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The furious rate of growth for technology over the past few years has left businesses and CIOs focused on maximizing their ROI of the technologies they implement. But as a new normal has settled in, CIOs are exploring ways to balance leveraging the latest technologies with maintaining operational excellence within their businesses.

As CIO Magazine says in its State of the CIO report in 2022: “The natural cycle swings leave IT leaders grappling with how to strike the right balance between business innovation and operational excellence—a major issue for three-quarters (76%) of respondents to this year’s survey.”

CIOs feel the pressure to keep driving innovation to support hybrid or remote work environments, customer experiences, and employee and supplier functions. At the same time, they want to ensure that current and new technologies are delivering on their promises. When CIOs step back and look at the big picture, they see scattered pieces and wonder how they piece together their technology infrastructure in a way that drives efficiencies for the tech team and for the organization as a whole.

To effectively do this, CIOs need to return to focusing on the basics. Focusing on optimization, security and enterprise resiliency offers CIOs the opportunity to balance business innovation and operational excellence. The key to all three lies in being strategic with the cloud. According to CIO’s 2025 Outlook, many CIOs are putting a lot of weight on the cloud to deliver their goals in their three-year roadmaps.

How the Cloud Balances Innovation with Operational Excellence

CIOs are increasingly being viewed as changemakers and influential leaders in their companies. Migrating to a cloud-based ERP such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management allows CIOs to leverage the benefits of new technologies while ensuring greater operational efficiencies.

Here are some of the ways cloud ERP is helping CIOs deliver the goods:Scalability and Adaptability

As organizations continue to grow and change with new technologies, having a platform that adapts with you is central to sustaining long-term success. Most cloud-based ERPs allow companies to scale the size of the platform with the number of users needed. As your business grows, your ERP can, too. Certain features and functionality can also be added or removed as your company shifts to the needs of your consumers. That reduces the need for third-party apps.

However, if a third-party app is needed, a cloud-based ERP like Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management also gives companies the flexibility to seamlessly integrate other technology into the platform. This allows companies the adaptability to plug and play through changes such as new regulations or company acquisitions and remain operationally excellent.

Continuous Updates

Security is top of mind for business leaders. In fact, in the CIO Magazine report, CIOs said that the leading C-suite initiative is to improve IT and data security. Cloud-based ERP improve overall security through an evergreen approach. Instead of having to manually update your platform, Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management automatically updates on a regular schedule, keeping your company’s data and applications protected.

Microsoft Dynamics releases as many as eight updates per year, while only two (April and December) are mandatory. This stream of constant updates keeps your company safe from data breaches and expands the core functionality of your Dynamics 365 platform.

No On-Site Resource Management – lower costs from maintenance and less time spent

Cloud-based is exactly that. Your company will lower costs from reduced hardware maintenance while increasing available time to work on other areas of your business.

Reduced Dependency

The implementation of a cloud ERP eliminates data silos from your organization. Data silos happen when one person or department is the only one to have access to or knowledge of specific information. Dynamics 365 solutions make data more central, eliminating data silos and reducing IT dependency for tasks such as reporting and data cleanup.

More Visibility

Alongside reduced dependency, central data from cloud-based ERPs allows your organization to have real-time visibility across departments.

More visibility also results in an improved customer experience, a primary goal for CIOs when evaluating technology. As CIOs continue to look to build their technology infrastructure in a way that optimizes both innovation and operational excellence, migrating to the cloud is a vital part of that plan.

Columbus is your trusted partner. At Columbus, we have the knowledge and experience to provide CIOs with the roadmap and assistance they need when evaluating, implementing and getting the most form a cloud-based ERP. Reach out today to discuss how to optimize your company’s processes with the latest updates and technology to guarantee a return on your ERP investment.

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