Knowing which technologies are the next big thing for a small or midsize business is a challenging task. Hype can exaggerate true value, and skepticism can lead to lost opportunities for growth. But no matter which side of the digital spectrum you’re on, all signs point towards replacing a collection of unconnected, incompatible applications and spreadsheets with a unified ERP system.
According to the IDC Analyst Connection brief, “Small and Midsize Businesses Put ERP at the Center of Digital Transformation Strategies,” cloud-based solutions have become the deployment method of choice.
The promise of lower cost of entry – compared to the upfront investment of procuring the software and hardware as well as maintenance, customization, expansion, security, recovery, and data backup creation – is certainly appealing. However, the real value of leveraging ERP capabilities in the cloud is the freedom to drive long-term, customer-facing innovation while the cloud provider maintains system integrity, security, and the latest technology updates.
Moving from aspiration to achievement as one business
One of the most widely held misconceptions of the cloud is that price is the ultimate deciding factor. However, this is not the whole truth. Organizations are effectively leasing their technology for a monthly fee, which continues until the business decides otherwise. It’s essentially the difference between renting and mortgaging a home – it all depends on your long-term plans for staying in one place.
So if cost is not the only reason why the cloud makes sense for growing companies, what does? In the IDC Analyst Connection brief, IDC’s Ray Boggs, vice president of Small and Midsize Business Research, and Mickey North Rizza, vice president of ERP and Digital Commerce Research, stated the appeal lies in the abilities to foster innovation and strengthen competitiveness in the future.
“IDC survey work found a strong commitment to innovation investment among midsize firms, with the average IT budget allocated to operation (60%) and innovation and transformation processes (40%),” Boggs and Rizza cited. They also mentioned that ERP technology can play an important part in a company’s innovation by streamlining processes to free staff time for more strategic initiatives and uncovering insights to take on new opportunities.
Take, for example, Oclaro. The fast-growing US-based business manufacturer and seller of optical components needed to bring together siloed data across systems and lines of business into a single, wall-to-wall landscape with a next-generation ERP platform. The project was completed in less than a year – with systems up and running beginning on the first day of going live.
Now, the company has centralized, integrated data from finance to forecasting, procurement, manufacturing, and HR. And as “one Oclaro,” it is growing and innovating to meet the world’s expanding appetite for high-speed, bandwidth-intensive applications.
Breaking through uncharted territory with unity, speed, and clarity
In many ways, small and midsize businesses are dealing with uncharted territory every day. Accelerated innovation and business disruption are everywhere, and a loyal following and market leadership are no longer good reasons for staying complacent.
With an ERP deployment in the cloud, the latest in a series of technologies can help growing companies break through the status quo and build a name for themselves. Each new wave of digital innovation becomes a step up in the business’s capacity for real-time insight, higher productivity, meaningful collaboration, greater simplicity, and competitive speed.
Find out the answers to five common questions that small and midsize companies ask about ERP systems. Read the IDC Analyst Connection brief, “Small and Midsize Businesses Put ERP at the Center of Digital Transformation Strategies,” featuring IDC’s Ray Boggs, vice president of Small and Midsize Business Research, and Mickey North Rizza, vice president of ERP and Digital Commerce Research.