Technology silos are a major issue for business. Many SMEs have long operated using multiple legacy systems and software that serve very specific purposes for one department or even just a handful of employees. But the cost is complexity and challenges sharing information.
These costs from technology silos are especially pronounced today; business today calls for integration, collaboration and data-sharing. Getting these disparate and typically outdated systems to work together in a meaningful way is next to impossible, and keeping silos in place is simply not practical for SMEs that want to remain vital and competitive.
The solution is a cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) system that encompasses all your business functions and seamlessly connects with vendors, customers and other systems.
A comprehensive cloud-based ERP solution will also include a large number of integrations upfront, making it an affordable and flexible choice for SMEs with legacy, siloed systems in place. Because this type of offering resides in the cloud, businesses don't need to worry about maintaining hardware and software on site, which can be a cumbersome, expensive IT headache.
How Cloud ERP Breaks Down Technology Silos
If you and your SME is tired of managing multiple legacy systems that don't easily connect to the cloud and are difficult to integrate, then cloud ERP is probably the right choice for you. Here’s why.
1) Integration and Visibility
Cloud ERP provides an integrated, holistic view of all your systems and data, and offers real-time access and sharing throughout your company. All departments will have access to data, reporting and analytics, enabling them to work toward common growth goals as a united team.
One of the most valuable benefits of cloud ERP is its ability to integrate with a wide variety of legacy software solutions directly out of the box. Most offerings provide hundreds of integrations, and also offer software development kits and APIs to easily integrate additional applications and services.
2) Financial Control
A cloud ERP solution offers control over all aspects of an SME’s finances. A comprehensive offering will typically provide automation for a variety of routine accounting tasks, easing the burden on your workers so they may focus on growth.
Cloud ERP offerings also have a variety of reporting tools built into the system to optimize purchasing and achieve the best margins possible.
3) Supply Chain Transparency
Having complete visibility into inventory and distribution is a powerful tool for any SME. Cloud ERP solutions provide this type of real-time access while enabling full management of inventory and distribution.
Automated reporting and analytics are also extremely useful for SMEs in terms of setting pricing and discounts and pinpointing areas for growth. They may also be used to glean insights into pain points and areas that may need improvement.
4) Employee Empowerment
Technology silos ultimately take power away from your workers, since they cannot access data and information that could help them grow your company. Cloud ERP enables employees to make better and quicker decisions backed by comprehensive data and analytics.
This type of information sharing is a powerful tool for facilitating collaboration, ingenuity and creativity, all which translate to company growth. By taking advantage of a centralized system, your departments and employees will be empowered to work together to achieve common goals and solve problems they encounter along the way.
5) Deployment and Maintenance Flexibility
Cloud ERP offerings are inherently flexible and may be deployed in a way that works best for your SME's technology architecture. And because they are hosted in the cloud, they offer security, scalability and reliability without the hassle and resources needed to host an on-premises offering.
Similarly, cloud solutions don't require on-premises maintenance and management, freeing up precious IT resources for other projects.
6) Mobility and Accessibility
One of the best features of cloud ERP is enabling access to a variety of data from anywhere and any device. That means any team member with an internet connection can gain real-time access to valuable data while traveling or working in a remote office.
That type of accessibility is extremely important right now, with so many employees working remotely due to COVID-19. But as companies grow and expand, having a distributed workforce is a necessity and cloud ERP offers full support of a mobile team.
Technology silos inhibit growth, and multiple legacy systems do not easily lend themselves to scalability. Cloud ERP solves this problem by unifying multiple systems and enabling them to scale up or down organically in the cloud.
Resources may be easily and quickly scaled to accommodate new employees or seasonal slowdowns. And the best feature is that your SME will only pay for the resources it needs at a particular time.
Cloud ERP solves many common SME technology problems through an intuitive, unified, cost-effective system. Multiple legacy systems that aren't designed to work together, nor work easily with the cloud, ultimately create silos in your business.
A siloed business is not set up to support collaboration, creativity and ultimately growth. If your SME is struggling from the pain and hassle of trying to get multiple systems to work together, a cloud ERP solution is something you should be considering strongly.
To learn more about cloud ERP, download our free guide, Understanding Cloud ERP for Non-IT Executives.