‘Cost-savings, productivity vital to organisational growth’
An IT expert, Maher Al-Khaiyat, has said that centralising business management solutions on the cloud has both cost-saving and growth-supporting benefits that businesses of any size will benefit from.
Al-Khaiyat, who is also the Regional Business Applications Director for Microsoft Middle East and Africa (MEA) Emerging Markets, said some of the problems SMEs face with on-site ERPs include, the cost and time involved to manually update the system to ensure data is kept up to date and security is maintained.According to him, with many small- and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) operating on tighter budgets, with less capital, in an increasingly competitive environment, the merits of cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) deployment are particularly relevant.
He said the cost implications of scaling up, if necessary, should the organisation grow; and the staffing requirements and cost thereof to oversee and provide support of the system. These barriers are removed when an ERP is migrated to the cloud and managed by one trusted, expert service provider who can provide 24-hour support.
Besides, he said cost-savings and productivity boosts are vital, but what’s particularly advantageous for smaller businesses is being able to adjust operational needs. With a cloud-based ERP, an SME can scale up or down relatively quickly based on operational or budgetary needs. In other words, this solution can grow or contract with the business, which is important in times of flux when agility is called for.
“For decision-making to be nimble, you need a unified overview of business operations. A cloud-based ERP system offers this. It connects previously siloed branches of an organisation’s operations (from accounting to warehouse management and more) in a secure, consolidated manner to provide a business with end-to-end, companywide insights. This is the future of streamlined operations,”he said.
He added that being able to access the same type of ERP capabilities that larger companies have, without needing to invest a large capital outlay for on-site infrastructure and specialised IT teams, is a boon to SMEs, especially in the current economic climate.