Author: Len Landale\nCompanies are increasingly moving their enterprise resource planning (ERP) software suites to the public cloud. This is because the move brings two major benefits: a new layer of security to ERP installations, and a reduction in long-term hardware purchase and maintenance costs.\nIn addition, cloud-based ERP systems can offer companies more flexibility, enabling them to more easily embrace DevOps for related software builds. As with other moves to the cloud, a well-implemented cloud ERP system can increase your organization\u2019s agility while reducing costs.\nEvery cloud has a silver lining\nMoving an ERP system to the cloud \u2013 and operating it there \u2013 comes with its challenges. The process can be complicated and time-consuming, and running the software after it\u2019s in place can be equally complex. As an example, without cloud expertise, companies can be left wondering if the entire ERP functionality was moved to the cloud or if the ERP system is even optimized for the cloud. \nIn addition, public cloud providers are continually offering new features and services, which include powerful new analytics tools, additional security features, or new pricing models, which ensures cost savings. For the average company looking for cloud services, it\u2019s tough to keep up.\nThis is why, for some, it makes sense to work with an experienced service provider that has the skill to manage this complexity with agility and efficiency and can make the move to the cloud seem effortless.\nToo many choices\nThe flexibility that large cloud providers offer can be overwhelming. Hyperscale cloud providers make it easy to rapidly deploy new resources, including storage and computing power \u2013 both of which are major advantages of the cloud. However, this can also become a problem for several reasons.\nWhen employees take advantage of near-unlimited computing resources billed under a pay-as-you-go model, some companies new to the cloud ERP model will see their monthly cloud bills fluctuate wildly as developer teams experiment with new cloud resources. In some cases, the monthly cloud bill can spike by tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in a single month.\nWhile new features give developers more freedom and flexibility, this can open the organization up to security risks. For example, the company\u2019s cloud architects often begin changing security settings, like firewall rules, without consulting with their cybersecurity team. They may even have the power to configure storage in a way that doesn\u2019t comply with internal security standards.\nThe fact is, the cloud offers up a whole realm of new capabilities and features, which are readily available and in some cases, limitless in their scope. In some ways, moving an ERP system to the cloud is like walking into a room with 100 buttons you can push. But 90 of those buttons may cause security problems, increased costs, or other issues.\nThe answer for many companies is in finding a good partner to help navigate the challenges and make cloud adoption a simpler and stress-free process.\nLooking for a partner\nEngaging a managed services provider to help both with the move of ERP systems to the public cloud and with system management and monitoring after the transition can remove the complexity of most cloud migrations.\nA good managed services provider (MSP) will:\n\nHelp decide how best to move the client\u2019s ERP system to the cloud with minimal disruptions.\nHave experience moving a variety of ERP systems and be able to tailor the transition to both the ERP its client uses and to the client\u2019s needs.\nMake it a top priority to keep up with all the new features, tools, and other changes happening at the cloud provider where its clients are hosting their ERP systems \u2013 and notify its clients when it sees a way they can benefit from the new features.\nImplement security, operational governance, and cost-containment controls for its clients, while allowing for some flexibility and the ability to deploy quickly and use modern DevOps utilities.\nPut up guardrails that alert the client and enforce corporate policy.\nProvide 24\/7 coverage and monitoring of the cloud ERP, as they will have a deeper employee bench than most companies can field.\n\nThe role of managed services in the cloud ERP space is to allow companies to get back to the outcomes they want to achieve. The best MSP will give these companies agility, reduced costs, and increased security after moving their ERPs to the public cloud.\nFor more about moving your ERP to the cloud, you may find this blog post on Why Businesses are Choosing MSPs of interest.