Top 10 benefits of cloud ERP systems
Change is constant – but the pace has never been more relentless than it is today. From supply chain shortages and rising gas prices to inflation and shifting customer needs, it’s a struggle for businesses to keep up. Increasingly, they need smart and automated processes that can adapt to any scenario. They need innovative technology to support new business models. And they need real time – and predictive – insights to steer the ship in the right direction.
Companies that have done this successfully almost always run on the same kind of engine: a cloud ERP. This type of software powers super agility and digital transformation – and offers wide-ranging benefits to modern businesses.
The best news of all? The user-friendly technologies and automation of a modern ERP will reduce tedious manual work, increase productivity, and ultimately improve employee experiences.
Discover the top ten cloud ERP benefits
The benefits of ERP are many – and they vary from business to business. A professional services company, for example, will have very different reasons for choosing an ERP system than a manufacturing company.
That said, here are 10 cloud ERP benefits that apply to just about everyone:
1. Continuous innovation
Many businesses move to cloud ERP software to improve operations, change outdated business models and processes, and introduce new capabilities that support business best practices. Cloud ERP improves and speeds up not only finance and accounting practices, but operations across the company – and can even extend beyond to business partners and networks.
2. Lower costs
With a subscription service, there’s no upfront purchase cost for hardware or ERP software. Ongoing IT and related staff costs are also lower as upgrade and maintenance expenses are handled by the provider. Cost savings can be significant – particularly with a public cloud ERP deployment.
3. Simplicity and automation
With a modern cloud ERP, companies can consolidate standalone legacy applications, standardise and integrate all existing and new applications, and eliminate the use of disconnected systems. They can also simplify workflows, intelligently automate processes, and gain new efficiencies across the business.
4. New functionality
Cloud ERP vendors deliver new functionality and application improvements to all companies that use their software through continuous upgrades, as well as several new larger releases per year. Since updates are delivered to everyone at once, you never miss an opportunity while waiting for a vendor to update your custom ERP system. Also, if customers identify similar requirements, they can push the ERP vendor for changes. As a result, the overall pace of innovation is more responsive – and a lot faster.
5. Real-time insights
Modern cloud ERP systems have been architected to unlock Big Data so you can access information hidden within large and complex data sets. And while legacy ERP systems provide reporting tools, they do not offer the integrated, real-time analytics available through the cloud – and these are the key to better decision-making. The ability to see trends, predict changes, and automate processes improves resource usage and vastly enhances customer service.
CFOs view workflow automation (68%) and predictive analytics (54%) as having the greatest potential for future use cases.
Download the research study: Strategic CFO 360: How New Technologies are Innovating Finance
6. Mobile ERP
Businesses must now provide information access to employees, subcontractors, vendors, and customers – anywhere, at any time. This requires secure mobile device support. Mobile capabilities are built into SaaS ERP products rather than added on as an afterthought. Modern user interfaces (UI) with a responsive design to fit mobile screens are key for users.
7. Intelligent technologies
Intelligent technologies are being built into modern SaaS ERP solutions to improve productivity. These technologies include artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, robotic process automation (RPA), and the Internet of Things (IoT) – which allows devices such as machines or sensors to feed data back to applications through the cloud for up-to-date status information.
8. World-class security
With cloud systems, ERP security, data backups, and disaster recovery are handled by full-time, professional security experts. Cloud vendors typically have the best data security available; security breaches in large and midsize companies occur primarily with on-premise systems. Because cloud ERP systems are more complete, connected, and collaborative, they avoid vulnerability at points of integration and reduce risks associated with a multi-vendor landscape.
9. Fast implementation
Ramp-up for a cloud ERP system is much quicker than on-premise deployment, as your SaaS supplier handles hardware and software installations and provides dedicated staff with data centre management expertise. Like consumer mobile apps, cloud ERP business applications can be configured easily. The intuitive user interface makes learning to use the app fast and easy – speeding time to productivity and allowing businesses to seize opportunity.
As growth can be hard to forecast, scalability is important. With a SaaS ERP solution, you can simply add additional computing power or data storage capacity if you experience rapid growth, rather than incurring a large capital expense.
The advantages of ERP run deep
For many organisations, the advantages of ERP systems run deep. For example, automating workflows fulfils top priorities beyond reducing manual work – such as increasing process accuracy and ensuring compliance. Data-rich, actionable insights from advanced analytics can detect inefficiencies and unearth opportunities to grow the business. And for supply chain teams, the cloud can help simplify multi-vendor networks to get a 360-degree view of their ability to keep up with demand profitably and sustainably.
Cloud ERP systems can equip the entire organisation, not just finance functions, with the modern tools and technologies they need to move the company forward – and pivot and scale operations to keep up with the relentless pace of change.
More in this series
SAP Insights Newsletter
Gain key insights by subscribing to our newsletter.