Cloud ERP: How it's Changing Small and Medium Businesses
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Cloud ERP: How it's Changing Small and Medium Businesses

Why are small and medium businesses moving to Cloud ERPs?

In a recent survey, we discovered that over 60% of small and medium businesses are on the road to digital transformation. But what’s stopping businesses from getting there, and what changes does the cloud offer them?

Cloud ERP: barriers for small and medium businesses

Our research found that cloud ERPs delivered clear benefits like cost reductions, boosting agility, and improving performance and productivity for these businesses. So why are other businesses still not implementing a solution that offers so many benefits?

The biggest reasons we found were:

  • Migration complexity 37%
  • Cost 34%
  • Security 32%

This suggests small and medium businesses had real concerns about the cost and challenges of moving to the cloud, even when the benefits outweigh them.

Often these businesses are using older and possibly customized solutions. Solutions that become monsters they no longer control.  And they believe the cost (the second biggest concern), time, and risk involved in replacing them with a cloud environment would be too much.

So why would a small or medium business move to the cloud?

Cloud ERP vs. On-premise

ERPs in the cloud or on-premise are the same, aren't they? The answer might not be what you expect; here's why…

With the right ERP software, your business can do the same things in the cloud or on-premise. The difference comes from looking at the platforms themselves.

Top 4 ways cloud ERPs are changing small and medium businesses

According to Holger Mueller at Constellation Research, cloud ERP usage has exploded just because of what it adds to traditional on-premise models. And for him, the four most significant changes ERPs are delivering to business are:

1. Improved People Experience

“People have a better user experience (UX) as consumers than as employees, and that difference is leading to an engagement gap between work and private life UX. Enterprises need to enable better people experiences by adopting the same platform that powers the consumer experience.”

2. Faster Innovation Cycles

On-premise solutions can be demanding in cost, time and resources for smaller businesses particularly. They need in-house teams to manage and monitor them continually, and updates are a big deal, involving downtime, cost, and disruption.

In response to this, cloud ERPs take many of these barriers to innovation away. So you no longer teams of expensive people on-site teams, and will always be on the latest version. That lets you refocus that time, resource and spend on boost innovation cycles and business development. The cloud ERP's speed, adaptability and scalability help you achieve this immediately.

3. Better Elasticity

You only pay for what you use with cloud solutions. And you can scale up and your usage down at any time. With a cloud ERP, you can manage fluctuations in demand and data come without the planning levels typically needed for on-premise. And you can make these changes almost instantly, no need to wait for installation or setups.

4. Higher Resilience

Modern customers’ demands are evolving, and they want businesses to be available 24x7. The problem many small and medium businesses have is their older, on-premise ERPs are not built for this. Needing regular updates and maintenance, they struggle to live up to the “always-on, never down" expectations of customers.

Cloud ERPs are built to do this. Giving you access to all your systems all the time from anywhere at any time. And they provide constant operations resiliency at a lower cost than on-premise ever can.

How to get the most out of your cloud ERP

To get the most out of your cloud ERP, you need to go beyond just moving your existing on-premise ERP solution to a cloud environment. A well-implemented SaaS approach informs and enhances your ERP, but it evolves how you do business if pushed further.

Reclaim your IT team from support. No longer tied to and consumed by maintaining redundant systems. Just think about what you could do with all this technical knowledge now focused on driving your core business.

And that’s just one example. But where do you begin?

How cloud ERP can change small and medium businesses

A cloud ERP can transform businesses. By moving your solution to the cloud, you elevate your solution and capabilities. No longer are IT teams maintaining outdated systems. No longer are your people doing pointless data entry. The list goes on.

The cloud opens up an enormous breadth of tools and technologies to help your people use this freedom to drive forward. This is amazing if you consider the impact of an ERP in relation to its position. Your ERP probably makes up 25-30% of your systems. But the impact it has can encompass and propel your entire business.

A convert cloud ERPs’ power ERPs is Richard Arthur Hinton, Head of Technology Solutions at the Natural History Museum.

For Richard, “Modern cloud ERPs can take the handbrake off of productivity. They let you kill off low-value activities like running and maintaining the infrastructure behind systems, freeing up people, and business functions to focus more on their roles' value-add parts.”

Cloud ERPs allow your IT teams to become your business’s solution brokers. They help you educate and inspire people with how technology trends and evolutions will complement your business's demands.

To see what else Richard has to say, watch the full webinar here.

Cloud ERP for SMEs: what does it mean for your organization?

ERPs using a cloud platform transform small and medium businesses. They revolutionize the people experiences you deliver for your people and your customers, boost engagement and innovation, and give you a more flexible, accessible, usable, and available system than ever before. While still giving you the same functionality and benefits you've come to expect from your on-premise ERP.

What's more, the right Cloud ERP offering should come with these benefits as standard. Meaning you don't have to spend time and money developing them. Giving you immediate access to them the moment you start using the software.

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