Enterprise software has come an incredibly long way since it was first coined in the 1990’s, but for too long it has been dismissed as solely the territory of mid-market enterprises. That time, it seems is now over, with cloud computing promising to revolutionise the way businesses and financial directors view Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP).
The research, conducted by YouGov, found nearly a third (31%) of FDs believe said cloud computing would make ERP a more viable option for businesses and a further 30 per cent agreed cloud would make ERP more affordable. On top of this, 31 per cent said cloud would make ERP more flexible, while 27 per cent of FDs also believed it will improve return on investment.
What is critical about these stats is that financial directors hold a key position in the decision making process in SMEs. They are the gatekeepers to any major spending decision or investment, so when ERP would previously have been dismissed as an option this is now longer the case.
We are on the brink of a new era for ERP. While a third of respondents still feel ERP is the domain of big business, cloud technology is changing that and cloud is breaking down those barriers. ERP is now a more accessible, viable option for small and growing firms.
As well the benefits of being able to manage your business at any time from any location, moving to a subscription payment model can make it easier for a growing business to manage its cashflow. This also affords greater flexibility by allowing a business to upscale and downscale, depending on its needs.
Enterprise Resource Planning is business process management software that acts as the backbone for many organisations, offering a system of integrated applications to manage the business and automate back office functions. Incorporating all areas of business, from finance and marketing, to sales, distribution, and stock control, ERP can allow a business to streamline and be totally wired into each area of their organisation through one application.
As more businesses move online, ERP has the potential to be energised with a new lease of life. Online business tools have the capability to transform the operations of firms who want to unlock the benefits of the web, and will offer tangible benefits for those with a distributed workforce or a highly mobile team.
Some firms have faced difficulty in the past from costly and cumbersome ERP projects, but it’s positive to see that firms are quick to recognise the cloud’s potential to revolutionise ERP. While online solutions may not be right for everyone, we can anticipate many firms considering cloud ERP as a potential replacement for ageing core systems as they look to unlock the power of the web.