What Is Cloud ERP Software? Types, Components, And Benefits

Paras Kela

Senior Writer

What Is Cloud ERP Software? Types, Components, And Benefits

Key Takeaways:

  1. Cloud ERP offers cost-effectiveness, scalability, and accessibility– making it ideal for businesses of all sizes to streamline operations efficiently.
  2. When choosing the cloud ERP solution, prioritize scalability, data security, integration capabilities, user-friendly interface, and reliable customer support.
  3. Gartner predicts over 50% of new ERP deployments will be cloud-based by 2025, highlighting the growing adoption and trust in cloud ERP solutions.
  4. For a successful cloud ERP implementation, prioritize thorough planning, comprehensive training, and ongoing support.

The days of on-premise ERP are long gone. In the last decade, businesses have switched to cloud ERP solutions to leverage their exceptional benefits, which include cost-effectiveness, scalability, flexibility, and data security.

Looking for ERP Software? Check out SoftwareSuggest’s list of online ERP software solutions.

This trend is also statistically proven by a Gartner study, which predicts that by 2025, more than 50% of all new ERP deployments will be cloud-based.

In this detailed guide on cloud-based ERP solutions, we will discuss all the major topics around this subject, ranging from what cloud ERP is, how it works, its benefits, components, challenges of implementation, and more.

Let’s get started.

What Is Cloud-based ERP Software?

Cloud ERP software refers to cloud enterprise resource planning systems that are hosted on remote servers, unlike on-premise software, and can be accessed through the internet.

These systems offer businesses flexibility, scalability, and accessibility– allowing them to better manage their operations and improve efficiency.

Here are the three key benefits of cloud ERP software include:

  • Accessible from anywhere with an internet connection.
  • Easily scalable to accommodate business growth or changes.
  • Reduced upfront costs and software maintenance expenses compared to on-premises solutions.

To encapsulate, cloud ERP software transforms how businesses manage their resources.

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Cloud ERP software is an advanced technology that can give your organization a significant advantage. Get everyone on board from the start, explain how using cloud ERP helps, and keep teaching and supporting them along the way. This makes it easier for everyone to use and get the most out of the system.

How Does Cloud ERP Work?

Cloud-based ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) works by using special internet servers to store and manage important business data and tasks. Instead of keeping software and databases on their own computers, companies use cloud ERP systems that are hosted online.

Here’s how it works

First, businesses sign up for a cloud ERP service from a company. They access the software through a web browser or special app. Then, they feed their data, like sales and inventory information, into the system.

The data is kept safe on the company’s servers, so it’s always available when needed. People can use the ERP system from anywhere with an internet connection, which is great for working remotely and collaborating with others.

Key Components of Cloud ERP Software

Cloud ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software is a comprehensive system equipped with various components, also called modules. Although each cloud-based ERP software has a different set of components, here are the most common ones:

Components of Cloud ERP Software By SoftwareSuggest

1. Core Financials and Accounting

At the heart of any ERP system lies the financial management module. This component handles core accounting tasks like:

  • General ledger: Recording and tracking all financial transactions.
  • Payables and receivables: Managing payments to vendors and invoices from customers.
  • Fixed assets: Monitoring and depreciating tangible assets.
  • Financial reporting: Generating reports for tax purposes, budgeting, and financial analysis.

All in all, Cloud ERP offers real-time visibility into your financial health, simplifies compliance, and automates manual processes for improved accuracy and efficiency. This eventually improves accuracy, simplifies compliance, and provides real-time visibility into financial health.

2. Human Capital Management (HCM)

Managing your workforce effectively is critical for any organization’s success. The HCM module within cloud-based ERP software streamlines various HR functions, including:

  • Employee data management: Maintaining accurate employee records and demographics.
  • Payroll processing: Calculating and distributing salaries and benefits.
  • Talent acquisition and onboarding: Recruiting and managing new hires.
  • Performance management: Tracking employee performance and providing feedback.
  • Benefits management: Managing employee benefits programs.

As you can see, cloud ERP’s HCM module streamlines HR processes like payroll, talent acquisition, performance management, and training. This will promote efficiency, improve employee engagement, and ensure compliance with labor regulations.

3. Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

What is Customer Relationship Management?

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a system that helps businesses manage interactions with customers and potential customers to improve relationships and boost sales.

Building strong relationships with customers is vital for business growth. The CRM module within cloud ERP software helps you with the following activities:

  • Manage customer interactions: Track contact history, communication channels, and customer service requests.
  • Sales pipeline management: Track leads, opportunities, and sales progress.
  • Marketing automation: Automate marketing campaigns and track their effectiveness.
  • Customer service management: Resolve customer issues and provide excellent service experiences.

