Small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in Malaysia are lagging behind their enterprise counterparts when it comes to cloud adoption. With the new year (and new decade) fast underway, a recent Microsoft study showed that more than 96% of enterprises are using the cloud, compared to only 78% for SMBs.
And while the use of cloud-based productivity apps like Office 365 has steadily grown among these smaller companies, their continued reliance on legacy software in key business applications such as ERP or accounting is impeding them from competing effectively with today’s top players.
Given this situation, moving to the cloud should be an obvious priority for SMBs, but many myths and misconceptions still exist regarding the benefits of cloud technology.
Therefore, many small and medium-sized businesses in Malaysia are hesitating to implement cloud ERP applications. Needless to say that Cloud ERP applications are bringing many benefits to those who have embraced this and digitally transformed and centralized their operation.
Below are the ten most crucial and game-changing benefits that SMBs have reported after investing in cloud solutions:
1. Greater profit and ROI
Simply put, companies that move to the cloud make more money. And not by a small percentage, either. SMBs that invest in the cloud report up to 25% growth in revenue and up to 2x the profits over those who don’t. Embracing the cloud is simply a better path to faster growth.
When asked to select areas where ERP produced ROI, the top three answers were reduced IT costs (40%), reduced inventory levels (38%) and reduced cycle time (35%).
Additionally, cloud deployments provide a greater return on investment (ROI) than traditional on-premises software projects, especially in ERP and CRM. For example, Nucleus Research determined that companies that use Microsoft Dynamics 365 see a return of $16.97 for every $1 spent. That’s well above the average for on-premise ERP and CRM applications.
The ROI for a cloud-based ERP system heavily outweighs what a cluster of non-integrated, lacking software offers. Not to mention, the returns are far better on a cloud-base than an on-premise ERP software. With the right ERP system, businesses are able to properly track and measure all of the various benefits of a proper ERP system to see their returns grow continually.
2. Lower costs and CapEx
Another reason why choosing Cloud ERP is better rather than on-premises ERP solution is that it has lower costs and CapEx. According to Ultra Consultants one of the top goals for Cloud ERP implementation is achieving cost savings. (46%)
Cloud subscription models eliminate up-front capital expenditures (CapEx) like the high cost of hardware and software licenses for projects like ERP software implementations. This significantly reduce the IT resources that are needed for on-premises solutions as this is handled by the cloud ERP vendor.
They also eliminate server and infrastructure setup, update, and maintenance fees—not to mention the resources saved on software upgrades, energy costs, and underutilized computing resources.
On top of that disaster recovery is also provided by vendors that can ensure business continuity in events like system failure or hackers attack. This enables business to rather focus on running their business than on maintaining their software.
Therefore, Cloud ERP are preferred choice for SMB’s due to up-front cost is lower and lower IT requirements for a business.
3. Unparalleled business flexibility
Cloud software allows small businesses to remain always-on regardless of location. In today’s mobile and cloud-first world, the ability to be productive on any phone, tablet, or laptop provides the flexibility required to quickly adapt to changing information and business needs. This means more agile operations and happier customers.
The fast-moving digital work pushing companies to be able to quickly adapt and evolve to disruptive business processes and changing businesses environments. This is the key to business success and survival.
And that is when Cloud ERP systems brings unmatched business flexibility to their core business processes. Whether the company is growing or facing changes or challenges their system can easily and quickly adapt with the company.
This allowing organizations to shift their business models if necessarily faster than ever or simply adding or removing systems when they are no needed. Like this companies always ensure that they have only applications they need without wasting money on things they do not use anymore.
Also Cloud ERP provides great capabilities of Mobile ERP that allows works to access, update and change data in real-time on the go whether they are on the internet or not. Such feature allows employees to approving purchase requests, signing contracts, and viewing inventory level which results in boosting productivity and business efficiencies.
4. Faster IT innovation
The hassle and cost of routine IT maintenance tasks can be effectively offloaded to the cloud, enabling IT resources to focus on more strategic tasks like addressing problems, improving user experiences, fostering user adoption and best practices, and getting more value out of systems and processes.
Also cloud ERP systems provide better connection as they work on modular base which enable your teams to improve productivity across their business with an integrated application platform that combines reporting and analytics, applications to customize your solution, and automation tools to automate workflows, improve business productivity, and analyze data for insights.
