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ERP and the New Normal

Wednesday, May 13th, 2020

It is an extremely challenging time to be running a business.

 

“The world as we know it, will never be the same” – these are the words of our President, Cyril Ramaphosa, as he addressed the nation in response to the economic crisis and impact on business and people stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The recent challenges have forced us to make uncomfortable adjustments to the way we live and work, highlighting what it takes to respond quickly and with agility. Working from home has become an everyday reality for most people, and the ability for businesses to work remotely to ensure continuity of operations is critical.

 

While many businesses have already made the transition to the Cloud, research shows that roughly 60% of businesses are still reliant on legacy on-premises ERP solutions that make remote access to data and systems difficult.

Moving to Cloud-based strategies has now reached the tipping point brought on by the new normal. Businesses that have already made the switch are likely experiencing minimal disruption to their daily operations, remaining productive and connected.

 

Navigating unpredictable business conditions

Businesses have had to adapt the way they do business overnight. Considering for example, implementing an eCommerce platform versus dealing with in-person transactions, or co-ordinating rotational shifts to accommodate social distancing and managing remote teams whilst still maintaining operational efficiencies.

 

Cloud-based ERP has allowed businesses to navigate these murky waters and connect users, devices and offices. Here’s how:

 

  1. Real-time Access and Collaboration

Users working from their makeshift home offices have access to data in real-time, essentially taking their business with them wherever there is an internet connection and maintaining the same level of efficiencies as a traditional brick and mortar operation.

 

Understanding the financial position of the business, at any given point, enables the business to adapt and respond during periods of high volatility.

 

Varying security and access options enable users that potentially do not have access to a laptop or desktop can easily participate and execute on simple tasks via smartphone mobile apps using workflows and dashboards.

 

Workflow capabilities allow constant collaboration and sharing of information and data with the right people at the right time, offering flexibility to augment the business rapidly as the pandemic lockdown landscape changes.

 

  1. Ease of Integration

Cloud-based ERP makes use of APIs making app-to-app connections quick and easy to implement, deriving business value out of other cloud technologies. The ability to connect and interact with customers and vendors is vital in measuring the effectiveness of fast-paced business operation processes and data changes. Businesses need to be able to transact, especially with their customers, as quickly and electronically as possible, reducing the impact on cashflow.

The browser-based interface and seamless integration to Microsoft 365 effortlessly links the users to the business through applications they are already familiar with. Onboarding of new and existing staff can occur quickly with minimal training, cost and resistance.

 

  1. Always Up to Date

Outdated ERPs can pose an immense risk to any business. Keeping up to date with the latest versions reduces this risk and allows businesses to capitalise on evolutionary technology. Automated software updates save time and effort allowing business to focus on core areas with little to no disruption.

 

Now is the time to consider a move to the Cloud

The key takeaway is that business needs to continue with minimal disruption as we adjust to the new normal. We do not know what the coming weeks or months may hold, but it is essential that businesses assess and prepare their operations, their finances, and their people to continue to do business uninterrupted.

Engage with Braintree to assess your Cloud-readiness and identify potential improvements in a time when reliance on systems and infrastructure for business continuity does not allow for mistakes. Our offering, based on Microsoft technologies, includes full stack cloud ERP with Azure as infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and PowerBI for analytics.

 

Written by Claire Van der Merwe – Braintree: SMC Delivery Manager