The arrival of multi-national data centres in the country makes the cloud a business priority. It is an essential tool in how a company remains competitive in a changing digital environment. It’s here that enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions play a critical role.
Gartner estimated that the global public cloud services market will grow 17.3% this year to $206.2 billion, up from the $175.8 billion in 2018. The transition to the cloud needs to be logical and made either through an ERP solutions or collaborative assessment.
Traditionally ERP is viewed as expensive, cumbersome and inflexible solutions that integrate different business components. But the modern ERP environment is quite different, especially for the small business sector.
Part of this can be attributed to the success of the cloud when it comes to delivering cost effective secure solutions and more computational power. SMEs do not care about the cloud or even ERP as a concept. They just want to get business value with little disruption to operations.
ERP in the digital/cloud landscape should be viewed as a more intelligent way of managing a business, irrespective of a company’s size. ERP must be able to integrate data and deliver on business expectations with an all-in-one solution that transcends IT knowledge.
ERP is vital in the modern environment driven by data. Consider some of these statistics. By 2020, every person will generate approximately 1.7MB of data per second. Also, the accumulated volume of big data will increase from the current 4.4 zettabytes to approximately 44 zettabytes (equal to 44 trillion GB). Google now processes more than 40 000 search queries per second. According to InternetLiveStats.com, when the company was founded in 1998, it was serving 10 000 search queries per day.
With corporate budgets under pressure, everything from human resources to IT spend needs to be managed. The cloud has the ability to scale up or down according to the needs of the business. Cloud providers offering all these services in a hosted environment, so companies can focus less on spending resources on hardware and software, and more on service delivery.
An ERP world
By migrating ERP systems to a cloud-environment, organisations can free up internal IT resources. These employees can focus on delivering value instead of performing ongoing maintenance. Now IT can be geared towards the growth of the business.
ERP in the cloud means that solutions always stay up to date. Updates in the cloud happen with minimal disruption. Some service providers offer sandbox functionality for customers to test out significant new features before they are rolled out.
A critical benefit of ERP in the cloud is mobile access. Given the growth of mobility in South Africa and the rest of the continent, linking mission-critical data to professionals in the field, in real-time ensures business value is delivered as close to the source as possible. All relevant information is accessible from the convenience of a smartphone or tablet.
A cloud-driven ERP environment provides a more secure way of benefitting from a digital approach to business. Those organisations willing to embrace it will be the ones to gain a significant competitive advantage.