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  • June 7, 2018

ERP cloud top trends in 2018

Deirdre Houchen
Senior Marketing Director, ERP/EPM, Oracle

Although businesses are coming for the money, it’s the innovation they’re staying for—that’s according to our report The End of Technology Obsolescence, ERP Trends in 2018. Despite savings being one of the main reasons for your business to move to the cloud, it’s the ability to simplify how you stay up-to-date, as well the endless opportunities access to the platform enables, that are the real game-changers.

Modern businesses are changing at an unprecedented rate, and for the first time ERP can keep up. Technology obsolescence is a thing of the past thanks to not needing on-premise systems, and with the cloud offering access to the latest innovations and updates, businesses can keep pace with the competition.

 

Going beyond economics

In a survey of more than 400 finance and technology leaders, the primary motivation for moving to the cloud was economic. Reasons included wanting to avoid infrastructure investment (45%), lowering the total cost of ownership (38%) and avoiding on-premise upgrades (33%).

Questioning leaders on what the biggest benefit of the cloud is however paints a very different story. An overwhelming 81% agreed that “staying current on technology” was the biggest benefit, along with usability benefits (76%), increased flexibility (65%) and improved collaboration (59%).

While the economic benefits of the cloud are by no means small, it’s clear that the competitive nature of ‘always-on’ technology is the real draw. In our research on Intelligent Finance, Frank Sorrentino, CEO of ConnectOne Bank, echoes this:

“Bankers ask me all the time, ‘How are you running that business, at that size, with that growth rate, with that reputation and with that level of service with as few people as you have?’ We are living in a cloud-based world. And as far as I am concerned, there is no better place to be.”

 

Transforming business through emerging technologies

What puts cloud-adopters on a particularly strong trajectory is the wealth of new technologies that are emerging.

Blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI), and the internet of things (IoT) are transforming supply chains, operating reporting, and the way businesses work—and it just so happens that the cloud is their primary delivery mechanism.

Many of these technologies are built for finance, such as Blockchain. Other areas in which they can assist is automating routine transaction processing, eliminating manual tasks, and reducing the likelihood of errors—all things that will allow professionals to simplify tasks and free up time. 

Roughly 4 out of 10 leaders are already exploring these technologies. When asked, 43% said they were interested in AI, with machine learning (40%) and IoT (40%) also popular.

 

A simpler way of reporting

Interpreting data is crucial for decision making, however survey data suggests current ERP systems aren’t delivering the meaningful insights needed.

Although 60% of people asked use their ERP system to directly generate reports, nearly half (49%) also use spreadsheets with data pulled from the system of record. The fact that businesses feel compelled to take their data further with ad-hoc spreadsheet reports shows ERP systems don’t provide the flexibility and insights businesses require.

The problems with managing reports via spreadsheets are well-known. It should therefore come as no surprise that, among companies that have begun or are planning to move ERP to the cloud, 70% said accounting-to-reporting was the first business process they plan to tackle. This was closely followed by procure-to-pay (67%) and budget-to-approval (62%).

 

The cloud has become the new standard

With over three quarters of people we asked (76%) saying they either have or will soon move to the cloud, there’s now no question cloud ERP has become the standard.

It’s not hard to see why. The overwhelming positives of the cloud outweigh the perceived negatives of migration. From access to emerging technology to up-to-date systems, the cloud provides opportunities to save money, simplify tasks, and drive real transformation.

Find out how much you can gain—use our online tool to create a personalised report on the value of deploying Oracle ERP Cloud for your business.

 

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