For some time now, industry pundits have maintained that cloud-based ERP will eventually rule and on-premises software is destined for legacy status.\nAs CIO observes, this is a big change from just a few years ago, when cloud ERP was met with outright skepticism, particularly among large companies with big investments in on-premises systems.\nSo what\u2019s behind the big change in attitude?\n\u201cThe original advantages of cloud ERP were faster deployments, immediate enterprise-wide availability of the latest versions of applications, less need for on-site support and simpler pricing,\u201d CIO\u2019s Michael Nadaeu writes. \u201cLater systems featured greater ease of use, mobile-enablement of applications and easier integration with outside data sources. Today, the most up-to-date cloud-based ERP systems have Internet of things (IoT) and machine learning capabilities.\u201d\nWith cloud-based ERP offering so many pluses, why even consider an on-premises option?\nTo get a better feel for how IT decision-makers approach this issue, we recently surveyed members of the IDG Influencer Network with this question: How long will it take for \u201ccloud ERP\u201d to be at parity with on-prem systems, or will hybrid on-prem\/cloud dominate for years to come? The short answer, according to these ITDMs: The cloud is coming on like gangbusters, but hybrid solutions are likely to have a bright future in IT.\n\u201cCloud ERP is already at parity with on-premises ERP solutions,\u201d says Eric Vanderburg (@evanderburg), vice president of Cybersecurity at TCDI. \u201cCloud ERP offers many advantages over on-premises. Upgrades and maintenance to ERP systems can require significant resources and sometimes system disruption, but these activities are performed by cloud providers. Despite these advantages, on-premises ERP will still be around for many years, albeit at an ever-decreasing proportion.\u201d\nTony Flath (@TmanSpeaks), principal lead at TELUS Security, says it all depends on the organization.\n\u201cCloud ERP will continue with growth and refinement heavily fueled by organizations that grew up on the cloud and were \u2018cloud friendly\u2019 out of the gate,\u201d he observes. \u201cOrganizations like Finance, Insurance, and Oil and Gas will be tied to hybrid cloud and on-prem-based infrastructure for a number of years to come with the well-entrenched legacy applications they support.\u201d\nTechnology writer Will Kelly (@willkelly) likewise says it depends on the organization:\n\u201cCloud ERP will find a home (or not) in SMBs where ERP was formerly out of reach due to lack of budget and in-house technology expertise,\u201d he notes. \u201cCloud ERP will also grow in the federal sector because of a recent executive order for agencies to move to shared services. The hybrid ERP model will continue to dominate in larger companies for reasons of security, performance, IT staffing constraints, and \u2018Hey, if it\u2019s not broke, why fix it?\u2019\u201d\nBen Rothke (@benrothke), principal security consultant at Nettitude, maintains there are plenty of ERP systems that are poorly implemented without effective security controls and the cloud is no different.\n\u201cThere\u2019s no magic in the cloud,\u201d he says. \u201cIf enterprises use discipline and good practices, a cloud solution can be better, faster, and cheaper. If not, it will be just as ineffectual as an on-premises solution.\u201d\n\u201cCloud-based ERP systems are already at parity with most on-premises implementations today,\u201d says Chris Steffen (@CloudSecChris), technical director at Cyxtera. \u201cSimply put, most businesses cannot afford to devote the resources necessary to compete with all the resources a cloud provider can dedicate to an ERP implementation, including modules, updates, and hardware resources.\u201d\nThat said, Steffen thinks hybrid solutions will continue for some time, primarily because \u201cmost ERP systems required a huge capital investment, one that will be depreciated over the span of many years. As the depreciation cycle comes to an end, IT professionals will be allowed to further explore cloud options.\u201d\nJack Gold (@jckgld), principal analyst at J. Gold Associates LLC, expects hybrid ERP systems to be \u201cthe norm\u201d for at least the next three to five years, if not longer.\n\u201cMany companies don\u2019t do big upgrades to existing systems that are functioning well and don\u2019t need to change,\u201d he says. \u201cBut new installations will likely be highly cloud-centric, so hybrid will likely grow.\u201d\nDavid Geer (@geercom), writer\/principal at Geer Communications, agrees with that view.\n\u201cHybrid on-prem\/cloud ERP decreases risk and increases control for the enterprise ERP customer,\u201d he says. \u201cThis hybrid approach will dominate until cloud ERP proves itself out over several years.\u201d\n\u201cThe inexorable march to the public cloud is well under way. Expect to see rapid adoption as even mainstream businesses look to public cloud for agility and resiliency,\u201d says Avinash Lakshman (@HedvigEng), CEO and founder of Hedvig. \u201cBut for mission-critical workloads like ERP, hybrid is the foreseeable future. First, organizations are conservative by nature. Just look how many mainframes are still around. They\u2019re even more conservative when it comes to mission-critical applications, and ERP is atop that list. Second, companies still don\u2019t have a solid security and governance model for their data. Even if public cloud ERP is as secure as on-prem ERP, there will be fear of vendor lock-in and data retrieval issues.\u201d\nChris Dobkins (@chris_dobkins), president\/CEO of Njevity Inc., has no doubts whatsoever.\n\u201cI predict that by 2022, cloud ERP will surpass on-premises ERP in market share,\u201d he declares. \u201cIn the enterprise space, hybrid cloud solutions will dominate as enterprise IT departments work to find the best ways to leverage the power and scalability of the cloud while delivering deep integration with on-prem line-of-business apps, integrating with existing Identity Management Systems and servicing plants in remote locations and\/or other countries where Internet connectivity is spotty.\u201d\nRichard Duffy (LinkedIn Profile), founder and CEO of SMB Solutions, believes we are \u201calmost on a business functionality par.\u201d\n\u201cYou can get your on-premises ERP with a subscription model, and you can purchase your cloud ERP solution with a perpetual license, so a lot of the discussion now comes down to how does the solution fit in your overall business systems strategy and architecture?\u201d\nHybrid: \u2018faster, cheaper, and lower risk\u2019\nDavid Rowe (@davewrowe), SVP and CMO of Rimini Street Inc., thinks a hybrid model is the winning formula for today\u2019s CIOs.\n\u201cCIOs should leverage the cloud to enable new business models and deeper customer engagement, not replicate the vast functionality in on-premises ERP systems,\u201d he says. \u201cAttempting to simply replicate on-premises in the cloud is a big mistake. A hybrid model is the best of both worlds, with robust on-premises ERP as the system of record and innovative cloud applications as systems of engagement. Hybrid is faster, cheaper and lower risk.\u201d\nLearn more about what you need to know to exploit the cloud.