“The only thing that is constant is change” said the Greek philosopher Heraclitus, over two thousand years ago.
He could have been describing today's business environment, where your team can be working at capacity one day - and at a standstill the next. As the pandemic rolls on and disruptions continue, it has become clear that the most resilient businesses have technology and automation firmly embedded into their business strategy. Those who have kept their doors open are now at a point when using technology to manage their operations, customer interactions and workforce has become critical to business survival and success in the ‘new normal’.
SO why is technology, such as a cloud-based ERP critical to business resilience?
Why cloud technology is the cornerstone of business resilience
Resilience is defined as the ability to cope with, and recover from, difficulties. While people need emotional tools like adaptability and strength to be resilient, businesses need technological tools to give them the flexibility and operational strength required to overcome challenges.
Technology provides business continuity
The speed with which businesses have recently migrated from on-premise to cloud-based systems perfectly demonstrates why technology is critical for business continuity.
Last year as offices and shops sat empty, many of those without the technology to manage contactless interactions, online transactions, team collaboration, and remote operations, didn’t survive.
Research by Comcast Business showed nearly one-third of companies (31%) implemented new technologies solely because of the pandemic. Of those, 23% predicted that those changes would have taken one to three years to make under ordinary circumstances. As a result of their investment, these businesses reported being more agile and advanced, and benefitted from more streamlined and effective operations.
With this experience under their belt and an uncertain future ahead, businesses see the long-term value of technology investment. Grant Thornton’s International Business Report revealed that 45.6% of global respondents felt they would need to increase their use of technology and digital transformation initiatives following the COVID crisis. Of those, 78% intend to maintain or increase their technology budget in the next twelve months.
Reliable technology that automates manual tasks offers accurate processing, and uninterrupted uptime gives business leaders and staff confidence that the business will continue to be successful. KPMG identified automation of tasks as an imperative action for businesses that are redressing gaps in their technological resilience. This digital transformation should start with identifying manual or repetitive processes that are paper or spreadsheet-based and subject to human error, then uploading the data kept in disparate systems or spreadsheets into a single database.
Technology provides insights for innovative solutions
With technology taking care of day-to-day business, humans can focus on finding innovative solutions to the unique challenges thrown at them on a (near) daily basis. Accurate, up-to-the-minute data and meaningful insights are essential. Businesses who have access to real-time information about purchasing behaviour, workforce performance and resource usage can make informed decisions about how they modify their products or services and distribution channels to meet market changes.
Post-pandemic, experts predict that resilience will be supported by applying artificial intelligence and machine learning to company data to inform business strategies, capitalise on new ways of working, and ensure businesses remain compliant with data security and privacy laws.
How cloud-based ERPs support resilience
When the number of people on site can be limited by health regulations at short notice, true business continuity and resilience can only be achieved if day-to-day functions can be managed remotely. Suppliers and customers using cloud technology themselves to keep things running smoothly, expect it the same from other businesses, or they’ll go elsewhere.
On-premise technology has its benefits; however, it poses problems when staff are called away to meet carer’s obligations or because of school closures. A cloud-based system means that regardless of location, a secure internet connection is all that is needed to continue to run the business without interruption. This includes controlling inventory in real-time, managing sales orders, monitoring projects, paying suppliers, and managing payroll to name just a few.
Switching to a cloud-based solution allows businesses to easily scale up or down to meet peaks and troughs, as businesses aren’t limited by on-premise restrictions. The decision to modify the scale of a business – whether to facilitate growth or respond to external events – is supported by real-time data from the ERP and other integrated cloud systems.
There is further benefit for users of cloud-based ERPs that have workforce management technology built-in. This type of software, such as the new MYOB Advanced People module, allows managers to adjust schedules, onboard new staff and send out updates without the need to rely on unsecured emails, paper rosters or external messaging systems.
As we look with trepidation towards a post-pandemic world, the only thing businesses can be sure of is that the ‘new normal’ will be ever-changing. Having remotely accessible technology that supports business resilience by streamlining operations will provide the best chance of success.
Build your business resilience by switching to the cloud with MYOB Advanced
As technology develops at breakneck speed with the cloud at the forefront, investing in a migration to a cloud-based ERP will secure your businesses’ success well into the future. Contact our Exobiz team today to discuss how to migrate to a cloud-based ERP.