By Grant Kieckhaefer, Global ERP EPM Product Marketing Manager, Oracle
The social and economic disruption caused by COVID-19 has upended operations and plans in every business. Organizations are continually reevaluating their lines of business, ways of operating and financial health to make sure they can weather the crisis. They need the ability to change direction quickly—and frequently—to stay resilient during this challenging time.
Transformation leaders must look internally to understand where change is needed most. Many are finding that legacy, on-premise systems are among the biggest obstacles to agility and resilience. As a result, we’re seeing a growing trend towards cloud ERP solutions. Here are six reasons why cloud adoption is accelerating during this crisis.
Working from home isn’t a new concept—but now, it’s no longer a perk or luxury. With current and evolving health regulations, remote working is now a necessity for many businesses. Most on-premise systems are not configured for remote users to easily access critical information in real time, leading to employees being unable to do their jobs effectively.
Since its first release over a decade ago, Oracle Fusion Cloud ERP was designed so workers can remotely access internal systems and tools easily and securely. Employees can connect from anywhere in the world, using a single sign-on from their laptop, phone or tablet. Oracle Fusion Cloud embodies the primary requirement of every business today: “Work securely from anywhere, anytime, on any device.”
Flexible business models are essential to respond to changing market demands. You need an enterprise system that lets you modify essential business models with ease, accuracy, and confidence.
Consider how companies transitioned employees from office buildings to home workspaces early in the pandemic. Many organizations needed to quickly procure cap-ex items like laptops and other support equipment while zeroing out travel, an op-ex category. They also had to respond to interruptions in their supply chains, financial models, and plans. Some even changed their end products to respond to spikes in demand; think about car manufacturers who started making ventilators, restaurants that had to offer home delivery within days, or fashion brands who turned to making masks.
As you remember the early days of this pandemic, now is a good time to ponder: “How well did my on-premise ERP handle this challenge? What would have been a better approach to handling rapid changes?” You may find that your end-users did not get what they needed quickly enough with an on-premise system.
On-premise ERP tends to fall short when responding to rapid change; revising customized code to make the system do new things takes a long time, and upgrading the system to a new version takes even longer. By contrast, cloud ERP is updated several times per year; Oracle Fusion Cloud ERP is updated quarterly, giving you access to new functionality as soon as it’s available. It also has built-in machine learning to help automate more processes (like entering invoices) and recommending money-saving actions (like offering a discount to a certain supplier). These capabilities let your employees spend less time on manual tasks and more on strategic goals that drive business results.
Beyond machine learning, all Oracle Cloud business applications take advantage of other embedded technologies like artificial intelligence, blockchain, intelligent process automation (IPA), the Internet of Things (IoT), new human interfaces (AR and VR) and others. With these technologies, Cloud ERP gives you the power to reduce costs, sharpen forecasts, and innovate more—all while working collaboratively with real-time data across your geographically dispersed, at-home workforce.
Designed for the cloud from the ground-up, Oracle Cloud ERP is scalable and flexible; it enables businesses to remain resilient and still grow through challenging circumstances.
On-premise systems often rely on third-party solutions to handle enterprise planning and forecasting. Planning and forecasting is difficult, if not impossible, without quality, real-time finance and operational data. This leaves legacy on-premise users at a disadvantage. As the pandemic plays out, enterprise modeling driven by scenarios, plans and forecasts has never been more important.
Disconnected legacy systems can hobble companies with data quality problems, mis-aligned data schemas, and outdated concepts like push-and-pull data warehousing. Real-time is only real-time if it happens without delay. On-premise systems often bandage data latency issues with spreadsheets or third-party applications, which often only create more data mismatches—adding risk and reluctance to important decisions.
With Oracle Cloud solutions, you get pre-built integrations between all aspects of finance, accounting, budgeting, planning, forecasting—even workforce, sales and operational data. From simple analysis to complex modeling, real-time is truly real-time with accurate information that inspires confidence. With Oracle Cloud applications and Oracle Fusion Cloud EPM, you get a dynamic, real-time confluence of enterprise information.
On-premise systems are great at gathering troves of data from their operations—like a vacuum cleaner collecting data into an unstructured (and somewhat dirty) environment that becomes a whirlwind of chaos. The framework for on-premise ERP was pioneered in the last century, when green bar impact printers were the norm for delivering business reports. These disparate systems don’t share data, meaning that business users have to manually extract and analyze numbers—leading to inaccurate and inefficient insights. These legacy solutions are not conducive for modern reporting, modeling, and analytics.
Oracle Fusion Cloud ERP gives your users a single source of truth, so they can share data fluidly and securely. Your employees have access to key insights in real time, fostering quicker and more accurate decision making.
With the COVID-19 pandemic driving organizations to rapidly adapt, we’ve seen a growing need for operational agility across the whole enterprise. With ERP at the core of every business, the importance of integrated solutions across supply chains, production, procurement, and projects has become more important than ever.
It’s tough to move quickly when systems don’t share information or use a common data schema. Delays in collecting and understanding information can result in delayed or incomplete decisions with unwanted consequences. Cash is the fuel for every organization—and with a modern cloud ERP system at the core of your enterprise, you stand a much better chance of keeping the tank full and not getting stranded on the side of the road while your competition passes you by.
Even today, you can still find legacy, on-premise solutions that haven’t been upgraded in ten or more years. But the overall trends are clear. The key to resiliency is to be agile, responsive, and take advantage of new opportunities. When you adopt Cloud ERP and retire your on-premise enterprise solutions, you deliver flexible, modern capabilities built for today’s challenges and tomorrow’s changes.
As you encounter the fork in the road regarding your current on-premise system, consider how comprehensive cloud solutions from Oracle will help you better meet the needs of your organization—not just today, but after this pandemic is retired to history, like so many legacy technologies.