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The business world has gone to the cloud. But despite the need to stay ahead of disruption, remain innovative and make better decisions with real-time data, you’re stuck with your existing on-premise ERP solution and worried about a shift to the cloud 

“Our current ERP is working fine. Why do we need to change it?” 

“How secure will our data be if we move to the cloud?” 

“Can our company afford to invest the time and money into migration?” 

These are fears we hear all the time from business leaders who are still hesitant about adopting new technology.  

As the financial leader of your company, your concerns are legitimate. However, have you considered the cost of your on-premise solution? You can learn a great deal about your future in the cloud from your existing on-premise operations. In addition, with the cloud you’ll be able to remove wasteful resources. 

The Business Case for a Cloud-Based ERP Solution

Here are nine examples of how the migrating to a cloud-based ERP solution positively affects your revenue, decreases costs, acts as a foundation for risk mitigation and provides the opportunity to make the most of your existing assets and staff. 

Real-time data updates

The past several years highlighted the importance of being able to make quick, informed business decisions. In order to make the best decisions, you need accurate, real-time insights, which you can’t always get with an on-premise ERP.  

But you can with a cloud-based ERP solution. By operating in the cloud, you can: make faster, better decisions; reduce time spent searching for the right information; stay ahead of potential disruptions; and increase customer satisfaction by acting quickly and preventing supply chain bottlenecks.  

All of these equal greater efficiencies, which means you can move faster and grow faster. 

Centralized data

A cloud-based ERP can knock down data siloes in your organization so you have visibility into every department in a single location. No more reams of spreadsheets or tedious paper trails, both of which lead to inconsistent information, duplicate data and a lack of traceability of critical details. 

With centralized data, the entire business can operate from a single source of truth. 

Scalability

Did you ever think you could pay as you go for business technology? The scalability of the cloud means that you can add on or reduce capacity as your business changes. If your company experiences lulls during certain times of the year, it’s easy to scale back your needs. It’s also just as easy to scale up when business is growing. No need to change ERP systems when your business changes. This reduces pressure on your internal IT team, which means they can use their skills for other tasks, and you don’t need to outsource.  

A study by Computer Economics found that companies that fully utilize cloud computing save over 15% in IT costs, including personnel costs. 

Compliance

A Ponemon Institute report found that the cost of non-compliance is 2.71 times higher than the cost of compliance. With a Microsoft Cloud ERP solution, it’s easier to stay up-to-date because Microsoft is regularly audited by the ISO to confirm its compliance with rules and regulations. That means risk of fines falls. 

This also saves your business money by reducing workload and using your staff’s time more efficiently when they’re not having to constantly update records and hunt down documents to comply with regulations. Your cloud-based ERP solution will handle those updates for you, and makes it easy to access information through robust reporting tools.  

Better support for remote or hybrid workers

Cloud ERP allows access for your team anywhere they have internet connectivity from any device at any time. You can also tailor access based on functional role and team hierarchy to ensure security.  

Employees report a greater sense of work-life balance and productivity with remote or hybrid workplaces, according to a study by LiveCareer. The study also found that having a flexible workplace, even as an option, improves employee retention. Almost 30% of workers would quit if they weren’t given the option of remote work. 

Improved collaboration

Disengagement in organizations siphons off between $450 billion to $550 billion each year, according to a 2013 Gallup report. However, armed with real-time updates and centralized data, your team’s engagement, collaboration efforts and effectiveness increase.  

Self-service tools streamline communication and collaboration across the business as well as externally with customers and vendors. For example, you can improve both customer and vendor experience with self-service portals through the cloud. This not only takes workload off your employees, but it also increases profitability by driving volume up, while driving cost down. Information-sharing is made easier, employees spend less time on rote data entry and manual tasks and the entire business becomes more productive. 

Disaster recovery

When disaster strikes, it can cost hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars, especially if you don’t have a business continuity plan in place. In 2016, the Ponemon Institute averaged data center downtime cost as $8,851/minute. For small businesses, IDC and Carbonite found that downtime costs about $427/minute. Luckily, in the case of disaster or shutdown, your cloud ERP has end-to-end backup and recovery capabilities.  

Stronger security 

According to a 2021 report by IBM and the Ponemon Institute, the average cost of a data breach is $4.24 million. When you opt for a reputable cloud ERP provider, like Microsoft, the best defenses are in place for your software. For example, Microsoft provides multilayered security protections. They also have a team of over 3,500 global cybersecurity experts, detecting threats and protecting your assets, information and sensitive data.  

Another critical component of cloud security is partnering with the right outside team to manage security needs after cloud implementation. A trusted Microsoft partner can audit the vulnerabilities of your organization and help you take a proactive stance against cybercrime. 

Always up-to-date

Most on-premise ERP systems require additional fees for annual maintenance and software updates. Sometimes the process for the upgrades is so complicated and expensive that companies are constrained by customizations that will not live through a migration. Plus, the manual upgrade process puts your company and data at risk because the process is similar to a new implementation.  

Cloud-based ERP solutions are evergreen, which means you get benefits faster and save money by not having to manually update your solution every few years. Updates are automatic. With Microsoft products, users receive monthly bug fixes, with major updates occurring a few times a year. Automatic updates ensure you are always on the most recent release, and they don’t disrupt the workday because users choose when the updates occur.  

Underlying any move to the cloud is a well-designed plan. Columbus can address your concerns and design a scalable, future-proof ERP solution, customized to address your present and future needs. Reach out today to learn more. 

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