The business landscape is now fully video-driven, rendered in real time, thoroughly mobilized and precision-oriented. IT is fully consumerized, and your company must keep up while keeping costs down. Although cloud enterprise resource planning [ERP] has reduced overhead, maintenance and distribution costs for countless organizations, is it right for you right now?
Enterprise Resource Planning Trends
Gartner predicts that most business will reserve the right to remain localized for the next decade. However, the trend toward cloud ERP is more prevalent in the digital media and professional services industries. Although all experts agree that adoption at some time is inevitable, many have yet to see the cloud as the one-size-fits-all solution that increases flexibility and efficiency immediately upon implementation.
The truth is that cloud ERP will most benefit those companies that take their lumps now. The learning curve is higher, but the benefits are there for anyone willing to navigate a few twists. The CIOs who are truly dedicated to the future are moving their core business into the cloud today. Those less forward thinking will face the same lengthy IT deployment and internal inertia down the road — only it will happen at a critical point — when the choice is to evolve or die. Not all of them will make it.
Making Cloud ERP Work for Business Today
The most important aspect of making cloud ERP work is matching precise business objectives to the strategy in the cloud. There is value to be realized in moving HR, finance and even supply chain management into the cloud, but only if you have detailed as to how you will reduce your data footprint and manage the replication, backup and deployment of your information.
Security in the Cloud
The suspicion among some business leaders that the cloud is somehow less secure because data is physically outside of local storage has been debunked by theory and example countless times. However, proving the data-processing quality of a vendor may help the more inert of your decision-makers come to his or her senses. The truth is that many vendors have invested in security far beyond what any in-house solution can provide.
The Affordable Alternative
Security concerns aside, it is difficult to argue with the immediate improvements in scalability and reduced overhead costs that cloud ERP provides. Instead of upgrading servers and paying IT service teams to manage routine upgrades, money can move toward true R&D, marketing, etc. The cloud is a 100 percent pay-upon-service-rendered model rather than a waste money on extra in-house staff who do nothing nine months out of the year scenario.
Any business that sees the writing on the wall will prepare itself for the inevitable move into the cloud. The flexibility, ease of use and accessibility of SaaS and outsourcing processes means greater real-time precision in a mobile, audiovisual world of instantaneous data. Results are also easy to measure post-implementation, clarifying the value of the cloud in hard numbers to even the slowest-moving decision maker.
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