Often Cloud ERP is one destination for business users to discover, trial, and acquire line-of-business SaaS apps.
5. Seamless, automatic software updates
With cloud computing, all software updates are handled automatically, so critical systems always have the latest functionality and security features. This effectively ensures that all the benefits of a vendor’s ongoing R&D investments are transferred to their customer’s business, without that business having to dedicate any time or additional resources.
SaaS applications are continuously updated by their vendors to enable their customers to use the latest tools and supporting their businesses with a single up-to-date software version to deliver on a key promise of cloud software as a service.
Although often wee some concerns from businesses if the new updated version is stable without causing any discrepancies. To avoid such problems Cloud ERP vendors like Microsoft offer programs for early validation during the development cycled Release Validation Program.
Not only that Microsoft also offers businesses to choose how often they want to update their system. As you can see in the picture their Cloud ERP system is updated 8 times each year with twice a year are major updates.
6. Cost-effective scalability
SMBs need increased flexibility to grow and scale without hassle. With the cloud, as an SMB adds users, generates more transactions, or adds more data, services dynamically scale to manage the workload. This eliminates the need to pay for more hardware or maintenance to support business growth.
As a bonus, SMBs only use the energy they need for their cloud apps. Since servers aren’t running idle waiting to be utilized, operations become more energy-efficient, reducing the carbon footprint of the business.
Cloud ERP systems such as Dynamics 365 ERP and CRM applications are hosted on Microsoft Cloud Azure that has enormous potential to scale businesses by eliminating concern for how infrastructure is being hosted or maintained.
This enables users to focus on implementing enterprise resource ERP and CRM strategies that grow their businesses with solutions that can be used at the office or on-the-go via mobile and according to experts Microsoft Dynamics 365 is key to worry-free scalability.
7. Improved collaboration and productivity
Digital, cloud-based workspaces offer the opportunity to collaborate more effectively and remove data silos to enable greater employee productivity. Additionally, cloud-based office productivity suites and all-in-one business management solutions possess integration capabilities that simply can’t be matched by on-premises software.
Cloud computing also allows teams to be productive, regardless of their location. This enables businesses to offer flexible working arrangements that create a healthier work/life balance and happier employees without sacrificing productivity.
8. Seamless software integration
Cloud applications are typically compatible with Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) that simplify integration, while automation tools like Microsoft Flow facilitate stitching them together without any custom code. Data and systems can be connected like never before, resulting in new levels of speed and efficiency.
Cloud ERP software can provide your business with the flexibility to adapt and change as it grows by enabling seamless data integration to remove redundant and repetitive tasks and allow employees to focus on more important tasks.
Seamless software integrations bring you many benefits such as cost savings, increase productivity, reduce human-errors, and many others.
9. Superior security and data protection
Small businesses are the most common victims of security breaches. In a recent study by ComScore, over 40% of small businesses were worried about data security before moving to the cloud. After making the switch, 94% of businesses reported security benefits they had been unable to achieve with their previous on-premises resources.
Furthermore, physical hardware protection has always been a challenge for SMBs. Laptops get lost or stolen all the time. In addition to the replacement costs, there is an even greater cost of losing important or sensitive data. When storing and backing up data in the cloud, however, data is available and protected regardless of what happens to personal devices.
Business Central Online uses Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) as the authentication method, which is automatically set up and managed for you.
Data belonging to a single tenant is stored in an isolated database and is never mixed with data from other tenants. This ensures complete isolation of data in day-to-day use as well as in backup-restore scenarios. Furthermore, Business Central Online uses encryption to help protect tenant data:
- Data is encrypted at-rest by using Transparent Data Encryption (TDE) and backup encryption.
- Data backups are always encrypted.
- All network traffic inside the service is encrypted by using industry-standard encryption protocols.
10. Increased competitiveness
Moving to the cloud gives SMBs access to enterprise-class technologies that were previously only available to the industry’s top players. With the cloud, any business can run on the exact same systems used by the largest, most sophisticated companies in the world, enabling them to innovate and act faster than competitors that manage on-premises legacy systems.
In conclusion, with cloud software now available that is purpose-built for SMBs to run their sales, marketing, service, accounting, operations, supply chain, and project management activities—all from a single, connected solution infused with AI and advanced analytics—there’s never been a better time for small and medium-sized businesses to make the move to the cloud.
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