Migrating ERP applications to the cloud is no easy feat, especially when much of the data is deemed business critical. While many businesses still have on-premise ERPs, many executives are now considering what the cloud has to offer, but despite improvements, migration challenges remain.

Are organizations migrating ERP data to the cloud?

Even though challenges lie ahead, nearly 70 percent of businesses are migrating data for ERP applications to the cloud, according to a recent study, titled “The Impact of Cloud on ERP,” by Cloud Security Alliance (CSA). From various industries — including technology, manufacturing and financial — the businesses surveyed stated three benefits to moving ERP to the cloud: scalability with new technologies; lower cost of ownership and security patching; and updating by the provider. While there are risks to migrating ERP applications to the cloud, businesses leaders aren’t too concerned.

Many businesses don’t believe migrating ERP applications to the cloud increases risk

It’s not that business executives don’t understand the significance of data from ERP applications — they do (nearly 53 percent of survey respondents stated ERP applications are extremely important to their businesses) — it’s just that they trust the cloud with the data, which nearly 90 percent of survey respondents consider to be business critical. In fact, only about 35 percent anticipate a slight risk increase in security incidents after migrating ERP data to the cloud; nearly 31 percent expect the security risk to remain the same. Despite the confidence in cloud security, business leaders are still taking proper precautions by implementing the following security solutions: identity and access management, firewalls and vulnerability assessments. While 77 percent of survey respondents believe it’s their responsibility to secure their ERP applications, migrating data to the cloud isn’t necessarily an easily achievable goal — especially when the time is of the essence.

Migrating ERP data to the cloud is still complex for many organizations

Even though many organizations are migrating business-critical applications to the cloud, an overwhelming number of CIOs have reported “data migration projects falling short due to complexity across on-premise and cloud platforms,” according to the study. As a result, these complexities caused delays — in addition to disrupting business operations — at many of the businesses surveyed. Only 26 percent of the organizations achieved data migration within their expected time frames (the average migration period was a year). The most commonly cited reasons for delays? Customization, network latency, and cloud provider usage limits — all of which can be easily prevented if businesses bring experienced IT professionals on board early in the migration process.

To avoid potential delays when migrating data from ERP applications to the cloud, businesses unsure of the process can (and should) seek help from local IT professionals to ensure a smooth transition. Working with third-party providers — such as managed services providers (MSPs) — businesses can mitigate challenges when migrating business-critical applications to the cloud. To relieve concerns among executives regarding the migration process — including moving sensitive data, security and compliance challenges — MSPs properly manage cloud migrations from start to finish. They know how to efficiently prepare customers before migrating sensitive data to the cloud to prevent disaster.

Now more than ever, organizations are moving ERP data to the cloud, despite the ever-growing number of security breaches occurring at businesses of all sizes. While many businesses believe ERP applications contain business-critical data, they don’t expect to see an increase in security incidents by migrating to the cloud. There are downfalls to moving ERP applications to the cloud, though, including potential delays if migration efforts aren’t handled properly. By collaborating with IT professionals on moving business-critical data to the cloud, businesses can avoid adverse outcomes.