Enterprise Resource Planning has been in operation since the 1960s, but the advent of the cloud is revolutionising ERP and the way that it has been used in recent times.
With a predicted 47% of companies planning to take their ERP system to the cloud within the next five years, the race is on for companies to adopt full cloud-based capabilities. Thousands of companies are reliant on ERP for their everyday business operations, yet some have been running out-of-date versions with no support contract in place. Others are running ERP on in-house mainframe systems that do not represent cutting-edge technology. These are expensive ways to manage ERP and are also huge security and compliance risks which may put a company in breach of strict industry regulations. Organisations in this position are urged to make the move to cloud-based ERP.
Advantages Of Cloud-Based ERP
The cloud offers many benefits for companies who are utilising an ERP system. It is installed and managed from a single platform which end-users back in the office, or from a remote location can access from a web browser as if it was installed on their desktop or mobile device. The cloud services provider (CSP) is responsible for securing the data and managing the software on the servers within their cloud-based environment. This provides clear cost-saving advantages over paying IT staff to manage and maintain in-house ERP. All patches and upgrades will be completed by the CSP without the need to rollout a new version to the end-user desktop. The next time a user logs in following an upgrade, they will be seamlessly presented with the updated version of ERP.
Performance of ERP in the cloud is also superior. Resources in the cloud are assigned to a customer based on their requirements. If those needs change due to a spike in usage, perhaps due to growth in the organisation or just a peak season for the industry, then extra resources such as disk space or memory will automatically be given to the ERP system. This will ensure that cloud-based ERP will always be able to handle the volume of activity that you throw at it, without fear of overload leading to a system crash or downtime. Cloud service providers boast exceptionally low downtime rates – Amazon Web Services for instance was offline for only 2 hours and 30 minutes throughout the whole of 2015.
Third Party Unity
Hosting all your internal applications on a single server within the cloud also provides your organisation with a more efficient architecture. If your ERP is stored on the same platform as other business applications such as CRM or an accounting system, then this provides a unified way in which your apps can share a database and communicate with each other. This scenario also offers real-time reporting and a single user interface as a bonus.
Cloud-based ERP has adapted to provide excellent solutions for mobile users. This is particularly true in the manufacturing industry where developments with the mobile platform are unifying the way in which delivery tracking, material handling, warehouse management and logistics are accomplished. These are areas where current information is vital to the smooth running of a global manufacturing and distribution company. Mobile ERP apps are at the heart of this exchange of information and include the ability to provide alerts to senior managers back in the office about events that are taking place in the field.
The Digital Skills Market
As the rate at which companies are adopting the cloud is increasing even beyond the predictions of experts, it is important to realise what this may mean for the digital skills market. There may of course be a downsizing consequence to IT departments in some companies who are moving to the cloud for reasons of cost. IT professionals who may be at risk are those who have remained stagnant and have not equipped themselves with either the skills or abilities to move forward into the next stage of the digital era. However, those who possess cloud training will be much in demand as this industry is rapidly expanding to include new areas such as Backend as a Service and Cloud Ops.
If you need help and guidance in deciding where your niche technology career is heading, then don’t hesitate to contact us today. Alternatively, if you are in need of cloud-based or ERP professionals, then get in touch. We will be able to perfectly match your staffing requirements by tapping into our pool of top calibre professionals who can propel your organisation further forward in the digital era. Want to know more? Contact us today.