Skip to main content

PSOs need future-ready ERP for a cost-efficient future

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) combines flexible and modular capabilities, aligning finance, HR, and project teams, through a single source of data truth. The right ERP can empower people and prepare businesses for the future with a solution that adapts as an organization grows.

ERP systems are integral to business operations, offering advanced features that contribute to cost reduction and improved productivity. 

This blog will explore what Professional Services Organizations (PSOs) should look for in a future-ready ERP system to see them through 2024 and beyond.

Advanced ERP features will contribute to cost reduction

Modern Cloud capabilities empower organizations with innovative features such as AI automation, low/no-code capabilities, and improved focus on strategic thinking.

Those organizations who digitally transform their back office with modern ERP regain control of their data allowing them to manage costs more efficiently and proactively thanks to the actionable insights that the Cloud allows.

Let’s look at in detail some of the ERP features that are helping to drive down operational costs:

AI and machine learning capabilities

AI isn’t just an add-on but is one of the critical features of ERP that helps PSOs automate the low-value manual tasks that take up an employee’s valuable time. 

Many of the processes embedded into legacy systems, like manual data entry, can all be automated by AI, but also with greater accuracy.

Through intelligent automation routine tasks are taken care of accurately and swiftly without consuming valuable time. Enhanced automation within your ERP system helps eliminate the risk of human error, significantly boosts productivity, and presents the opportunity for advanced streamlining of processes through machine learning.

Those organizations that use AI to liberate their employees, not replace them, will see that teams can focus more on strategic and forward-thinking tasks that can help reduce costs in the future. Moreover, AI can create predictive analytics which helps businesses anticipate demand, forecast revenue, and lead to future cost savings.

Click to read Managing your digital transformation journey (gated)

Improved cybersecurity measures

ERP systems hold sensitive data and service-based organizations must prioritize robust cybersecurity to ensure that cyberattacks don’t disrupt operations which could lead to lost opportunities.

ERP systems should not only detect potential cyber threats but also prevent them from wreaking havoc. This is possible through measures such as multi-factor authentication, firewalls, data encryption, and regular audits. 

Legacy systems rely on internal IT teams to identify and quell potential cyber security attacks, this comes with its own personnel costs. In the Cloud, this responsibility is taken on by the Cloud provider, such as Microsoft Azure, who use their highly trained teams to update, patch, and protect your ERP system in the Cloud.

It isn't just about preventing data breaches or financial losses, it's also about assuring stakeholders of your commitment to data privacy and regulatory compliance. When you showcase stringent security measures, you also enhance your company's reputation, building trust with your clients and partners. 

Greater customization and scalability

As an organization scales, maintenance and space requirements grow too. While the Cloud is hyper scalable, scaling on-premises servers is tough as on-premises are based on hardware, not in digital infrastructures like the Cloud. Growth within a legacy system can simply lead to more hardware costs, and the IT personnel costs to maintain them.

Modern Cloud ERP systems are extensible and customizable, with the ability to succinctly connect and integrate with multiple external applications, and even offer the ability for employees to extend software with bespoke solutions themselves.

An effective ERP system must possess the capacity to evolve with your business needs without adding significant expense. A customizable ERP adjusts according to your unique operational needs, helping to streamline your workflows and increase efficiency, with easy addition or modification of modules to ensure that it continues to return value. 

Refocus on your people with Cloud-based Human Capital Management (HCM)

People are the heart of an organization, and HR costs are often the highest for organizations. Professional services rely on their people to maintain profits and revenues and a future-ready ERP system will allow them to optimize their HR operations by providing key insight into the employee experience.

Future-ready ERP can provide HCM features that can help drive cost efficiencies within HR, optimize talent strategies, streamline performance management, and increase productivity.

HCM also boosts employee engagement, ensuring people feel valued and heard. It cultivates a nurturing and inclusive workplace culture, leading to increased job satisfaction and lower employee turnover costs. It leverages the power of technology to humanize the workplace, promoting a healthy and positive work environment. 

Advanced data analytics for strategic decision-making

Service-based organizations won’t be unfamiliar with navigating disruption and the unpredictable. The right ERP system offers strategic and data-driven insights through forecasts and forward-thinking analysis that allows PSOs to build resilience to the unpredictable.

In a data-driven environment, a future-ready ERP system should provide visualizations and reports that make complex data understandable and actionable, leading to strategic decision-making, optimized processes, and the identification of cost savings.

It's like having a trusted advisor that helps you understand customer behavior, detect market trends, measure performance metrics, anticipate market shifts before they occur, or identify inefficiencies in your operations before they occur.

Focus on sustainability and ESG reporting compliance

Investors and governing bodies are becoming more interested in quantifying the impact organizations have on social and environmental issues. 

With increasing compliance around Environmental, Social, and Governance reporting compliance, as well as growing sustainability concerns, a future-ready ERP can provide the cross-functional response necessary to satisfy these increasingly important requirements.

Meeting these requirements doesn’t just boost your reputation with investors, partners, and customers, but can also lead to cost savings across the board. Moreover, Cloud ERP is a key to a greener future. 

IDC estimates that moving away from on-premises deployments to Cloud deployments may collectively prevent the emission of more than 1 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide from 2021 through 2024.

How Unit4 can help your organization prepare for the future

As you prepare for 2024 and beyond, make sure you stay ahead with a future-ready ERP solution that doesn’t just bring cost efficiencies for today but breeds resilience and better ways of working for the future. 

Jussi Eskelinen, of Qvantel, a Unit4 customer said, “The move to one centralized, Cloud-based ERP brings significant efficiency gains for our IT team while delivering fundamental value to our business. The ERP provides one source of truth with well-defined centralized processes and data integrity.” 

If you’d like to see the same results, you can find more information on our suite of solutions here.

Sign up to see more like this