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The pace of innovation in the Cloud will disrupt those still using on-premises systems

from  April 22, 2024 | 4 min read

The Cloud represents a move to fully digital business processes which itself can solve some of the inefficiencies that occur in legacy systems.

As a result, legacy systems are becoming defunct, or ‘disrupted’, as many organizations begin to recognize the operational edge that Cloud innovations bring. 

In this blog, we will discuss why Cloud ERP innovation has rendered on-premises systems inappropriate for dealing with the data and practical needs of an enterprise, demonstrating the value of a Cloud-based ERP suite.

On-premises systems cannot accommodate hybrid working conditions

In recent years, enterprises have started to embrace hybrid working conditions. An organization may have in-office employees, employees who work from home, and employees in different countries, continents, and time zones.

Legacy systems struggle to accommodate these working conditions, whether that’s struggling to get the most up-to-date version of a file, trying to collaborate over multiple versions, or remote workers not having the ability to access these files from home.

Digital disruption will occur as Cloud-based ERP allows all employees to remotely access documents, even work on them simultaneously with real-time updates, enabling more modern hybrid working conditions which are now quite common.

Ensuring all employees, no matter their working environment, can remain unimpeded in their digital journeys, is also of high importance to HR teams and managers.

On-premises systems will fall behind with fragmented data

An enterprise must endeavor to be cross-functional and utilize integrated data; those relying on fragmented data will lack the operational edge of the Cloud when a cross-functional response or report is required.

Without integrated data, there can be a huge disparity between the data that departments are using due to data siloes.

A data silo refers to a set of data that is controlled and contained within one department, this often leads to fragmented data and poor collaboration with other departments. This can lead to inaccurate reports, defunct data sets, and poor collaboration.

Within a Cloud-based ERP suite, there is a better flow of data between functions – this ensures all departments, stakeholders, and external entities, are operating with the same information that is continuously updated.

When data is stored in the Cloud finance, procurement, HR, and more, can all draw from the same data source, this will enable advanced report generation and more accurate data practices.

Click to read ERP & Utilization: The make or break metric for service organizations (gated)

Cloud security will disrupt those relying on legacy security processes

Of course, cyberattacks will lead not just to business disruption, but on-premises systems will take longer to rectify these mistakes, while the Cloud can prevent cyberattacks before they occur.

Firstly, cyberattacks are generally harder to identify in on-premises servers and where they go unnoticed huge data errors can occur, and FTE hours wasted before the data breach or cyberattack is even identified.

With on-premises servers, a physical engineer must be called out to the physical servers to identify and troubleshoot the security issue. This can take a long time, and internal servers are usually down during these times, as they would in the event of a power outage.

Moreover, legacy systems like Excel will encourage peer-to-peer sharing, which, among other issues, can be a large security vulnerability.

Security updates will take longer with on-premises servers and usually put the server out of action for a period, and when not updated, there are huge security vulnerabilities.

Cloud software can update continuously and ensure vital security updates aren’t missed or overlooked, naturally disrupting on-premises users who are fettered with manual updates and maintenance.

Cloud servers, such as Microsoft Azure, partner with enterprises to ensure their data is as secure as it can be, even in data-sensitive industries, such as energy, where security is paramount.

This enables engineers to remotely access Cloud servers to identify and repair security vulnerabilities easily. Advanced reports on security can also be generated to ensure that vulnerabilities are solved before they are exposed by cyber criminals.

Cloud extensibility will disrupt those using rigid legacy systems

Most legacy systems, such as Excel and Google Sheets, are not process-based tools and they generally lack the extensibility to adapt to new processes.

Organizations are generating more data than ever, those with extensible systems that can create bespoke solutions to new reporting and compliance requirements will disrupt those still using rigid systems.

One example is ESG reporting which is mandatory from January 2024, and those with legacy systems will struggle to adapt to this new requirement without a process-based tool.

On the other hand, data analysts may simply recognize areas where a new data process could enable data insight that was previously unavailable. Where enterprises can create these tailored solutions with extensible software, legacy systems will be disrupted.

On-premises systems will be slowed by over-reliance on manual processes

Legacy systems like Excel require large amounts of manual data entry which leads to quite long data consolidation times. Naturally, teams will become fatigued from these repetitive tasks and lack the time to forecast data and provide strategic insights.

Moreover, manual generation of accurate and far-reaching reports can also take more effort than necessary and also struggle greatly with a fragmented data set. Timely reporting is required to keep stakeholders happy but also for succinct compliance.

Cloud-native automation capabilities, thanks to intelligent AI, allows technological investment to align with corporate strategy. Teams can create accurate reports, at the push of a button, that can gather data across functions easily and accurately.

This not only makes compliance and other reporting requirements much easier, reduces data consolidation times greatly, and ensures stakeholders are kept up to date with timely reports but will disrupt legacy systems that lack this productivity.

How Unit4’s Cloud ERP suite can help you remain competitive

With Unit4’s ERPx suite, we have the Cloud capabilities to provide your organization with an operational edge – this includes:

  • Intelligent AI automation for reduced data consolidation times and advanced reporting generation
  • We build extensibility into our software through our platform, with the ability to create bespoke applications and data processes via our App Studio and Extension Kit.
  • We have a community of customers who use our Community4U program to engage with our partners and other customers to share process innovation and get the most from your Unit4 investment
  • Our Cloud ERP is hosted on Microsoft Azure’s trusted Cloud server and can provide around-the-clock security
  • By combining our ERP, FP&A, and HCM products, you can integrate data, get a single source of data truth
  • Integrated data and Cloud-based data mean that hybrid working is easier than ever

To find out more about our Cloud capabilities, check out our blogs and other ERP products on our website or talk to our sales team a our product for free, today. 

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