Cloud-based business solutions underpin a shift to the next wave of digital technologies. What does this mean for ERP?
ERP in the cloud- Take a moment to think about all the core processes needed to run a company – from HR and finance to supply chain, procurement, sales and so many others. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions act a bit like the glue between all of these processes, bringing everything together and integrating it all into a single system. But this is ERP at its most basic. Modern technologies – like machine learning and AI – take ERP a step further by providing a broad range of intelligence, efficiency and visibility across all areas of the business.
One innovation that is having a significant impact on the ERP space is cloud.
When it comes to ERP, cloud is the way forward, says Pradeep Roy, cloud advisory lead for Africa at Accenture. While he admits that all companies should move at their own pace – ensuring that all changes they make are compatible with and beneficial to their core ERP processes – Roy believes it’s becoming clear that the benefits of cloud (cost, security, customisability and so forth) are too compelling to ignore. In fact, Forbes research reveals that as much as 70% of all software, services and technology spend will be cloud-based come 2020.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution is all about businesses operating from anywhere without any restrictions, and a cloud-based ERP solution allows different teams to access data anytime, anywhere and using any device with internet capability.
Companies have been cautious of cloud for some time, especially when it comes to their more specialised applications, says Brendan Haskins, CTO, Tarsus On Demand. “But cloud has proved its worth and ability over and over again.” Cloud-based ERP systems enable high availability, increase security and performance and make disaster recovery more effective. There are also so many ways to optimise and improve how ERP platforms run, which gives each business the freedom to tailor their ERP system to meet their needs.
Many of the business leaders running on-premise ERPs will attest to this fact: legacy systems with heavily customised ERPs make administration and updating immensely challenging, says regional director for SAP Southern Africa, Cameron Beveridge. “The large ERP systems of yesteryear have left many organisations without the agility to meet modern market demands and have complicated the process of adding new functionality to fulfil modern job roles.”