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wrestling with the question

Wrestling with the question of cloud ERP? IDC has you covered

Determining the future of your ERP solution is one of the most important questions your organization faces as we all accelerate our digital transformation.

In the modern world, your ERP is your operational backbone – the platform on which your ability to deliver services and function efficiently rests.

And as we’re forced to adapt to radically new ways of working in the face of unpredictable circumstances, this is becoming truer than ever. Making the right choice represents the ability to succeed in achieving your goals - financially, operationally, and in the realm of talent.

To help you make the right choice for whatever the future holds, IDC have created an infobrief to help service-based organizations scope out an ERP model that suits them.

Disruptions and shortfalls of legacy ERP tech in the modern service economy

ERP cloud migration is particularly sensitive in organizations whose success depends on people and their unique skills and knowledge base, rather than simply on the management of inventory, production, and factory floors.

The infobrief highlights that many legacy platforms create challenges as an artefact of their design. A lack of connection of systems across the organization – including the siloing of data in different systems and a barrier between data and its points of need – creates a reactive approach to both decision making and strategic planning. Analysis can take weeks and be out of date as soon as it’s completed thanks to a lack of visibility into data in real time.

Business processes either create major redundancies or bypass critical needs altogether. And on top of this, a lack of ability to automate basic workflows creates a time sink for staff whose energies are best devoted to higher value, client-facing work.

And these problems have only been compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic. Legacy systems stopped businesses in their tracks – leaving many wondering why they can conduct most of their domestic life on a mobile phone, but can’t access their business apps with one.

Beyond these legacy issues, service organizations are undergoing a period of transformative change that demands technology to facilitate service evolution and allow them to capitalize on newly emerging value streams. With most of the workforce remote, we must rely on tech more than ever before – and tech, including ERP, must lead the way in shaping the people experience of the organization. (After all, it’s difficult to have a “work environment” in the traditional sense, or “company culture” in the traditional sense, when most of your workforce is now remote.)

Organizations who make the right investments are overcoming the “pandemic slump” faster

Few companies haven’t been negatively affected by the pandemic – with many aiming simply for operational and performance continuity rather than growth in the past year. However, IDC believe that targeted investments in technology that allow us to move from continuity to a state of optimization and resilience are what has allowed many companies to “skip the dip”.

In particular, companies are already beginning to see dividends paid from investments in solutions that allow for cost optimization (such as smarter invoice processing and workflow management tools) and business resiliency – such as solutions that can measure and allow interventions on employee engagement, modular ERP systems that provide a path to the delivery of new services, and FP&A tools that allow for more intelligent financial planning and budgeting.

When it comes to service companies and ERP, you should have your head in the clouds

Cloud technology – and particularly cloud ERP - has been a key pillar of support for people centric organizations throughout the pandemic. Some have even said that without it, they’d have been forced to shut their doors. At least half of all C-level leadership in service businesses are using cloud technology as part of their crisis management, to reduce costs, optimize operations, drive growth, and as a source of innovation.

In the realm of ERP, cloud solutions present unique advantages. The ability to access systems from anywhere at any time, to manage massive datasets on any device, and to collaborate on any project at any time are obvious tactical advantages. But beyond this, the ability to scale up and down as needed, to connect customers, suppliers, and employees seamlessly, and maintain compliance across all global jurisdictions offer great long-term strategic advantages. As does creating a platform for future innovation via AI, machine learning, intelligent workflows, and the incorporation of multiple data sets from both in and out of house.

Which is all very well – but how can you navigate the disruptions, innovations, and crises to select an ERP solution that works for you?

The report concludes with three tools that provide you with actionable steps towards picking a platform that can help your organization thrive in the future, including:

  • A solution evaluation checklist that asks questions on everything from capabilities to architecture and vertical specialization.
  • Actions you can take to drive success for your new system.
  • Pitfalls to avoid and top tips to assist with tool selection and usage.
evaluating ERP solutions

Begin your journey today

Begin your journey to cloud ERP today – download IDC’s infobrief on ERP selection for service organizations

Download now

Clare Cottrell

Global Product Marketing Manager, ERP and Professional Services

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