ERP Cloud Hosting: Not All Clouds Are Created Equal

ERP cloud hosting criteria

ERP Cloud Hosting: Not All Clouds Are Created Equal


In 2021, PwC published a piece titled What is cloud computing? Its premise: “the cloud” is such an unwieldy concept that even two people from the same company may not be talking about the same thing when they talk about leveraging ‘the cloud’ in their operations.


“‘The Cloud’ is a term sometimes used incorrectly as a synonym for the internet or when referring to some giant nonexistent storage center in the sky,” author Prakash Venkata writes. The truth is, there are many types of clouds and cloud-based services, some of which may be right for your particular business while others are not.


In this post, we’ll focus specifically on ERP hosting on the cloud and what you should look for in an ERP cloud hosting service. 

The Benefits of ERP Hosting on the Cloud

In simplest terms, the purpose of an ERP system is to organize wide swaths of data from disparate points within a company in order to promote greater efficiency and enterprise-wide visibility. But to accomplish this, there needs to be a place to store all of that data, either on-premises or through ERP hosting on the cloud.


There are several advantages to ERP hosting on the cloud as opposed to on-premises.

  • On-premises data storage requires in-house infrastructure – namely, servers that take up space, use electricity, require cooling and must be maintained by an IT professional. 
  • Software installed on an on-premises server must be manually updated, or else your company risks security lapses in addition to the inefficiency of using out-of-date technology. 
  • Cloud operations promote interoperability and flexibility, as stakeholders can access data in real time from any location. The COVID-19 pandemic drove home the importance of being able to pivot to remote operations at a moment’s notice. 
  • Cloud storage means your data is protected even in the case of power outages or computer glitches. 

Cloud environments offer the ability to scale on demand, right-sizing your computing power, and spend, to your business needs.


Because ‘the cloud’ isn’t a singular, concrete container that encompasses all off-premises data storage, making the choice to take advantage of ERP hosting on the cloud is only the beginning of your cloud decision-making process. As the title of this post asserts, not all clouds are created equal: it’s incumbent upon business leaders to select an ERP cloud hosting situation that best suits their company’s individual needs. 

Points to Consider When Choosing a Cloud Hosting Provider

Here are some of the most important criteria to consider in an ERP cloud hosting provider. 


You’ve taken all of the security measures possible to protect your company from malicious actors: Required multi-factor authentication to access company devices and software. Ensured employees only have the amount of access needed to do their jobs. Educated employees and company leadership on the dangers of phishing and the importance of keeping credentials secure. All this hard work will have been for naught if you don’t ensure your third-party vendors, including cloud hosting providers, exercise the same level of commitment to security that you do.


According to the Cost of a Data Breach 2022 report published by IBM Security and the Ponemon Institute, 45% of breaches that year were cloud-based. Before trusting your company’s data with any ERP cloud hosting provider, you should assess the risks associated with a particular vendor by viewing their written security policies, including disaster recovery and business continuity plans, as well as their information security and data governance policies.  security practices.


Another area where cloud offerings can vary significantly is in terms of backups.  Some providers maintain only a few days’ worth of backups, which can be a problem for businesses that discover an issue that may have persisted for some time.  Each business’ needs are unique, so it’s important to have flexibility in this area. The best cloud partners will provide multiple retention policies, allowing you to maintain separate daily, weekly, monthly and yearly recovery policies, balancing recovery point availability with cost.


Cloud backups can utilize different types of storage as well.  Some backups are either non-redundant or minimally redundant, whereas Crestwood Cloud utilizes Microsoft Azure’s geo-redundant storage, which provides for three copies of your data, with an additional three copies replicated to a secondary Azure region.


It’s also critical that workloads are backed up using immutable storage technology, so those backups cannot be deleted or modified by a bad actor.


The best cloud hosting providers promise upward of 99% uptime for their services. Microsoft Azure, the foundation for Crestwood Cloud Services, boasts a 99.9% uptime rate, which translates to less than 10 hours of downtime per year. No one can guarantee perpetual perfection. That’s why it’s important you can trust your cloud hosting provider to monitor for small problems, such as failed backups, that can turn into disasters if not caught early. You should also be able to easily contact your provider in case of any questions or other support needs.

Region and Availability

No, ‘the cloud’ does not exist in a specific location. But cloud services companies, along with the infrastructure that enables a particular provider’s cloud to operate, do. Because of this, there are regional cloud ecosystems that are subject to specific regulations and availability. Take this into account when choosing a cloud provider, especially if your business has multiple locations throughout the country or around the world. 

Hybrid Cloud Connection

According to PwC’s cloud computing explainer, “hybrid cloud environments are those in which an organization uses two or more cloud types — public, private or community clouds — in a coordinated way, usually on a common goal.” There are some cloud hosting services that respond to a hybrid configuration better than others, so plan out exactly what your cloud-related needs are before selecting a service provider. 


If you choose the cheapest cloud hosting provider simply because it’s the cheapest, you might get what you pay for. That being said, there are ways to economize your cloud hosting services:


  • Shop around: Cloud hosting prices can vary wildly. Amazon Web Services, for instance, can cost five times more than Microsoft Azure, even while Azure is recognized over AWS as the most trusted cloud for enterprise and hybrid infrastructure.
  • Don’t forget about deals: You can save on Microsoft Azure by applying certain existing licenses to your subscription, or by committing to a certain computing footprint for a period of time 
  • Beware of service bloat: Avoid paying for services you’ll never use by choosing an ERP cloud hosting partner that will tailor their services to your company’s unique needs. The Crestwood Cloud, for example, utilizes Microsoft Azure cloud technology and builds in services suited to your individual business.

Why Crestwood? 

With the Crestwood Cloud and an experienced team of expert business consultants, Crestwood Associates can guide your company all the way from the planning stages of ERP implementation to hosting your data on our Microsoft Azure-powered cloud. The Crestwood Cloud leverages Azure’s industry-leading security practices and remarkable geographical coverage and combines it with Crestwood’s individualized service and reliable support.


Want to learn more about the peace of mind that comes from knowing your company data is in the best possible hands? Schedule a consultation today! 

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