Unlocking the Potential of Cloud-Based ERP: A Digital Finance Transformation

As we see a dramatic advancement in business technology, cloud-based ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) has emerged as. Today, it’s not a matter of “if” your company should embrace it, but rather “when.” The shift to cloud-ERP in modern businesses and enterprises is setting a new example of how technology solutions are being conceived and delivered and this change is rapidly becoming the new standard in the corporate world. 

As we see a dramatic advancement in business technology, cloud-based Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) has emerged. Today, it’s not a matter of “if” your company should embrace it, but rather “when.” The shift to cloud-ERP in modern businesses and enterprises is setting a new example of how technological solutions are being conceived and delivered, and this change is rapidly becoming the new standard in the corporate world.  

Are Your Business Fundamentals Ready for the Promise of Cloud-ERP  

Major enterprises are transitioning to ERP systems with expectations of benefits like reduced manual effort, increased transparency, a unified source of truth, and enhanced productivity. But alas! Not all are able to reap the benefits so quickly. Simple tasks like deriving reports of profitability analysis become a task in itself.   

Result –   

Resorting back to spreadsheet models to generate the report. This scenario is not what you expected from the new ERP system that promised to simplify your work.  

Reason –   

Your business fundamentals are not firmly in place, not allowing you to leverage the power of a potent ERP system. New ERP systems coupled with digital technologies like Robotic Process Automation (RPA), cognitive computing, and machine learning hold immense potential to enhance Finance efficiency and provide valuable business insights.    

But to do so, your business can’t simply rely on the assumption that technology will solve all problems. Your business strategies and operations need to be in sync and ready for the ERP implementation, or you can expect your well-intentioned ERP system to fall far short of expectations. In the end, you’ll end up with wasted money on the table, lower return on investment, increased frustration among clients, and lousy brand credibility in future projects. 

 

The Cloud-ERP Revolution: More Than Just Migration 

The statistics are out! 93% of major enterprises and business executives are either adopting cloud-based ERP processes or are considering a switch, mainly via pilots, migration initiatives, or hybrid approaches. But the question for you shouldn’t be whether to make the shift; that’s a given. It’s rather to contemplate what benefits to expect from your investments. Your business’ needs are to manage your cloud presence effectively and how you can navigate the transition most efficiently. 

 

In the coming years, cloud-based ERP, automation, and cognitive innovations are bound to make the finance processes simple, narrowing them down to a great extent. The integration of blockchain will also accelerate and liberate human potential. This transition will empower individuals to add more value to their organizations than ever before. But the question remains the same: Is Your Business Model ready for the Big Switch?  

Some may speculate about the demise of finance under the weight of digital disruption, but the reality is quite different. While finance functions may become leaner in terms of operational roles, expectations for support from finance, particularly in areas like business partnering, reporting, planning, budgeting, forecasting, tax, treasury, and investor relations, will continue to rise. 

 

It is Business That Drives the ERP System, Not the Other Way Around  

Strengthening business capabilities and functional integrations is the solution if one is looking to accelerate scalability and sustainability in their business model. It’s not the ERP technology alone that can bring them the desired outcomes, but the operating model of business that will set your technology-driven business model apart from the rest. What you need is a vision aligned with your company goals and a capable ERP system to back that vision.  

Figure out a robust ERP strategy that answers the following:  

  1. Harmonizing Cross-Functional Leadership 

Your project often fails, which stems from a need for more alignment among leadership on defining success and the associated expectations. What you need to determine first is a well-documented and clearly understood strategy that fosters organizational cohesion – steering everyone towards a shared goal.  

  1. Holistic Business Requirements 

Your ERP strategy must ensure that the right stakeholders, including Finance, IT, order management, supply chain, and business units, actively contribute. This alignment guarantees a comprehensive understanding of business needs and requirements, reducing the risk of rework costs when essential functions fall short of expected capabilities.  

  1. Strategic Scope for Cost Management 

ERP strategy must encompass a specific scope of cost control, facilitating change management effectiveness and providing a structured framework to guide decision-making throughout the program.  

  1. Navigating success with a Clear Roadmap 

Similar to any other business strategy, your ERP programs can veer off without a well-structured roadmap. On the other hand, a robust strategy, complete with specific objectives, will serve as a dependable compass, ensuring more predictable outcomes and a smoother path to success. 

 

 

Navigating the ERP Journey: A Golden Age of Technology for Finance 

Embarking on an ERP journey requires a clear understanding of where your organization is heading. In the age of digital transformation, it’s vital to recognize the potential for business evolution, the role each function will play, and the development of a strategy to achieve desired business capabilities.  

We see a plethora of new players coming with advanced finance applications and microservices challenging the traditional ERP systems with the incorporation of digital technologies such as automation, blockchain, and cognitive tools into their products. These changes can only be implemented and navigated smoothly by robust Cloud-based ERP ready to ensure that your system stays up to date with the latest advancements. You have to make your cloud-ERP a strategic imperative to grow. 

Finance is entering an era where cloud-based ERP, coupled with microservices, will proliferate. You have to understand the current and future shifts and leverage them to reduce technological complexity and costs without compromising functionality. 

What’s Next: Building Your Cloud-ERP Roadmap 

With ERP providers continuously enhancing their capabilities and services, it’s crucial to explore the possibilities offered by your ERP provider. Create your roadmap to the cloud, considering which products or services need ongoing adjustments, the critical information required for decision-making, and which products are cost-intensive with varying usage patterns. 

Most ERP vendors have different cloud strategies, and similarly, companies are designed on pre-adopted data foundation, or their data lake initiatives are underway. While cloud-ERP is the definitive future – it’s vital you understand and streamline how you fit your architecture and platform with that of your ERP vendor. If you deviate further from your cloud-ERP vendor’s architecture and platform strategy, you’ll face more enormous adoption challenges. 

The Cloud-Centric Future of ERP 

Major ERP providers are favoring cloud-optimized versions of their software, with cloud-native options gaining prominence. Cloud ERP promises faster access to business insights and is inching closer to functional equivalency with on-premises solutions. Considering the latest cloud-ERP advancements, it’s safe to say that for your company’s core finance platform, cloud solutions should be the default starting position. 

The cloud-ERP introduces standard business processes while it provides enhanced configuration, improving capabilities by reducing time spent on custom functionalities and reporting templates. 

Conclusion 

The growing enthusiasm for cloud-based ERP holds the potential to fulfill a longstanding aspiration of finance organizations: swift and effortless discovery and dissemination of business insights. Both cloud and on-premises iterations of leading ERP software solutions are converging toward functional parity. 

However, it’s essential to recognize that change management now plays an even more pivotal role. Embracing standardized processes becomes imperative, as customization options are limited. Furthermore, given the regular stream of updates and releases, fostering a culture of continual enhancement within your team is a welcomed and beneficial development. 

Leave a Reply