Dynamics 365: To cloud, or not to cloud

That is the question many organizations are asking themselves this year. To an extent, just about every business is inching their way toward it whether they realize it or not. While ERP in the cloud is not quite the same as dipping your toe in Office 365, odds are your organization should at least consider it when upgrading or implementing an entirely new system.

So what do you gain when taking your ERP (Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations) to the cloud?

dynamics 365 cloud deployent

Features specific to the cloud

For the most part, the cloud deployment of Dynamics 365 is going to afford your business the most flexibility and scalability without the headaches of maintaining hardware. Some of the cloud-specific features are included in the following areas:

Compliance and certifications

  • SOC 1 Type 1 certification

Cost accounting

  • Cost accounting content pack for Power BI
  • Cost accounting workspace for mobile app

Cost management

  • Cost management content pack for Power BI

Data management and integration

  • Configuration-driven extension
  • Export data to your own data warehouse
  • Enable the export of incremental updates to a data entity


  • Electronic reporting (ER) – Integration with LCS
  • Electronic reporting (ER) – Integration with SharePoint
  • Integration with PowerBI.com
  • Analytical workspaces
  • Intelligent business process: Recommendations
  • Authoring Power BI reports with OData using Power BI desktop or Excel PowerQuery tools
  • SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) supports scaling out
  • Telemetry is transferred into the cloud

Lifecycle Services

  • Configurable business processes


  • Direct deposit

Procurement and sourcing

  • Punch-out to external catalog from purchase requisition
  • Purchase spend analysis Power BI reports


  • Production performance Power BI reports


  • Sales and profitability performance Power BI reports

Warehouse management

  • Warehousing Power BI reports

Web client

  • Task recorder – Save or load task recordings from the BPM library


  • Access to Support via the Help & Support menu

Development and administration


  • Servicing environments

Trace Parser and PerfTimer


  • Upgrade
  • Upgrade and support for previous versions

Compare the full list of features available in the cloud vs. on-premises here.

Staying grounded (on-premises)

An organization’s reason(s) for opting to take the on-premises route may vary widely from case to case, but here are some that we have encountered:

  • Existing infrastructure investments
  • Inconsistent internet connection
  • Complicated regulations (government, healthcare, etc.)

When evaluating the cloud or on-premises there isn’t really a right or wrong answer. While Microsoft’s future vision lines up with the cloud, and it is continuously evolving to provide the latest and greatest features Microsoft has to offer, the on-premises deployment will not miss out on everything. Our best recommendation is to do your research and decide which investment best fits the current and future needs of your organization.

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