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Digital-first and Cloud is the first choice for most organizations

from  May 29, 2024 | 4 min read

As the Vice President of Sales for Existing Business at Unit4, I have been thoroughly impressed by our clients' dedication and transformation into a digital-first strategy.

We have long seen the challenges our customers face with on-premises legacy systems. They are eager to upgrade to the latest version faster and smoother and quickly take advantage of new technology. The benefits of moving to the cloud are clear, and below, I will explore some great and inspiring customer examples. 

The challenges of on-premises legacy systems 

According to IDC (International Data Corporation) in their ‘Evaluating ERP solutions’ report, legacy ERP systems hinder speed, scale, agility, and resilience. We recognize these challenges when supporting our customers on their digital transformation journey and their need to adapt quickly to ever-changing business needs. Here are a few of the main challenges presented by IDC related to on-premises legacy systems.

  1. High maintenance costs - Legacy systems often involve significant costs for hardware, software licenses, and IT staff to maintain and upgrade. The costs associated with maintaining these systems can be substantial over time.
  2. Limited scalability - On-premises systems may have limited scalability, making it difficult for organizations to adapt to changing business needs or accommodate growth without significant investment in additional hardware and infrastructure.
  3. Security concerns - Legacy systems may lack modern security features and updates, making them vulnerable to cyber threats. Plus, organizations are solely responsible for implementing security measures.
  4. Limited integration - Legacy systems often don’t integrate seamlessly with newer technologies and applications, hindering interoperability and data sharing across the organization.
  5. Lack of flexibility - On-premises systems may be rigid and difficult to customize or upgrade, leading to inefficiencies and an inability to respond quickly to changing business requirements.

The benefits of Cloud migration

Moving to the Cloud can help organizations overcome the limitations of on-premises legacy systems and unlock numerous benefits, however, the migration process requires careful planning and execution to ensure a smooth transition and maximize the benefits of Cloud adoption. 

Partnering with a vendor like Unit4 greatly facilitates this, as they provide expertise, tools, and support for an efficient and cost-effective process.

Click to read How Cloud ERP can change your organization for the better gated

Cost savings 

Cloud-based solutions typically operate on a subscription-based model, eliminating the need for upfront hardware investment and reducing ongoing maintenance costs. Cloud providers often offer pay-as-you-go pricing, allowing organizations to scale resources based on demand and avoid over-provisioning.

Our long-standing customer, Southampton City Council, underwent a transformative journey to enhance citizen experiences by migrating its digital services to the Unit4 Cloud. 

By implementing Unit4's integrated finance and HR solution, the Council achieved significant cost savings totaling £200,000, which it reinvested in frontline public services. 

The Cloud strategy also provided complete procurement visibility, saving time and £80,000 annually, while modern income management and automation further streamlined operations, benefiting approximately 300,000 residents and businesses.

"Unit4 is making the council smarter and more agile. By automating and streamlining processes in the Cloud and introducing self-service, Southampton City Council can direct more resources to front-line services.” Helen Baker, ERP Support and Development Manager, Southampton City Council

You can read the full Southampton City Council story here



Scalability and flexibility

Cloud platforms provide virtually limitless scalability, allowing organizations to quickly scale resources up or down based on demand. This flexibility enables organizations to accommodate growth and handle spikes in traffic without disruption.

Since moving to the Unit4 Cloud, our customer of 25 years, The Norwegian Refugee Council, acknowledges the technology’s pivotal role in growing from a small NGO to a major player in the humanitarian sector in 32 countries. 

With reduced time spent on manual tasks and confidence in adaptable financial frameworks, the Council can swiftly deploy aid in response to crises.

“The Cloud redefines how we operate. Working in these conflict countries with data managed by a trusted service provider on a remote server is one less worry for us. Knowing that our Unit4 data is fully protected, available, and shared allows us to concentrate on humanitarian aid — not tech issues.” Hafsa Hassan, Regional Financial Controller, Norwegian Refugee Council

You can read the full Norwegian Refugee Council story here

Enhanced security and compliance 

Cloud providers invest heavily in security measures, offering advanced encryption, threat detection, and compliance certifications to protect data and infrastructure. Cloud platforms often have dedicated security teams continuously monitoring and responding to emerging threats.

The Norwegian Refugee Council revolutionized its humanitarian aid operations by migrating to Unit4's Cloud-based ERP platform. With operations spanning 32 countries across Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Middle East, the organization must navigate complex financial landscapes and ensure compliance with diverse donor requirements.

The Cloud solution ensures secure data management and compliance, allowing the organization to concentrate on humanitarian efforts while Unit4 handles the tech issues. 

Improved integration and interoperability 

Cloud-based solutions often offer extensive APIs and integration capabilities, allowing organizations to connect disparate systems and applications easily. This facilitates data sharing and interoperability, improving efficiency and collaboration.

Another longstanding Unit4 customer, The University of Salford, enhanced reporting capabilities and easy integration, further fostering collaboration and data-driven decision-making. With a focus as a next step on AI and Extension Kit integration, the University aims to create a more technologically advanced environment, supported by Unit4's Cloud expertise and collaborative support.

For Southampton City Council, adopting integrated finance and HR in the Cloud has enhanced procurement visibility and control. Before moving to the Unit4 Cloud, data was scattered across various disconnected silos, hindering its ability to provide integrated and effective services to residents. The newly unified HR and payroll has saved 500 hours and £80,000 annually.

Agility and innovation 

Cloud platforms enable organizations to rapidly deploy and iterate on new applications and services, fostering innovation and agility. By leveraging Cloud-native technologies, organizations can accelerate development cycles and bring new products to market faster.

When The University of Salford embraced Cloud migration with Unit4's ERP solution, they also enhanced agility and accessibility for staff and students. By reducing the IT burden and enabling automatic upgrades, the University redirected resources to student-centric projects and accessible tool development.

"Going full SaaS with Unit4 is worth it for the comfort of knowing they’re looking after our system, helping and supporting us through the process of moving to the Cloud.” Michelle Williams, Finance Systems Manager, University of Salford

You can read the full University of Salford story here.

How Unit4 can help your organization

With Unit4’s comprehensive Cloud-based ERP, HCM, and FP&A software for people-centric organizations, you can adapt and optimize how your people work to help you manage complexity and focus on the things that matter. Unit4’s next-generation smart ERP software solutions are built with businesses like yours in mind. 

Please click here to learn more about the best migration path for you

If you have any questions, feel free to contact your Account Manager anytime to discuss your Cloud adoption journey.

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Therese Nyberg

Therese Nyberg

Area Vice President Existing Business

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