The enterprise resource planning (ERP) market is transitioning to incorporate newer technologies into the fold. Businesses today no longer have to operate costly and complicated on-site ERP deployments if they do not want to, thanks to advancements such as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).

SaaS allows firms to avoid purchasing on-premise applications in favor of solutions delivered via the Internet. This frees up internal resources and makes it possible for even small businesses to leverage the functionality of ERP.

A TechNavio report predicted that the global SaaS-based ERP market will expand at a compound annual growth rate of approximately 17.2 percent between 2013 and 2018. The firm explained that this development is expected to take place because more organizations are focusing on achieving real-time decision-making capabilities.

With an SaaS model in place, businesses can empower the workforce in the ways that are not possible with outdated equipment. Personnel can now access enterprise applications anywhere, regardless of physical location, remaining productive even if they are not sitting at their office desk.

Infor solutions figure to play an important role in the growing SaaS-based ERP industry, according to TechNavio, which asserted that Infor and other service providers will dominate the market during the forecast period.

Infor's future plans
In an interview with InformationWeek, Infor CEO Charles Phillips indicated that the service provider is focusing on integrating cloud computing and ecommerce capabilities with its offerings, which should have a significant impact on its SaaS tools.

The UpgradeX program makes it easy for clients to adopt cloud-based environments, while Rhythm is a cloud-based ecommerce platform that helps businesses establish Internet stores that are operated by content management suites. InformationWeek reported that as of the writing of the article, 20 percent of all of Infor's operations are conducted via the cloud.

"It's like a normal application upgrade except now the machines, the patching and the upgrades will be managed by us and we make the move as risk free as possible," Phillips told InformationWeek. "We flip them to a subscription from paying maintenance, and from that point on they're paying a per-user fee just like any other SaaS application."

Businesses planning an ERP implementation would do well to go through a list a potential vendors. Firms that want the affordability and flexibility of Internet-based applications can benefit greatly from partnering with Infor, which currently boasts more than 70,000 clients worldwide.