There used to be a time when the letters E, R and P were certain to bring a deep frown to all our faces. Of course, we all admitted that having a business management solution of some sort was necessary when a company had reached such a size that messing about with Excel files was feasible no more.
Despite its undisputed importance, ERP still used to signify a necessary evil. It was not uncommon that the the software to become a hindrance to business or a burden that only drained profits as various tailored solutions and integrations made its maintenance expensive or even impossible.
Luckily these dark times are well behind us now. We think it is high time to free ERP of its old sins and clear its reputation in the eyes of business decision-makers.
The main reason for this new optimism is the fact that today’s cloud ERP solutions are nothing like those old horrors we used to be saddled with. My recent discussions with business executives and CFOs have convinced me of the following benefits of cloud-based ERP solutions:
- At its best, ERP is a modern and continuously developing core of your business that lets you automate and digitalize business processes. You never again need to struggle with obsolete systems and rigid silos that require the same data to be entered manually several times without being able to get real-time information out of the solution.
- Decisions are no longer based on hunches – they are based on data. A modern cloud ERP can act as a real-time data source of truth that lets you make quick decisions and to grow your business in a profitable manner. Back in the dark ages a company’s top executives were not even interested to have their own login access to their ERP system, but nowadays the dashboards are visual, clear and easily editable for decision-makers’ requirements. Usability and speed are central elements, also in mobile use independent of time or place.
- To put it bluntly: a modern ERP keeps the CXO out of the prison. Or at least it can guarantee a good night’s sleep for the CFO. There are lots of requirements related to our business, both related legal and data security. A modern ERP fills these demands and is globally secure. This allows you to expand your business internationally in a controlled way, without excess insecurity and doubt.
- A modern cloud ERP is easy to deploy – and more affordable than its predecessors. Traditionally ERP used to signify the opposite of agility and it was almost a given that budgets and schedules spilled over. All kinds of necessary tinkering and tailoring used to cause grey hair to the people working on the ERP project. But in 2018 we live in different times: the best practices and business processes can now be brought together in a single solution that is simple to build and affordable to run. You are only paying for what you are using.
- A modern ERP is not a hindrance – it is essential part of the business. For a company to achieve a competitive edge and grow its market share in an evolving business environment, it needs agile solutions that enable flexible changes. It is essential the solution can be used as is – or combined seamlessly with other solutions based on business-driven approach.
When a company has truly understood the importance of their ERP solution, what are the things that business executives then like to talk about? One of my favorite memory is from a company where the business people were amazed that the IT unit had already provided a ready working solution while the business managers were still considering their decision. Isn’t this the best feedback we can get?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
The author Sari Mikkonen joined us in January 2018 when Sofigate acquired Headstart, a consultancy service and software company specializing on ERP solutions. At Sofigate, Sari works as a Business Executive and is responsible for modern business solutions. She has several years of experience in business management, processes and ERP solutions. Sari is inspired by utilizing new technology and business development. She wants to raise the client as the hero and to help especially mid-sized organizations to grow profitably by taking the advantage of modern cloud-based business solutions.