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Small and midsize businesses worldwide are increasingly looking to the cloud as a preferred method of deploying and consuming software. In a recent survey by IDC, early-stage companies were shown to be the most eager buyers of cloud services, forecasted to increase their spending on the public cloud by 24% during the next few years. While cloud deployments are growing faster than more traditional methods, not all businesses feel they are ready to take their technology to the cloud.

Microsoft understands that businesses have different needs. Whether you’re ready to take advantage of the simplicity and flexibility of the cloud or your business requirements favor an on-premises solution, we provide options that best suit your unique situation. As you evaluate new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software to better manage your financials, supply chain, and operations, know that Microsoft Dynamics ERP for small and mid-size businesses provides the agility you need to keep your company going and growing—on your terms.

So let’s look at three factors to consider when evaluating moving your business application to the cloud or keeping it on-premises:

  1. Embrace Changing IT and Business Priorities

As your business grows,the role of IT become seven more strategic. Spend less time on software and system maintenance and more time on the projects that drive business priorities.

What to watch out for: On-premises deployments don’t always offer the flexibility and scalability the cloud provides. Consider the cloud if you’re expecting significant growth or you have seasonal swings up or down in your business.

  1. Support the New Way People Want or Need to Work

The way people work and connect is changing. Companies with a non-location staff have different needs than remote employees or a mobile workforce.Give your people access to the tools they need to do their best,whether it’s in the office, at home, or on the road.

What to watch out for: Don’t assume that the cloud creates an element of risk. In fact, the right cloud services are not only secure, but reduce downtime and loss by holding your data off-site.

  1. Weigh Short-Term and Long-Term Costs

Making the most of your hard-earned profits is critical to your business growth. You don’t have to move to the cloud to avoid up-front capital expenditures. It’s important to understand your break-even point and consider the long-term costs of a subscription model versus owning your software outright.

What to watch out for: Low early entrance costs that can shoot up after your initial contract ends. When evaluating a cloud provider, find out who owns the data. As contracts expire, vendors could hold your data hostage or significantly hike up your monthly fees.

To cloud or not to cloud, that is the question on the minds of many people evaluating a new business management solution. With Microsoft, you get the best of both options. A leader in cloud computing that offers on-premises options without sacrificing functionality. Our global network of Microsoft Dynamics reselling partners are nearby to discuss your business needs and make a recommendation for what’s right for your business.