Remote Control: 5 Ways Cloud ERP Supports Remote Workforces

Remote Control: 5 Ways Cloud ERP Supports Remote Workforces

Companies that had a cloud enterprise resource planning system in place pre-COVID were able to quickly pivot over to remote workforce management. Those that didn’t—and that still haven’t made the move—continue to struggle under the strain of bulky, on-premises software solutions.

If PwC’s latest U.S. Remote Work Survey is on target, companies are going to be sticking to their remote work arrangements long after the threat of COVID has passed. In fact, the global consulting firm says that the flexible workweek has “broad support,” as evidenced by these findings:

  •  Office workers say they’d like to have the option to work from home more frequently, even after COVID-19 is no longer a threat. They also want to help to set work-life boundaries to improve their own productivity.
  •  Employers need to prepare for flexible workweeks, as a majority of office workers would like options to work remotely at least one day a week. More than half (55%) of executives expect to offer that option.
  •  The office isn’t obsolete yet, but it is changing. While the COVID-19 crisis showed that staff can interact well when apart, people still want to engage with colleagues in person. It’s why 50% go into the office.
  •  While 30% of executives foresee the need for less office space due to remote work, 50% are anticipating an increase due to longer-lasting requirements for social distancing or growth in their workforce.

Of course, remote work is a topic that everyone is paying attention to right now. That means we’ll probably see even more reports, surveys, and opinions come out both in favor of and against this workstyle over the next few months. Regardless of your stance on the matter, the bottom line is that without a cloud enterprise system, effectively managing remote workers is a lot like herding cats.

In other words, all of the point solutions, spreadsheets, phone calls, and emails in the world can’t make up for the lost time, effort, and money that these “frankensystems” create for companies of all sizes. This reality rose to the top earlier this year when workforces were suddenly-remote and in need of technology tools that could help them do their jobs.

For those companies that already had cloud enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems in place, the transition was much easier than for those that were using on-premise software. Here are five ways cloud ERP supports the remote workforce of the present and the future:

1)   It knows no geographical boundaries. Authorized users can access cloud ERP from any device, laptop, or desktop, which means they can literally get their work done, review data, and collaborate with one another from anywhere. This was a major pain point for companies that lacked a cloud-based enterprise system and suddenly found themselves with a remote workforce due to COVID.

2)   A unified, centralized system to work from. Unlike on-premise and point solutions, cloud ERP provides a single source of truth and a unified database to work from. That means no more having to re-enter date from one system into another, fewer human errors, and more time left to do meaningful work.

3)   Supports effective group collaboration. The cloud allows employees to share, communicate, and collaborate on ideas; enhance the quality of work produced through real-time business updates, and decrease the amount of time it takes to complete a project. “Without the use of the cloud, remote working would be catastrophic for group collaborations,” Ross Penman points out in The success of remote working is down to the cloud. “Constant emails would have to be exchanged back and forth between workers. With each email sent, it’s easy to lose grasp of the most up to date work with so many flying around. As a result, only one employee can work on a document at any given time.”

4)   Consistent accounting, financial, and business processes. Users are notified when to take action, approve sales orders, or complete another job function—all of which can be handled by a laptop or mobile device. This helps keep accounting processes running smoothly when your finance team is out of the office.

5)   It’s just like being in the office (at least from the technology standpoint). With cloud ERP, employees can work from anywhere while also maintaining access to the same information that they’d have in the office (via a virtual environment). They can access documents, review data, and communicate with team members in a very secure online environment via the cloud.

As companies continue to assess their remote work strategies, and as more of them adopt cloud software to support these efforts, cloud ERP will continue to play a leading role in helping organizations adapt to working remotely. “The [cloud’s] ability to enhance collaboration, while also allowing employees to work as productively as they would be in the office,” Penman concludes, “shows how important it is in our everyday working life.”

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