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In the middle of a global health crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic threatens a drastic shift in the future of work. In a matter of a few weeks, businesses across the country have shuttered their doors and implemented telecommuting protocols for employees. This sudden transition has tested the global workforce’s ability to work remotely and threatened digital transformation efforts.
With the right tools, however, businesses can weather this storm and continue to drive innovation forward despite the uncertainty they face in their respective industries. Having a cloud-based ERP system at its core allows the business to continue day-to-day operations via a mobile browser, with round-the-clock access to business tools and functions. The office is no longer a fixed location – rather, it’s wherever employees are. Team members can collaborate in a single system and access real-time data for decision making.
In light of the outbreak, business processes are being re-evaluated. Research shows that 70% of companies already had a digital transformation plan in place or were working on one before COVID-19 took hold of the world. However, the pandemic has been an eye-opening experience for business leaders everywhere, as they realize operational weaknesses and areas of improvement. For example, without processes built on the cloud, companies struggle to collaborate, access analytics, support remote employees, and much more. For many businesses not used to working digitally, COVID-19 might have expedited their timeline for a digital transformation.
As the modern workplace changes in response to these uncertain times and leaders consider how they can improve their business, the enterprise resource planning (ERP) industry will need to adapt to meet customer needs. Outlined below are four predictions for how the ERP industry will evolve in response to COVID-19.
Enterprises will embrace the cloud
Organizations in every sector have been gradually recognizing the benefits of the cloud. With today’s unforeseen circumstances, this shift toward the cloud has kicked into high gear. ABI Research forecasts, for example, that the supply chain impact of COVID-19 will spur the manufacturer’s investment in ERP to reach $14 billion in 2024.
Enabling remote employees is no longer just a possibility, it’s fast becoming a requirement, and cloud technology is a necessary component of a connected and successful remote workforce. On-premise solutions are obsolete. In the future, we will see more enterprises leave their legacy systems behind in favor of agile, scalable, and cost-effective cloud alternatives. By leaving on-premise solutions in the past, they will gain access to their ERP data and connected modules from anywhere, at any time, from any device, and perform their unique business management processes without disruption.
Security will be top of mind
One of the major benefits of cloud ERP is security. Cloud vendors offer sophisticated and secure hosting environments, including network management by specialized personnel, automated patching, enhanced monitoring, access controls, and the latest encryption standards. As more companies flock to the cloud, they will seek out ERP providers with proven security protocols. Further, they will seek out systems that can safely and securely support remote workers and offer geo-redundancy and automatic failover in case of emergencies.
Leaders will prioritize CRM
Customer relationship management (CRM) has proven crucial during the global health crisis. Businesses have had to quickly inform customers of product shortages, cancellations, and potential refund procedures, all while balancing the internal transition to remote work. Modern management software is critical in understanding how recent disruptions impact customers. Going forward, we will see customer support teams rely on CRM tools to gain a complete view of business operations to deliver accurate information to customers. To deliver top-notch customer care, they will need true mobile solutions, with full Android and Apple support as opposed to just browser support. CRM will give support representatives a consolidated, 360-degree view of all customer records in a single database.
Personalization will be the cherry on top
Personalization is a means of adjusting the ERP software to fit the customer’s needs. Low code, no-code personalization allows users to affect change within their cloud ERP solution – no programmer or developer needed. Without writing a single line of code, users can tailor their cloud ERP to the business’ precise, unique requirements. During this time of uncertainty, organizations need solutions that will quickly and nimbly mold to their needs. In the coming weeks, months, and even years, more and more business leaders will seek out ERP solutions they can take control of and tailor to their specific needs and objectives.
Cloud ERP software is adaptable, intuitive, collaborative, automated, and insightful, providing users with a single source of truth in real-time and with access at any time, from anywhere. It eliminates the cost of IT infrastructure as well as the responsibility for hardware and software updates, opens the door to innovation, and allows for easy personalization. As the world continues to reel from the effects of COVID-19, enterprises will turn to the cloud to drive forward digital transformation efforts and deliver on business objectives. As they do so, they will prioritize secure solutions that will empower their remote employees, enhance customer relationships, and adapt to their individual needs.
Acumatica Cloud ERP provides the best business management solution for transforming your company to thrive in the new digital economy. Built on a future-proof platform with an open architecture for rapid integrations, scalability, and ease of use, Acumatica delivers unparalleled value to small and midmarket organizations. Connected Business. Delivered. For more information, visit www.acumatica.com