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When talking to young entrepreneurs, the idea of going ERP seems to be a step they often try to postpone or avoid. A basic set of business software point solutions, chosen piece by piece, requirement by requirement, seems to be less expensive, less time consuming or less rigid. But is that really the case?

Looking at larger enterprises, the majority of them has some sort of central ERP in place. For good reason one may think. So why is it different for SMB's, and: Is there really a difference if it comes to business software requirements of big players and their up-and-coming competitors?

Personally, I see the key difference between large and smaller enterprises more in their very narrow margin of error. Small businesses usually don't have the financial buffers that LE's have. But their size is offering the advantage of speed and flexibility. They are looking for superior business insight with an ability to act in the moment. They demand seamless customer experiences from first contact to contract renewal in order to protect their customer base. They need to protect their business continuity against unforeseen disruptions with robust partnerships.

All this will need some sort of software support once the business has reached a certain size, that much seems uncontroversial. But introducing a new business software should not spoil the SMB advantage of being small and nimble. Will a step into cloud ERP be the right one for SMB's, especially in times of economic uncertainty and disruption?

We have put together 10 critical questions that SMB founders or owners should ask themselves before taking the first step in a possible journey to a cloud ERP. Maybe this helps taking the right decision at the right time.

Link to the SMB Health Assessment on SAP.com