In a nutshell, cloud CRM provides a holistic view of your customer interactions, enabling you to personalize marketing campaigns, improve customer service, and drive sales growth.

4. Supply Chain Management (SCM)

As a business owner, you must be aware of how important it is to optimize your supply chain. Fortunately, the SCM module within cloud-based software helps you with the following SCM operations:

  • Procurement management: Source materials, manage supplier relationships, and track purchase orders.
  • Inventory management: Track inventory levels, optimize stock levels, and prevent stockouts.
  • Warehouse management: Manage warehouse operations, optimize picking and packing processes, and track shipments.
  • Demand forecasting: Forecast future demand and plan production accordingly.

To sum up, cloud ERP’s CRM module helps manage all customer interactions, from lead generation and sales pipeline management to customer service and support.

5. Business Intelligence (BI) and Reporting

Data-driven decision-making is essential for business success, as it allows you to make necessary changes in strategies on time. The BI and reporting module within cloud ERP software helps you with the following business operations:

Business intelligence benefits By SoftwareSuggest

  • Collect and analyze data: Gather data from various modules and external sources.
  • Generate reports and dashboards: Create customizable reports and dashboards to visualize key metrics.
  • Identify trends and patterns: Gain insights from data to make informed business decisions.
  • Track performance and KPIs: Monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) and track progress towards goals.

Overall, cloud-based ERP’s BI and analytics module gathers data from all other modules, providing powerful reporting and visualization tools. Moreover, it also enables you to analyze trends, identify opportunities, and make informed business decisions based on real-time insights.

6. Integrations and Customization

Every business is unique, and cloud ERP software understands that. These systems allow you to integrate your existing toolkit or necessary tools and technologies, such as accounting software or HRMS, with the ERP solution to further enhance your workflow, operations, and other business aspects.

For example, you can integrate CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software to streamline customer interactions, manage leads, and improve sales processes. Likewise, you can integrate project management tools to efficiently coordinate tasks, deadlines, and resources across teams.

These integrations empower businesses to optimize their operations and adapt to evolving market demands while leveraging the comprehensive capabilities of cloud ERP software.

Cloud ERP Software vs. On-Premise ERP Software: Feature-by-Feature Comparison

Cloud ERP and On-Premises ERP are two different deployment models for enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, each with its own set of advantages and considerations. Let’s compare both, feature by feature:

1. Cloud ERP

Cloud-based ERP, as the name suggests, is hosted on remote servers and accessed through the internet. Here are some key advantages of Cloud ERP:

  • Accessibility: Cloud ERP can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection. This will enable remote work and facilitate collaboration among distributed teams.

Cloud ERP By SoftwareSuggest

  • Scalability: Cloud ERP systems are easily scalable, allowing businesses to adjust resources based on demand without the need for extensive hardware upgrades.
  • Cost-effectiveness: Cloud ERP typically operates on a subscription-based pricing model, eliminating the need for upfront hardware and software investments. Additionally, ongoing maintenance and updates are managed by the ERP provider, reducing IT overhead costs.
  • Flexibility: Cloud-based ERP solutions often offer greater flexibility in terms of customization and configuration options. This allows businesses to adapt the software to their specific needs and workflows.

2. On-Premises ERP

On the other hand, On-premises ERP involves installing and maintaining the ERP software on local servers within the organization’s premises. Here are some points to remember for on-Premises ERP:

  • Control: On-premises ERP provides businesses with greater control over their data and infrastructure, as the software is hosted and managed internally.
  • Security: Some businesses may perceive On-Premises ERP as offering greater security, as data is stored within the organization’s firewall. However, this also means that security measures and updates are the responsibility of the organization’s IT team.
  • Customization: On-premises ERP solutions may offer more extensive customization options compared to Cloud ERP. This eventually allows businesses to tailor the software to their unique requirements.

Cloud ERP Vs On-Premise ERP Solutions

AspectCloud ERPOn-Premises ERP
AccessibilityCan be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection.Accessible only from within the organization’s network.
ScalabilityEasily scalable to accommodate business growth.Scalability limited by hardware and infrastructure.
Cost-effectivenessSubscription-based pricing model with lower upfront costs.Higher upfront costs for hardware and software licenses.
FlexibilityGreater flexibility in customization and configuration.Extensive customization options available.
ControlData and infrastructure managed by ERP provider.Greater control over data and infrastructure.
SecurityData stored on remote servers may raise security concerns.Perceived higher security due to data being on-premises.

All in all, while both Cloud ERP and On-Premises ERP have their merits, Cloud ERP has an edge in terms of accessibility, scalability, cost-effectiveness, and flexibility.

