Dynamics AX Infrastructure – Cloud or Not To Cloud That Is the Question?

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Companies implementing  Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 ERP solution often ask Tridea Partners whether they should use a cloud provider to host their application.  The decision to use the cloud or an on-premise solution for your AX 2012 infrastructure depends on many factors.  In this blog we consider some of the high level factors that will help lead you to one option over the other.

  • Implementation Complexity: Typically, basic financials implementations are the best candidates for cloud implementations. Customers should carefully consider the impact that customizations, integrations, multiple locations, and manufacturing functionality will have on the feasibility of a hosted infrastructure solution.
  • Regulatory Requirements: If your company is subject to regulatory oversight (e.g., FDA, HIPAA, and/or Sarbanes-Oxley) and your AX 2012 application is within scope then this is an important risk to consider for a hosted solution. Often hosted solutions can be made compliant but they require a certified hosting partner, additional processes and controls, and more complex internal and external auditing. Companies need to consider these additional costs versus an on-premise solution.
  • Enterprise Integration: I find this factor is often overlooked because customers view their AX 2012 system as a standalone application within the enterprise. However, many times there are dependencies on other enterprise applications that have been implemented using on-premise infrastructure. Examples include Exchange (e.g., emailing invoices), SharePoint (storing documents such as customer agreements), and security (active directory, dual factor authorization, single sign-on). Also AX data may be an important component of a data warehouse and business intelligence application requiring a daily export, transform and load process from the AX database. Sufficient considerations of these dependencies need to be made before deciding on infrastructure options for your AX 2012 application.
  • Corporate Strategy and Core Competencies: Finally, one must consider the overall strategy and core competencies of your company. Has the company outsourced other parts of the business (such as manufacturing & distribution) and does it have a long track record of effectively managing outsourced providers? Or does it seek to be vertically integrated? Does the IT organization have the resources (people, processes, & facilities) to manage the implementation and support in-house? Is your company conserving cash and would prefer an expense model versus capital investment? Answers to these questions will help drive your decision.

The good news is that Tridea Partners has the expertise to help you find the right Infrastructure solution that meets your AX 2012 implementation needs.

This article was written by Bob Cohen, Partner at Tridea Partners. Tridea Partners is a Southern California based Dynamics AX partner.

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