What is cloud ERP software, and why do you need it?

| 8/3/2021
What is cloud ERP software, and why do you need it?

Here’s the reality: Right now, you’re either gaining an edge in your industry or getting left behind by the competition. That’s why everyone is looking for ways to improve efficiency, increase revenue, and gain a larger market share for their organization.

An effective, cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) software solution can be the solution you need – but with technology moving forward so fast, it’s sometimes hard to keep up. Even a quick search of “what is cloud ERP software” can result in a slew of confusing answers.

Let’s take a minute to clear up the confusion about cloud-based ERP software and the ways it can benefit your organization.

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What is an ERP platform?

Simply put, ERP software is an intelligent system that integrates all the core functions of your organization into a single software platform. As a result, an ERP system helps your organization work smarter by enabling easier collaboration across business units, increased visibility of essential real-time data, and improved efficiency through automation.

What is a cloud-based solution?

“Cloud-based” means that applications and resources are available to users via the internet from a cloud computing provider’s server. Cloud-based ERP software is different from an on-premise solution that requires you to have technology on-site and a dedicated IT team.

There are some pretty clear advantages to cloud-based solutions. Cloud-based ERP software decreases IT costs, and the ERP software provider handles oversight. No more system overhauls and constant replacing of outdated equipment. It’s a solution that will free your organization to focus on your core business – while saving time and money.

Why do you need cloud-based ERP software?

As an organization grows and evolves, each business unit often implements individual software solutions to manage data and essential processes effectively. As time passes, it becomes more challenging for these growing business units to collaborate and “speak the same language.” Trying to understand the effectiveness of a given area can often mean hours of mining for information. Attempts to export data from one system to another with incompatible software can become a hairball of a mess.

What’s the bottom line for doing business without a cloud ERP platform? Decreased efficiency, lost revenue, siloed business units, and headaches for your employees.

What are the key benefits of an ERP system?

Cloud-based ERP software can bring numerous benefits to your organization. They include having a centralized system, automation of information and processes, and flexible customization. Let’s take a quick look at each of these benefits.

A centralized system

Imagine one centralized system that helps manage inventory, sales and marketing, accounting, human resources, and customer relationship management – all integrated and connected under one operating umbrella. Imagine a streamlined database that every employee can access in real time in any department or location, at any time. They can access the same data and tools and collaborate quickly and efficiently – no more exporting spreadsheets or lengthy explanations to get on the same page.

Even though these business modules remain distinct in function, the ERP software integrates them to provide a clear flow of real-time data and information across the entire organization. As a result, it offers incredible operational visibility with a common dashboard that every employee can access with simplicity.

Automation of information and processes

As your organization looks to increase efficiency and improve processes, an ERP system can provide automation tools that previously would have taken hours for an employee (or even a whole team) to perform. Automation features include:

  • Improved data mining and analytics at the touch of a button
  • Automation of traditional business processes such as inventory, order management, sales processes, and customer relationship management
  • Smart learning or AI (artificial intelligence) to improve processes and provide accurate forecasting

Given the advances in machine learning, there are countless ways to take advantage of process improvement and analytics for your organization. Speaking to an experienced ERP implementation specialist can help you see greater possibilities for your organization.

Flexible customization

No industry or organization is the same. What works for one does not always work for another. In addition, your organization needs to be dynamic and flexible to meet and exceed your customers’ needs. The good news is cloud-based ERP software can offer a high degree of flexible customization to allow for a competitive edge in an ever-changing world. ERP software typically has an open system architecture, allowing for new business modules and customized applications to be added without impacting the other modules.

For example, here at Crowe, we have over 15 years of partnership with NetSuite, a leading ERP provider with decades of experience and specialization. Given our own experience and our team of specialists, we can offer customization and applications built on top of the NetSuite system to meet your organizational needs. The result is a dynamic system that can adjust to meet your industry demands and a system that will exceed your customer expectations.

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Researching and selecting the right cloud-based ERP software can be confusing.

We're here to help you, whether you just have a question for one of our ERP implementation specialists, or you’re interested in a 30-minute demo of NetSuite.

We can answer your questions and take the guesswork out of choosing the best solution for your organization.

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Simon Riley
Simon Riley
Principal, NetSuite Solutions Leader
Steven Parker
Steven Parker
Managing Director, Consulting
Alejandro Alvarez
Alejandro Alvarez
Principal, Consulting