The name of the game in today’s fast-paced business world is agility. Companies that empower employees to make data-driven decisions, adapt to new developments and proactively optimize operations are pulling ahead of those lagging behind due to the limitations of legacy systems.
As CIO outlines, many business applications have traditionally been “monolithic packages hosted on premises,” which — while often providing lots of oversight and control —were often “cumbersome” and inefficient. So, it’s no surprise to find companies are pivoting toward sleeker, more agile systems run in the cloud.
This is a major step toward overall digital transformation. Here are six applications forward-thinking enterprises should be moving into the cloud for the sake of agility.
Business Intelligence (BI) & Data Analytics
As data-driven companies continue to differentiate themselves from the pack, many organizations are harnessing cloud BI for its agility, scalability and accessibility for thousands of users throughout complex ecosystems.
With BI and analytics in the cloud, users can access analytics tools, key metrics and customizable dashboards from wherever they are, which helps speed decision-making, while providing stakeholders access to the information they need.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
As TechRepublic cites, nearly seven in 10 enterprises (69 percent) are in the process of migrating their ERP applications to the cloud. These apps are often deemed “business critical.”
Some of the top challenges companies are encountering as they endeavor to get their ERPs up and running on the cloud are cybersecurity, compliance and subsequent business disruptions. However, the fact a majority of businesses are forging ahead with ERP cloud migration speaks to the powerful potential advantages of doing so: the ability to scale up, reduce ownership expenses and utilize vendor-provided security patches/updates.
As we just mentioned, cybersecurity is a top concern in terms of the cloud. Safekeeping is a multi-faceted challenge — one involving security controls, data governance and regulatory requirements. While working with a cloud service provider (CSP) is one important line of defense, customers must still be prepared to shoulder some of the responsibility in terms of governing data, managing user access and deploying security products.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
An effective CRM system is an essential tool for acquiring and retaining customers. This is an area in which agility really matters, which is why companies are adopting cloud-based CRM solutions. In 2013, on-premise installations of CRM tech comprised 65 percent of the market. This had dropped to 38 percent by 2018, which demonstrates the general trend toward cloud and away from on-premises in terms of customer management.
Human Resource Management (HRM)
Another area in which agility can offer a major competitive advantage is people management. Companies utilize HRM systems to optimize payroll, hiring, handling of employee data and more. Cloud-based HRM can generally make important information much more accessible and centralized to various stakeholders. This has the potential to strengthen the connection between the HR department and everyone else. It also helps HR specialists identify opportunities for improvement.
Supply Chain Management (SCM)
Supply chains are more complex than ever — from production to order fulfillment and every stop in between. It’s difficult to make smart, timely decisions that’ll streamline the supply chain without a centralized hub for tracking, understanding and analyzing this information. Cloud-based SCM aims to provide more visibility and transparency into the chain, as well as help decision-makers make smart decisions pertaining to manufacturing, inventory, delivery, supplier relations and more.
Many believe exclusively on-premise SCM simply can’t keep pace with the many pressing demands in the field today: growing customer expectations, low visibility, clunky integration, expensive up-front investments, disruptions by new players in the market, speedier product lifecycles, etc.
Enterprises are increasingly moving these six applications — and more — to the cloud with the goals of ramping up business agility, getting crucial information into the hands of decision-makers who need it and moving past costly on-premise implementation of tech.