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Dynamics ERP on Azure – Is Azure the right cloud platform for your Business?


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Many CIOs and IT managers are looking to the cloud for cost savings, agility and scalability, but not all cloud services are created equal. Microsoft’s Azure cloud is raising a lot of eyebrows as accounting managers and IT managers alike consider launching all or part of their Microsoft Dynamics ERP on Azure.

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Azure is Microsoft’s flexible and reliable cloud infrastructure that allows you to quickly deploy Microsoft Dynamics ERP in the cloud.  Because Azure allows businesses to build, deploy and manage applications such as Microsoft Dynamics AX, GP and NAV in the cloud, it is a great option for many businesses.

Whether you are a small start-up looking for a new ERP system or a larger enterprise looking to deploy a hybrid approach to your existing Microsoft Dynamics ERP system, Azure is a great option for cloud infrastructure.

However Azure does have its limits for certain businesses and industries.  Here are a few considerations to help you determine whether your business is a good fit for launching ERP on Azure.

Compliance and Security

While Azure is a great option for launching many applications in the cloud, public companies and highly regulated industries should keep in mind that it is a public cloud offering and accounting software and other LOB applications cannot be secured with the necessary audit documentation, access levels and backstops to satisfy compliance requirements such as SOX, FDA, or HIPAA rules.  Organizations with these requirements are better off with a hosting provider that specializes in security and compliance with audit documentation services and a compliance-validated hosting environment with dedicated SSAE-16 II servers and a comprehensive service level agreement.

Maintenance and Management

Many businesses choose to launch their applications in the cloud in order to keep IT expenses low and IT staff lean by removing the need to maintain, manage and provide support for the system.  However, with Azure all you get is infrastructure.  Microsoft Dynamics ERP is not pre-installed on Microsoft Azure so you still need a Partner and IT management team who understand the product.  What’s more, businesses with ERP on Azure still have to maintain the system, manage servers and apply updates, upgrades and service packs as necessary, since these are not included in the Azure offering.  To keep low IT overhead with Dynamics ERP in the cloud, businesses are better off with a hosting provider that includes management, maintenance and support in their subscription pricing structure, including updates and service packs.

Risk Management and Disaster Recovery

While Azure is built and secured on a rock solid Microsoft infrastructure, certain types of data and sensitive, mission-critical applications need higher levels of assurance than a public cloud infrastructure can provide. A hosting provider that is equipped to deliver cloud infrastructure to enterprise level users will be able to deliver rigorous backup and restore routines (recovery point objective and recovery time objective) as well as high levels of data encryption, data confidentiality, guarantees against Force Majeure Events and clearly stated data ownership policies.

Azure for business is a great option for many organizations, but it is up to the customer to determine if Azure meets their compliance, technical and disaster recovery needs.  Contact RoseASP for more information on whether ERP on Azure is the right fit for your business, or to request a hosting quote.

by RoseASP

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