Types of Cloud ERP Software

Cloud ERP software comes in various types, each offering unique features tailored to different business needs. Here are some common types of Cloud ERP software:

Types of Cloud ERP Software By SoftwareSuggest

1. Multi-Tenant SaaS (Software-as-a-Service)

Multi-tenant SaaS is a cloud ERP solution where multiple customers share the same instance of the software application and infrastructure.

Each customer’s data is stored separately and securely, but they all use the same underlying software codebase and resources. This model offers cost-effectiveness, as the expenses are distributed among multiple users, resulting in lower subscription fees.

2. Single-Tenant SaaS

Single-tenant SaaS is a cloud ERP solution where each customer has their own dedicated instance of the software application and infrastructure. Unlike multi-tenant SaaS, each customer’s data is isolated and does not share resources with other users.

While single-tenant SaaS may come with higher upfront costs compared to multi-tenant solutions, it provides a higher level of privacy and autonomy for businesses with strict compliance or security needs.

3. Public Cloud ERP Solutions

Public cloud-based ERP solutions are hosted on servers managed by third-party providers and are accessible to multiple organizations over the Internet.

These cloud ERP solutions offer scalability, cost-effectiveness, and flexibility. This makes them suitable for small to medium-sized businesses looking to streamline their operations without heavy upfront investment.

4. Private Cloud ERP Systems

Private cloud ERP systems are hosted on dedicated servers either within the organization’s premises or in a single-tenant cloud environment.

Private cloud vs public cloud By SoftwareSuggest

These cloud-based ERP systems offer enhanced security, customization, and control over data. This makes them ideal for large enterprises with specific compliance requirements or stringent data security needs.

5. Hybrid Cloud ERP Solutions

Hybrid cloud ERP solutions combine elements of both public and private cloud deployment models.

This allows businesses to leverage the scalability and cost-effectiveness of the public cloud while maintaining sensitive data and critical applications on-premises or in a private cloud environment. Hybrid cloud-based ERP solutions offer flexibility and can accommodate changing workload demands.

6. Industry-Specific Cloud ERP Software

As the name suggests, industry-specific cloud ERP software is designed to meet the unique needs and compliance standards of specific industries, such as manufacturing, retail, or healthcare.

These solutions often come with pre-designed modules and functionalities tailored to industry-specific workflows, regulations, and best practices.

7. Open Source Cloud ERP Solutions

Open-source cloud ERP solutions provide businesses with the flexibility to customize and extend the software according to their unique requirements.

These solutions offer access to source code, allowing organizations to modify, enhance, and integrate the ERP system with other applications and technologies. Remember that open-source cloud-based ERP solutions are popular among tech-savvy businesses looking for greater control over their business operations.

8. Mobile Cloud ERP Applications

As the term suggests, mobile cloud ERP applications enable users to access and manage ERP functionalities from mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. 

These applications offer on-the-go access to critical business data, real-time insights, and collaboration tools, empowering employees to make informed decisions and stay productive regardless of their location.

8 Benefits of Cloud ERP Software

Cloud ERP software, also known as cloud based ERP systems, leverages cloud computing technology to offer a range of benefits for businesses. Here are 8 key advantages of using cloud-based ERP solutions:

Benefits of Cloud ERP Software By SoftwareSuggest

1. Cost-effectiveness

The first major benefit of cloud ERP solutions is cost efficiency. These solutions eliminate the need for expensive hardware purchases and maintenance, as well as other cloud computing infrastructure costs.

Moreover, with a subscription-based pricing model, businesses can avoid hefty upfront investments. Additionally, cloud ERP software often includes updates and support as part of the package. This further reduces ongoing expenses.

2. Flexibility and Scalability

The next key benefit of cloud-based ERP systems is flexibility and scalability. It provides businesses with the flexibility to scale their operations up or down based on changing needs and demands.

Whether it’s adding new users, expanding into new markets, or integrating additional modules– cloud-based ERP solutions can easily adapt to accommodate growth and expansion. This level of scalability ensures that businesses can remain agile in today’s dynamic markets.

3. Accessibility

One of the primary benefits of cloud ERP is its accessibility from anywhere with an internet connection. Employees can access the ERP system remotely as long as they have a decent internet connection.

This will enable flexible working arrangements such as remote work and mobile access. This accessibility improves collaboration and productivity by allowing team members to work seamlessly across different locations and time zones.

4. Quick & Easy Implementation

Cloud ERP solutions typically have faster implementation times compared to traditional on-premises ERP systems. Since there’s no need for extensive hardware setup or infrastructure configuration, businesses can deploy cloud based ERP solutions more quickly and efficiently.

ERP implementation By SoftwareSuggest

Eventually, this rapid implementation allows organizations to start reaping the benefits of their ERP system sooner.

