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Anticipate From Crossing on Fake Cloud

Updated: Dec 3, 2021

You've decided that you no longer want responsibility for maintaining and supporting your ERP system in-house. That's a wise choice—and one that reflects the ever-increasing numbers of companies moving to the cloud to focus more on their business instead of their IT infrastructure.

But buyers beware: Not all hosted software offerings marketed as "cloud" are true cloud solutions. Recognizing a lucrative chance to create an additional revenue stream, many on-premise vendors are trying to pull the cloud over your eyes by "cloud-washing" their applications.

So how can you tell a true cloud solution from a fake one? And, more importantly, why should you care?

Who's Running the (Server) Farm?

True cloud vendors design their solutions from the ground up for the cloud. They code their software to perform better as a fully hosted solution and build talent and expertise around hosting, maintaining, and managing the software across hundreds of servers and across multiple levels of data redundancy in their own multi-tenant cloud environments.

Despite what fake cloud vendors will tell you, multi-tenancy matters. For example, with a true cloud provider, all customers typically access the same solution from the same cloud. This gives customers continuous and instantaneous access to the latest product upgrades.

The best cloud vendors also provide a customization platform that allows you to not only customize your application on their platform, but ensure that all of your customizations continue to work when a new product enhancement is rolled out by the vendor. This ensures that you not only get to use the latest functionality without delay, but that you do not need to constantly re-implement customizations and integrations you previously had in place every time a new product version comes out.

Now take a look at how fake cloud vendors work. Many ERP systems that are billed as running in the "cloud" were designed to run on-premise. These vendors typically do not host, manage, or maintain these "cloud" ERP solutions. Instead, they turn responsibility over to a local value-added reseller (VAR) or other service provider. This is very similar to how application service providers (ASPs) operated more than 20 years ago, and there's a good reason most of them went out of business.

Drawbacks of a Fake Cloud (Hosted) Solution

By subscribing to an on-premise ERP application that is simply hosted at another company, you experience many of the same problems and costs as if you were hosting it yourself—only with the added drawback that access is typically slower than if you had the software installed on your own servers, not to mention the need to depend on a third party to address your issues.

In a nutshell, fake cloud solutions are more expensive, inefficient, and not nearly as scalable. Some specific flaws include: