Cloud enterprise resource planning (ERP) is a transformation solution helping companies doing business online. It replaces traditional onsite ERP. Cloud computing is enabling digital transformation by providing benefits to companies (56% of companies surveyed in the 2020 Edition of the PwC Executive Survey have moved part of their applications to the cloud). During the COVID-19 crisis, cloud ERP has played a vital role in maintaining business continuity. This made many companies increasingly aware of the importance of ERP for the viability of their businesses. Access to business information in real time, from anywhere and on any device is proving to be vital.
Many of our clients now understand that cloud ERP is something they must implement. It ensures that the workforce can continue to work, from home remotely on their own computers, or even abroad in the case of being stranded in a foreign country due to travel bans.
The cloud serves as a single platform to access data across the organisation, allowing a single source of truth and less reliance on data from multiple systems. For example, CFOs can access financial statements in real time, and access data from other areas, such as procurement, and evaluate the impact on the finances. Over the past years, cloud ERP has become more and more powerful, providing holistic and consistent financial information with limited reconciliation needs.
Multidimensional analysis and embedded analytics were developed to provide CFO and controllers with more insights into accounting and transactional data. The flexibility provided by cloud ERPs enables finance to create tailored reports with real-time data. This provides answers to specific questions and supports decision-making with timely and trusted financial statements. This means that CFOs can quickly assess the impact of an unexpected event on financial statements and take appropriate action.
Cloud-based ERP offers streamlined ways to benefit from latest technologies and regular innovation (e.g., robotic process automation, machine learning, and predictive analytics). CFOs can benefit from the latest innovations such as data visualisation, analytics, and artificial intelligence. On top of that, regular innovations result in cloud applications benefiting from automatic security updates, keeping the system secure.
Rather than being purchased outright, cloud-based ERP implementations are paid for through a subscription model, which typically includes not just the software but also the hosting and support costs. Thus, the initial capital expenditure required for implementation is significantly lower than for traditional systems, and operating costs can often be lower as well.
One of the impediments of any ERP system is the implementation time. The cloud-based ERP business can normally start up and run more quickly than on-premises, as it does not require selecting and setting up hardware or hiring and training IT staff.
Cloud ERP is enabling digital transformation, such as flexible user interfaces, streamlined data integration and improvement of financial reporting efficiency and accuracy. The user flexibility ‘accessible anywhere at any time’ functionality of cloud ERP is proving to be vital during the pandemic, as restrictions on mobility forced companies to rapidly adjust to remote working. When it comes to business continuity and crisis recovery, many companies now understand that cloud ERP is something they must do, no matter what.
As cloud ERPs aim to streamline processes, they are effective tools to manage financial processes efficiently. Hence, cloud applications are easier to use as well as relevant for the business. Moreover, cloud deployment allows users to access information from anywhere and from any digital device.