- 24 May 2017
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Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is moving to the cloud at a rapid pace, as companies turn to the benefits of cloud computing to achieve more flexible business management. Cloud ERP typically consists of a bundle of applications that help businesses automate their inventory tracking, deliveries, marketing, and accounting — with cloud computing, this is all stored on another company’s server and delivered over the internet.
Here’s why cloud ERP is booming in today’s businesses.
A cloud computing solution allows companies to host their software and data on another provider’s secure servers. This eliminates the need for extra resources — like on-site servers — as well as the need for on-site maintenance, removing the costs of continuous hardware purchases and multiple IT specialists.
The cost to work with a service provider is usually much lower than the cost of handling data storage, hardware, and maintenance on your own. Using a cloud service provider also minimizes the burden to your business. For most companies, the cost of cloud ERP programs involves simply the cost of their internet connection, and the monthly fee they pay their cloud service provider.
When handling ERP programs yourself, software updates and hardware upgrades can be timely and complicated. With cloud ERP, your service provider handles all of that behind the scenes, taking the burden off your shoulders.
Cloud ERP solutions allow your employees to work faster and more efficiently, throughout every area of your business. Think of the difference when you move from paper invoices to digital invoices — it’s instantly easier to track payment, and much quicker to enter and send information to the proper recipients. It also makes for smoother communication between departments, and minimizes the risk of error. Cloud ERP programs bring this digital efficiency to all aspects of your business, through fast and accessible data storage and tracking — allowing your staff to do their jobs more effectively.
Cloud ERP offers huge potential for scalability as your business grows or shrinks. Handling all company data in-house means hiring new IT professionals, buying expensive hardware, and finding the physical space to accommodate new hardware, employees, and more. A cloud ERP solution minimizes some of the hassle of a growing company, because your service provider is responsible for managing (and physically hosting) the hardware and maintenance of your ERP system — while you simply access the data when you need it.
Real-Time Data Access
Storing your data in the cloud makes it possible to access data in real-time, from virtually anywhere. That also means you can upload data from wherever you are, which can help minimize errors in your records. When new data is added or changed, all staff in every department can view that data immediately — allowing for faster, smoother, and more accurate communication across your teams.
This provides a huge advantage compared to older tactics, like spreadsheets. It means you won’t have old versions of your data floating around; when everyone can easily access up-to-date data, it not only decreases the risk of error, but also makes it easier for departments to react efficiently to changing data. Cloud ERP solutions enable you to become faster and more accurate in fulfilling orders, managing inventory, and getting new products on the market.
Depending on the service provider you choose to work with, cloud ERP programs can be more secure than hosting your data on-site. High-quality service providers will not only provide security measures at their physical locations; they’ll also encrypt your data in transit. Physical security includes everything from conducting background checks on their employees, to protecting the premises from intrusion. Digital security includes encryption measures, and data backup on other servers — so your data won’t be lost in the case of a natural disaster, or other crisis.
It’s no wonder business owners are embracing cloud computing, as it allows their ERP software to be designed with cloud-specific features that you can’t get with other technologies. Switching over to a cloud ERP solution is a large change for a business, but it’s worth the time for its ability to reduce long-term costs, improve efficiency, and scale easily.