Cloudwashing: How to Tell If Your Cloud ERP is Real

It has taken a while for many companies to warm up to cloud ERP. Some have been worried about security issues, while others didn’t believe it had all the functionality they needed. Since those fears have been put to rest, another has sprung up. Fake cloud ERP. Yes, vendors are actually packaging up old on-premise systems as cloud ERP, also known as “cloudwashing”.

Below, we’re going to point out some tell-tale signs that a vendor is simply cloudwashing, and isn’t truly offering a cloud ERP solution. Keep an eye out for these while you’re doing your shopping

  • Is every customer running a different, highly customized application?
    Cloud ERP was developed as a way to have an easily implemented, out-of-the-box solution for small businesses. This allows for a quick release of new features among many users. If every customer is highly customized, these roll outs wouldn’t be possible. This is also a sign that something else may be going on behind the scenes.
  • Are they suggesting you purchase a special “cloud server”?
    Cloud ERP was made specifically to be hosted on a vendor’s server or in a shared server space. The point of having cloud ERP is to keep costs low and purchasing your own server is not a low cost, it can be upwards of a million dollars. You should not have to purchase hardware for your cloud ERP.
  • Are updates rolled out only after a year or two?
    The convenience of cloud ERP is that updates can easily be rolled out by the vendor every 2 or 3 months, and companies have the ability to decide if they want to opt in or not. These easy updates fix bugs, give more functionality, keep the software up to date with technological advances and more. Only getting an update every two years? Not a good cloud ERP option.
  • Is the application hosted on-premise but able to be “run in a browser”?
    Just because the software is able to be run in a browser doesn’t make it cloud ERP. Some vendors will try and disguise their on-premise systems as cloud simply because they are accessible through a browser. Don’t fall for this trick, you will most likely end up paying more because the system will not be able to scale with your growth
  • Do all the user interfaces match across platforms?
    One nice aspect of cloud ERP is the ability to access it off multiple platforms, whether it is your desktop, your tablet or your mobile phone. If the vendor can’t show you what the interface will look like on mobile or tablet, or the user interface looks vastly different across these platforms, you may be seeing a cloudwashed version of ERP. Cloud ERP is able to functional identically across all platforms.

Cloud ERP truly is a better option for small businesses because it offers more functionality at a lower cost, but this won’t be true if a vendor is giving you a cloudwashed version of the software. In fact, it will probably be costing you more in the long run. Keep an eye out for these tell-tale signs and call the vendor out on their bluff.

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