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Cloud-based software offers several new opportunities for guaranteeing growth and delivering value for businesses used to relying on traditional solutions. Real-time access to data from virtually any location provides significant possibilities for being able to streamline operations. Cloud ERP systems maximize the communicative potential of this software model by allowing the connection of multiple databases into one infrastructure.
However, users may not fully understand the full range of advantages and disadvantages of cloud computing, or the multiple types of cloud ERP models, and it can affect the output of enterprise-level cloud native systems. This can lead to businesses choosing cloud-based models that do not address their pain points or that may not be appropriate for their size or underutilizing the potential of their solution.
Here are five benefits you should be getting from your cloud ERP solution:
1. Enable Real-Time Data Connectivity
One of the primary benefits of cloud-based software is the ability to maintain continuous connectivity between separated data points. Cloud computing allows real-time access to digital files from virtually any location as long as a connection to the Internet is present. Utilizing the cloud for consistent communication between personnel and individual business units properly will greatly improve operations overall.
However, while cloud ERP solutions can provide open, constant access, they do not inherently remove the tendency to create data siloes. Without the practices and tools necessary to leverage the ability of cloud computing for real-time interaction, disconnected sections can still remain walled off from others. You must still take steps to synchronize all of your databases if you want to receive maximum value from your cloud ERP system.
Cloud-based ERP solutions must be deployed as a hub for company-wide data to achieve the best possible output for their implementation. This can be done with a scalable system that can be adjusted to use public or private cloud models as well as on-premise functionality, along with meeting all the other conditions your business requires. By leveraging your modular solution, you can populate your disparate databases with your organization-wide information in real-time.
2. Manage Costs at Your Discretion
Cloud-based solutions present a significantly different method of delivering ROI for your enterprise-level system. Though it can vary based on your exact deployment model, Cloud ERP software infrastructures shift costs away from traditional on-premise expenses. Whereas past solutions historically provided the majority of the price tag up front, modern cloud-based systems rely on lower recurring costs.
Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is the general archetype for what many often envision the cloud as. Instead of relying upon an onsite server, SaaS essentially provides data from an offsite location at your demand. This model eliminates several of the costs of a traditional software solution, including the physical maintenance of an on-premise unit and all the ensuing charges, such as electricity.
All of these expenses contribute to a considerable total cost of ownership (TCO) in on-premise ERP solutions. However, the fundamentally different nature of cloud-based enterprise-level systems introduces additional factors that can lead to hidden costs if not identified ahead of implementation. These must be accounted for to determine the true TCO of a particular cloud solution deployment and can vary between organizations.
3. A New Way to Calculate Value
As was previously mentioned, enterprise-level cloud solutions bring alternative avenues for delivering value to your operations compared to traditional ERP systems. These factors are what determine whether implementing a cloud ERP will be appropriate for a particular business or not yet approaching them wrong will provide an incomplete overview of that system’s value proposition to your company. If you attempt to leverage a SaaS solution in the same manner as you would an on-premise model, then you will grossly underutilize your cloud ERP software.
Accurately evaluating the value of your cloud-based solution entails measuring the size of your organization. SMBs that have to carefully monitor and mitigate overhead by each department will see a significant benefit from a cloud ERP system as they cut costs around their manual communication and informational procedures. However, more intricate and sensitive processes that require active user input might see no added benefit from enabling automation through the cloud.
The advantage of publicly hosted cloud applications lies in being able to save time or money on key tasks and providing access to information on-demand. Cloud ERP solutions therefore derive the most value from strategically applying these characteristics towards interaction bottlenecks, such as compliance updates, training and other processes that rely on communication. Your cloud system will greatly improve your back-office interchange and supply chain visibility if leveraged properly.
4. Opportunity to Improve Customer Service
The enhancements brought by cloud-based software not only provides benefits for back-end users, but also for forward-facing applications as well. ERP solutions in general provide a superior overview of organizational processes. Enterprise-level cloud systems enable increased visibility with real-time delivery to allow for faster customer relationship management (CRM) procedures.
A centralized ERP infrastructure performing as a hub for all organizational databases allows sales and marketing teams to accurately record, compile and manage relevant client information in a single system. Cloud connectivity enables users to access and update this data in real-time and adjust it as situations evolve. Certain automated functions provide even greater mitigation for normally time-consuming tasks.
Automation also aids sales processes and allows faster reaction times to client queries. Cloud ERP solutions with customer interaction features enable constant contact between parties and quicker dissemination of information. This helps keeps customers up-to-date in real-time and provides them with a means to access their account data at their leisure.
5. Flexibility in Solutions
All of the features mentioned here are made possible by the flexibility of cloud ERP solutions. They allow you multiple hosting options and to maintain unlimited users in contrast to many traditional offers. Scalable systems can be adjusted to fit your circumstances and grow as your business expands with the right modifications.
Maximum scalability and value delivery also entails being able to fully integrate your solution with the rest of your system and tools. This requires a suite that has an open architecture and comes with access to the source code. It also necessitates working with a vendor that is familiar with the solution and the industry you reside in to be able to fine tune it properly.
SWK Can Help You Get the Most of Out of Your Cloud ERP
If your solution cannot reproduce these benefits, then take reach out to us to take advantage of our consultants’ knowledge and experience in implementing multiple cloud ERP systems over several years and across many industry micro verticals. We can determine how to best improve your cloud software, and whether you should consider migrating to a modern cloud ERP, such as Acumatica.
Check out our Acumatica page to learn more about this solution, and whether it might be a good fit for your business.
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