Why moving Business Applications to the cloud matters

"Cloud is everywhere"

Our businesses need to change faster today than we have every had to change. The Digital Revolution is upon us and we need to ensure that we have the right systems in place to support not just growth, but change as well. Nowhere is the need for agility greater than in the SMB sector in the UK. When shift happens, we need to be able to lead and react.

In every industry, organizations face significant pressures. Competitors are introducing new products, customers are demanding improved service and greater speed, and companies are launching new offerings and expanding to new geographies. Achieving ambitious growth and expansion goals requires operating differently.

It requires breaking silos, having “one version of the truth” with real-time visibility to make fast, informed decisions. Companies need speed, visibility, and scalability as never before. This requires a modern IT infrastructure that supports the need to operate differently. For most organizations, the on-premise systems of the past don’t meet the business needs of the present and future.

So let’s think specifically about what the benefits of moving towards a true cloud solution looks like. If you were to ask me for my top 5, it would be (and in no particular order):

  1. Someone else managing and taking responsibility for Security
  2. Someone else owning the maintenance of the infrastructure
  3. Someone else managing the regular updates to the software
  4. Someone else being responsible for integrating with other Cloud vendors
  5. Shifting from a CapEx model

  So how does moving to a true Cloud ERP solution impact your business?

If this article were being written 5 years ago, it would undoubtedly be a piece about “move to the Cloud, its super secure and great” – most of you reading this mail have probably moved at least some of your infrastructure to the Cloud and at least some of your applications into the Cloud too: like expense management or CRM. BUT… there are still a lot of servers tucked away in unlocked server rooms running Dynamics GP and other on-premise ERP solutions that would be too costly to move to the cloud. Most finance teams get the raison d’etre of “the cloud is a good thing”. So lets move on from the “to Cloud or not to Cloud” conversation.

Let us be frank – you may have invested in Dynamics GP or your other on-premise business applications, upgraded the solutions faithfully whenever a new version becomes available… but it is still very much a siloed application – typically “owned” by the finance team with very little visibility outside the team. Worse than this, you may have avoided the hassle of upgrading despite paying your annual support and enhancement fee and you have just realised how much it will cost to move on to the latest version.

The definition of “Someone Else” is key when selecting your cloud ERP vendor. They have to be a tried and trusted ERP software author, they need to have demonstrated an investment in security and infrastructure investment. They also – and this is so crucial – need to understand where your current business data has come from and experience of helping you move through that potentially painful migration. So lets think about who that “Someone Else” could be… someone who understands you and your solution with a huge partner channel… someone who has invested billions in R&D… someone who has invested more in Cloud infrastructure over the last than any other organisation globally…

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