The ever-changing Cloud

In technology nothing ever stands still and businesses need to use the many opportunities from new developments not only to survive in a tough and uncompromising market, but also to deliver success for their employees and shareholders.

Not so long ago the concept of Enterprise Resource Planning, commonly referred to as ERP, was a series of software models to improve business planning and integration that was held on physical servers and computers where the business was located. This had significant implications for equipment costs and constant updating of software, though utilizing ERP meant businesses could gradually reduce data input errors as all departments were linked together instead of having individual input control.

The advent of Cloud ERP has changed the business dynamic because it removes the need for expensive hardware and software to be installed and maintained on a business’s premises. The essence of Cloud computing is that hosted services are delivered over the Internet, and it has distinctive characteristics that are altering the way businesses use and pay for their IT requirements.

  • Cloud computing is immensely flexible: as the provider manages the service the user can have as little or as much of the service they want to have, and can access it whenever they want.

  • The service is sold on demand and can be bought by the minute, the hour or for other time periods.

Change is in the air

For many industries, Cloud technology has changed over the years, offering new ways to do business and constantly developing new services and offers.

  • The role of chief information and chief technology officers is under the microscope. Their decisions as leaders meant they decided on what applications were appropriate for the workplace and employees had no choice in the matter. Now, with the Cloud working with mobile technology, users are savvy enough to know if their IT department isn’t getting it together quickly enough, they can find a solution through software-as-a-service (SaaS).

  • For the data center industry there are real challenges with the immense amount of data being generated and transmitted, and a major challenge for those working in the Cloud is how to reduce and control costs as providers seek to remain competitive.

  • The manufacturing industry was an early adopter of ERP and there were significant costs incurred with establishing on-site systems. Cloud computing is likely to offer good solutions in terms of provision of information, especially via mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, and those manufacturers who are looking ahead of the current game may find ways that a Cloud solution would benefit them.

Cloud futures

Though it’s hard to predict how different industries will employ Cloud computing in their businesses, there is little doubt that early adopters will find themselves ahead of the game. Customer Relationship Management is a key part of business and the Cloud has various applications that can assist industries in all sectors to provide a comprehensive knowledge base to exploit this for ongoing sales, marketing and problem solving.

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