The percentage of EU businesses using Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software applications increased from 21 to 36 percent during the five years between 2010 and 2015.
By 2017, new cloud-based ERP software had two-thirds of the global market share.
As the use of ERP becomes more prominent in mainstream business, the associated technology continues to advance. To benefit the bottom line, businesses are increasingly taking full advantage of the time and money saving benefits of this software.
Even for companies already utilizing ERP, the conversation has shifted from the initial benefits of the technology to whether a cloud-based system is an immediate need. With this in mind then, what are the benefits of migrating to the cloud?
1. Reduced Cost
Cloud-based ERP systems have a low implementation cost as opposed to the traditional, hosted model.
There is no hardware setup, meaning the program can hit the ground running without the business experiencing system down time. Server maintenance is eliminated, meaning the IT department is also alleviated of a task. Software additions and upgrades happen in the cloud without system-wide downtime. Going to the cloud means a lot of saved work hours.
The lack of setup also means there is no initial balloon investment. Cloud ERPs run on a flat-rate monthly fee with immediately operational software.
Using the most technologically advanced software is no longer a game of weighing the ROI. There is no need to squeeze out every last minute out of an aging system when the update or switch to a new system happens hardware-free.
All of the costs we typically associate with system upgrades go out the window when dealing with a cloud ERP.
2. Remote access
Employees can access cloud-based ERP platforms from remote locations with the same ease as on-site staff.
If an employee is at a meeting or out of the office for a training day, they can still give their boss an immediate answer about the quarterly report for example.
Staff can also benefit from having access to apps and updates as soon as they connect. There is no VPN or slow remote portal technologies to slow them down.
Cloud-based ERP software is designed for today’s modern worker, allowing employees to work comfortably from anywhere. The platform has mobile functionality and user interfaces specifically made for smartphone and mobile devices. Multinational corporations with remote geographic locations face no problems accessing a cloud system.
Employees aren’t restricted by proprietary machines either. No more carrying around heavy corporate laptops just to finish a small assignment over the weekend.
The cloud also means universal access that isn’t limited by budget. There is no need for the company to invest in special equipment or limit the number of users in the system due to budget. Staff can access the cloud ERP from their personal devices or from shared company devices with ease.
3. Business intelligence (BI) capabilities
Cloud-based ERPs are innovative because they easily integrate with other operations that make the business run smoothly.
Extracting data is simple when Business Intelligence (BI) programs can connect with the organized data storage and user activity records available through an ERP.
There are built in analytics features too. Administrators and board members can do information drill-downs for critical decisions. They can also bring up real-time graphics and reports during a board meeting. All information is provided in real time without needing to wait on periodic system updates.
The level of access to data is higher, BI capabilities are transparent, and the accuracy of cloud-based ERPs is therefore higher in comparison to traditional programs.
4. Heightened security
Last but not least, cloud-based ERPs are forward thinking when it comes to security.
Cyber security measures are centralized and flexible for stratified permissions controls.
The cloud offers secure gateways for remote access, document management systems that prevent the download of sensitive data, and on-site archival of sensitive information to avoid it falling into the wrong hands.
Document retention is built into the cloud so that companies can be sure that they are compliant with government standards in their industry.
Security measures prevent data loss and ensure proper authentication of user access to the system as a whole. Companies also have the option to give authorisation permissions to file managers and leave IT administrators out of the HR equation.
With reduced costs and increased flexibility and security, the cloud offers more advanced capabilities than other ERP formats.
As your company moves forward with business management systems, these capabilities can help you decide when it’s time to migrate to the cloud.