses would rather not cede control of their data or have to pay recurring fees to an outside service provider.
In this case, they often opt for a so-called ‘private’ cloud, giving them all the advantages of cloud computing but also a sense of security and control. To enable this deployment model, service providers are scrambling to get certified by application vendors, e.g. ERP, in order to run these apps in a ‘private’ cloud environment.
Some other businesses, if they already have an ERP system implemented within their firewall, are putting in place a ‘hybrid’ cloud computing model. In this case, they opt to turn-on some of their fringe business processes – such as sourcing or travel and expense management – on the cloud.