5. Enhanced Security

The next major benefit of cloud ERP solutions is enhanced security. Cloud-based ERP providers invest heavily in state-of-the-art security measures to protect their customers’ data.

This includes robust encryption protocols, multi-factor authentication, and regular security audits and updates. Ultimately, by leveraging the expertise of cloud ERP vendors, businesses can strengthen their data security.

6. Automatic Updates and Maintenance

When you choose cloud ERP solutions, you don’t have to worry about updates and maintenance tasks as they are handled by the cloud service provider. This ensures that the ERP system is always running on the latest version, with access to new features, improvements, and security enhancements.

By keeping the software up-to-date, cloud-based ERP solutions help businesses stay competitive and future-proof their operations.

7. Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery

Cloud ERP solutions also come with built-in disaster recovery capabilities, which ensure business continuity in the event of unexpected disruptions or disasters.

For example, features like data backups, failover mechanisms, and redundant server infrastructure help minimize downtime and ensure uninterrupted access to critical business systems and data.

Challenges of Cloud ERP Implementation

As explained above, implementing a Cloud ERP system can bring numerous benefits to businesses, such as increased flexibility, scalability, and accessibility. However, it also comes with its fair share of challenges.

Challenges of Cloud ERP Implementation By SoftwareSuggest

Let’s explore some of the key challenges of Cloud ERP implementation and their solutions:

1. Data Security and Privacy Concerns

One of the primary concerns with Cloud-based ERP is the security of sensitive business data stored on remote servers. Companies may worry about data breaches, unauthorized access, or compliance issues.

How to address this ERP implementation challenge?

Choose a reputable Cloud ERP provider that prioritizes data security and compliance with industry standards. Moreover, implement encryption protocols, multi-factor authentication, and regular security audits to safeguard sensitive information.

2. Integration Complexity

Integrating Cloud ERP with existing systems, applications, and databases can be complex and challenging. During the integration process, you may encounter issues related to compatibility data migration, and workflow adjustments.

How to address this ERP implementation challenge?

Conduct thorough planning and analysis to identify integration requirements and potential challenges beforehand. Also, work closely with the Cloud-based ERP provider and IT experts to develop a comprehensive integration strategy. In addition, utilize integration tools and APIs to streamline data exchange between systems.

3. Customization Limitations

Cloud ERP solutions may offer limited customization options compared to on-premises ERP systems. Businesses with unique processes or industry-specific requirements may struggle to adapt to such generic Cloud-based ERP solutions.

How to address this ERP implementation challenge?

Prioritize Cloud ERP vendors that offer flexible customization capabilities or provide add-on modules to address specific business needs. Work with the vendor to tailor the system to match your organization’s workflows and requirements.

4. Dependency on Internet Connectivity

As we learned above, cloud-based ERP relies heavily on internet connectivity for access and functionality. Any disruptions in internet connectivity can hinder users’ ability to access critical business data and perform essential tasks.

Dependency on Internet Connectivity By SoftwareSuggest

How to address this ERP implementation challenge?

Implement redundancy measures, such as backup internet connections or mobile hotspot devices, to mitigate the impact of internet outages. Also, explore options for hybrid ERP deployment models that allow certain functions to operate locally in the event of connectivity issues.

5. User Training and Adoption

Transitioning to a Cloud ERP system requires proper training and change management to ensure user adoption and proficiency. Employees may resist adopting new technologies. This will lead to productivity issues.

How to address this ERP implementation challenge?

Invest in comprehensive training and user education programs to familiarize employees with the cloud ERP system and its features. Provide ongoing support and resources to address user concerns and promote adoption.

By addressing these challenges proactively, businesses can successfully navigate the complexities of cloud-based ERP implementation and maximize the benefits of cloud-based enterprise software.


Cloud ERP is the need of the hour for modern enterprises seeking to better manage their business operations. This technology not only empowers businesses to streamline processes but also provides real-time insights for informed decision-making. However, to reap all these benefits, it is critical to find the right ERP solution that perfectly aligns with your business requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions

Cloud ERP systems offer flexibility, scalability, and cost-effectiveness. With cloud computing technology, businesses can access their ERP system from anywhere, anytime, without hefty upfront costs.

Yes, Cloud-based ERP can integrate with various business applications like CRM, project management tools, and e-commerce platforms. This integration streamlines business processes and improves efficiency across the organization.

Cloud-based ERP solutions allow businesses to easily scale up or down their resources based on demand. With cloud computing technology, organizations can adapt their ERP system to grow alongside their business needs.

Data security in Cloud ERP is addressed through robust encryption, regular backups, and compliance with industry standards like GDPR. Cloud ERP providers prioritize data protection to ensure confidentiality and integrity.

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