We are facing a paradigm shift in the way companies are using the ERP system. Systems, which during many years have been characterized by fatiguing upgrades and costly customizations, are about to be replaced with Cloud ERP.
Cloud ERP marks a new way of thinking ERP. First, we are dealing with mature cloud based solutions that only need limited customizations. The ERP system will rely on standard services and components, which has the advantage that companies will avoid costly re-implementations every decade. Just as Microsoft has declared that Windows 10 is the last version of the world’s most prevalent operating system, the ERP systems are taking on the same Evergreen approach. Hence, your next ERP is likely to be your last.
But how about all the necessary functions, modules and add-ons? Well, you can compare it to your smartphone. When we need a new functionality, we go online and download the apps we need. If they do not work as we want them to, we delete them and try another one.
The exact same model is now becoming everyday procedure within ERP. If you need a new functionality, you can easily download, test and make a decision. The idea is that companies no longer have to spend time and money on integration and development, but on finding the right solutions that fit their challenges.
The ERP of the future will be an open system integrating with all kinds of existing services, such as the company’s preferred CRM system, LinkedIn, etc. The introduction of apps is only one element of future ERP systems.
In order to gain all the benefits and advantages when choosing a modern and cloud based ERP system, you should think through your future architecture and organization. Below are 10 of the most important elements to consider when choosing a cloud based ERP system:
It will be easy to install new functions. You will download a functionality to the ERP, just as you download apps to your smartphone, leaving the core ERP system unaffected. The idea is that you add on solutions from all sides of the ERP system, rather than building it directly into the system – using a service oriented approach (SOA).
It is all about the users. With cloud-based ERP, they will get a new experience of user-friendliness. This applies, not only for the employees, but also for the company’s customers and suppliers who will get easier access to self-service portals and more interaction and collaboration.
The ERP of the future is not limited to the desktop computer. It is an overall trend – and expected - that employees, customers and suppliers will be able to work from everywhere. Cloud ERP is accessible from any device with internet access.
Automation is built into the Cloud ERP DNA, by optimizing business procedures and securing that employees do not waste time on non-value adding tasks. The use of “bots” and other techniques give “intelligent suggestions” to the employees so they can optimize their working procedures.
Cloud ERP systems will have an element of user-friendly machine learning. It will support the users’ decisions by analyzing the company’s historical data, which requires a solid overview and making complex calculations humans will never be able to do.
IoT is a reality and gives companies the opportunity to communicate across platforms and units, which is critical for competitiveness. We are already seeing many examples of consumer units collecting data about customer behavior, used as the foundation for optimization the business processes, as well as finding new business opportunities.
The company’s data will be their most important asset in the future. Cloud ERP systems really support in-depth analyzes and linkage of considerable amounts of data, being used directly in the management decision-making.
IT security is the foundation of all the elements in cloud ERP. Security is not an add-on or something nice to have. It is a built-in, basic necessity, that your cloud provider continuously will invest many resources into maintaining, both when it comes to securing against security breaches and regulatory requirements.
Learnings from past mistakes have paved the way for the next generation of Cloud ERP systems. With standard components and optional modules via apps, companies will get cheaper systems and a better overview of the costs. In addition, companies won’t be limited by outdated customizations that prevents business development. Furthermore, they will avoid re-implementing every 7-10 years.
Heavy systems that nobody knows how to navigate in belongs to the past. Cloud ERP is fast, agile and made for productivity. New opportunities are tested with a few clicks, thus working with ERP becomes a creative development process, which is constantly on going and evolving. However, the development also demands that you are as true to the standard functionality as possible, by always being updated with the latest version of the ERP system – through an Evergreen IT strategy.
About Microsoft Dynamics 365
Enter the world of a seamless, intelligent business cloud. Microsoft Dynamics 365 empowers businesses with the integrated functionality of ERP, CRM, Office 365, BI and more. This multi-tenant public cloud supports business users with insights and intelligence while they manage Sales, Customer Service, Field Services, Project Service Automation, Marketing and Operations, all at ease. For Columbus customers who pursue a digital transformation strategy, Microsoft Dynamics 365 enables people take right decisions, at the right time towards actionable next steps. Microsoft Dynamics 365 aligns with the Columbus business process management (BPM) tools—Columbus RapidValue and Columbus RapidValue INTERACT, the mobile BPM app—for companies that want to design and optimize customer-focused processes.