If you’re an SMB owner, you probably don’t want to spend time and money updating an old system that works fine, even if you have to manually update spreadsheets or enter data into different systems on a regular basis. Working with a system that is outdated, not in line with your business needs, or that requires constant monitoring can hinder the success of your business. It can also make you slowly obsolete as your competitors advance.
Industry thought leaders from Forbes, IDG Enterprise, Business News Daily and more predict that cloud-based business platforms — especially business/data analytics and data strange/data management — will lead cloud adoption in 2017. I’ve witnessed the tremendous growth of these platforms firsthand over the past three years while running a boutique cloud-based solutions consulting firm. Today, it doesn’t seem rational to invest in hardware such as servers and backup drives that need constant care, or to keep enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems that are decades old and can no longer keep up.
Companies Making The Switch
During Oracle’s December 2015 earnings call, CEO Mark Hurd confirmed that leading companies with existing ERP systems, including Blue Shield of California, DHL, FDIC, McKesson and Toshiba Mitsubishi-Electric had all transferred over to cloud ERP systems. Although many companies are still on the fence about when to make the switch, they seem to know the switch is coming.
In any case, newer startups are not only using ground-breaking business models, they are taking advantage of updated cloud ERP and customer relationship management (CRM) platforms that provide more elasticity to grow. And I’ve watched large multinational companies make the switch to cloud ERPs for years.
So, where does that leave the established small and mid-sized businesses? From personal experience, I can tell you that many small and mid-sized companies are working with two or even three independent systems that require them to make duplicate entries. Many are still filing their financials in a mix of spreadsheets, and managing their business through non-integrated, pre-cloud systems that do not allow for flexibility when it comes to working outside of the office. However, cloud tools are often customizable and are no longer out of financial reach for these smaller enterprises.
Why Switching Makes Sense
ERP systems act as integrated management software to help employees both in the office and remote with day-to-day tasks such as sales, marketing, product planning, development or even accounting payroll. These systems eliminate time lags and information barriers between departments so teams can work more efficiently.