Today (March 12th) is officially recognised as the internet’s birthday. An awful lot has changed since the day in 1989 when computer programmer Sir Tim Berners-Lee, wrote a paper that evolved into a framework for the worldwide web. Rather than having some jelly and ice cream, we thought we’d celebrate by looking at one way the internet can help your business.
Cloud computing is becoming ever-present in our daily life. Each of us is using it in some way to communicate with others, access information, read and react to news, manage our finances, listen to music, and much more. It’s probably contributing to the way that you’re accessing this website.
Technically speaking, it’s the practice of using a network of remote servers hosted on the internet to store, manage, and process data, rather than a local server or a personal computer. Cloud Computing has brought true globalisation, giving accessibility, success and education to the masses. It can also be used to help your business run more effectively.
Get your head in the cloud
If you haven’t considered it already, you could be putting your business at a disadvantage, as well as losing ground to your competitors and diminishing any potential for growth. Cloud computing is designed to store, manage and process data, so it’s not difficult to see how it can support your business and help it grow.
There is a growing desire from businesses to put more of their business operation processes in the cloud. The latest trend is to adopt a hosted or SaaS (software as a service) ERP cloud application as it offers small to medium enterprises and business start-ups significant benefits in improving efficiency and becoming more competitive.
Businesses are becoming more aware and informed of cloud computing and a shift from traditional infrastructure to the cloud is already gathering momentum. This is due largely to the fact that it allows businesses of any size to access, work on and use data via the internet, giving them the freedom to grow without an excessive increase in IT costs.
Here are some of the silver linings you could experience when you move your ERP to the cloud:
There’s a misconception that your data is more secure if it’s stored on your own premises. In all likelihood, it’s probably safer in a managed data centre, maintained by professionals, than a company’s server room. Cloud providers are well prepared for the responsibility that comes with managing data, ensuring that appropriate measures are in place to prevent data breaches.
By moving to an on-demand IT service, businesses no longer have to invest so heavily upfront for software licences and hardware, such as servers. The overall cost of ownership is dramatically reduced and with monthly payment options available, smaller businesses have a lot more freedom to allow for future growth. You can also save on maintenance and upgrade costs.
Depending on the ERP system that you use, it should provide you with the scalability to add different functions/modules. It should also have the flexibility to allow you to increase or decrease the number of user licences required. Adopting SaaS ERP allows you to pay per month, per user, helping you to avoid unnecessary expenditure on unused licences.
Less risk, more continuity
Because business operations can be managed remotely, if your premises ever experienced a flood, fire or power blackout, or severe weather conditions meant that your staff couldn’t make it into the office, you won’t lose time or money. All business documents are stored in the cloud, so there’s also no loss of data and no downtime in operations.
Outsourcing your software to a hosting provider, means less internal resources to support and maintain ageing hardware. Internal IT professionals can then focus on how best to deliver growth and profitability by improving their other IT processes and requirements.
There’s no need to concern yourself with software updates, even if you have configured your original software to meet your needs. All of the updates are managed by the software vendor and any changes that have been made will remain, working in tandem with the new technology.
Anytime anywhere access
If your business software is in the cloud, as long as you have an internet connection, you will be able to access your data wherever and whenever you need it. This allows you to have the right information at your fingertips, increasing your control of information and improving productivity.
Collaboration and engagement
Cloud ERP allows employees to simultaneously access and work on documents, increasing collaboration, which in turn improves efficiency.
Speed of deployment
If you choose a cloud ERP solution, it could potentially be up and running in half the time it would usually take to install software on-site. Any delays with on-premises implementation are usually caused by the procurement of suitable hardware.
Cloud is only one of the deployment options available when you consider Microsoft Dynamics NAV. If you want to discuss your options, we can help with any questions about which deployment may be best for you, and also introduce you to a Microsoft partner with the necessary knowledge and experience to help you grow your business. Get in touch today.
Written by Mark Blackmore Head of Telemarketing at QBS Group
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