Okay, I admit it... the title of this article is a little far out there. But today is the longest day of the year, so I'm asking you to spare a few seconds of your time to indulge my thoughts.
Across the northern hemisphere today, the summer solstice is being observed and celebrated. From well-known places like Stonehenge in England to obscure sites such as the Solar Tubes in Utah, people will gather to watch the astronomical alignment of the longest day above the equator. It has been a celebration observed for millennia.
Personally, it is one of my favorite pagan holidays.
I have always thought that if there were a day to celebrate cloud applications, summer solstice would be perfect. For most celebrants, summer solstice is a happy day framed with sunlight, hope and excitement. In many ancient cultures, the summer solstice represented the peak of their civilization’s annual cycle and was full opposite the winter solstice’s darkness. The summer solstice was a collective celebratory experience.
With cloud applications, especially in finance, we are collectively experiencing a similar transition from the dark days of on-premises systems limited by last century technologies, archaic architectures and disparate approaches.
The old ERP systems did accomplish their tasks, but the project costs were high, consultants were very expensive, and capital was the fuel. Often these projects produced ERP fatigue well before go-live, and original visions for productivity faded away as optimistic goals were discarded, ending in broken dreams and long-forgotten baseline budgets. Shelfware licenses accumulated like roadside debris, and when projects were finally signed off, it was time to start an upgrade. Meanwhile, IT staff struggled to keep up with patches, bugs and custom code repairs.
Truly dark and cold days full of despair.
Today, cloud ERP is delivered rapidly with minimal capital; operational expenses support the monthly subscriptions. Cloud customers use the licenses they need, when they are needed. The old concept of "shelfware" becomes a historical footnote. Limited capital is reserved for growth and innovation rather than financial software projects.
Rather than churn custom code, configuration is the rule. With embedded reporting, analytics and social collaboration, users can rapidly become more productive. Expensive hardware—including its licenses, maintenance, housing and support—is relegated to the past. And perhaps best of all, IT resources prosper by moving from tactical activities to strategic initiatives, thus growing their careers.
Maximum sunshine with happiness and excitement.
If you ponder the wonders of the solstice and our solar system this week, take a moment to consider celebrating cloud ERP and all it has done to deliver productivity and profits. Companies worldwide are divesting from the past and leaving behind their burdensome, on-premises financial management systems.
And as we celebrate the solstice in the Rocky Mountains, I will be watching late into the evening for those scattered, dancing clouds that want to embrace the warmth and light of our closest celestial star.
Happy summer solstice.