The market place for Cloud Solutions is now at $56 Billion and is expected to double by 2020.  As businesses have improved their confidence in Cloud solutions, primarily eCommerce and other customer facing systems, the reality is what makes digital marketing and sales processes function are the back-office fulfillment systems. In fact, the piecemeal approach for specific business apps without transforming the “Core” and underlying IT architecture simply re-introduces the risks posed by traditional ERP solutions including:

  • Time to access new market opportunities
  • On Time delivery, Service Level Agreement adherence
  • Sales struggles to develop proposals fast enough due to slow ERP legacy environments.

Cloud-ERP is key for organizations that are starting on a digital transformation journey.  According to MIT’s Center for Digital Business, “Digital Transformation” is “the use of technology to radically improve the performance or reach of an enterprise.” While the definition may look simple, the power is in the data behind the definition.  It’s a global study of how executives in large traditional companies are managing – and benefiting from – digital transformation. With enterprise digitization, organizations are shaking up their industries and rewriting the rules of competition by embracing a data-driven, mobile, and hyper-connected culture. In a rapidly changing environment, survival of the fittest is determined by speed to market and the ability to tap into vast stores of data for real-time insight. The primary driver for cloud adoption is shifting from economics to innovation.

We often see that Enterprise IT struggles to keep up with business needs when it comes to implementing innovations.  Many enterprises focus on things like their customer-facing applications or other online marketing and sales platforms. While the results of this approach have been better user experiences for the customer, the follow-on fulfillment of products, services or payments often suffers when their ERP system cannot keep pace.  Ensuring a better customer experience or lowering costs over time becomes a challenge when you consider the impact of Sustainability over a long-term time horizon.  For example, you may order online from once because it is great user experience – the direct result of the eCommerce platform implementation.  But the reason you will keep coming back to order again and again is due to the backend fulfillment experience, which is seamless. The driver for digital transformation may be improving the customer experience, but the enabler of that transformation is absolutely the technology and processes that sit behind it all. This is where the concept of cloud-based ERP comes into play.

On-premise ERP offers greater ability to customize the system and control over the implementation process. However, the price of these benefits are heavy upfront investment, the need to pay for associated hardware and IT management costs, as well as slow adoption of innovations, due to ERP customizations, over and above the cost of ownership due to customization.

The business benefits of cloud-based ERP solutions include:

  • Lower costs.  Without the need for significant upfront costs, upgrades, or third-party licensing, users can enjoy predictable costs without being handcuffed to physical hardware. The businesses can scale up or down number of users and contract length to fit their business requirements.
  • Convenience of automated updates and reliability. The ERP Provider handles upgrades, required fixes, system performance, system downtime, and disaster recovery. The solution is always up to date and it is easy to take advantage of latest innovations.
  • Agility and Scale. The business landscape is rapidly evolving. With Cloud-based ERP solutions, business leaders can use latest innovations like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, IoT and Blockchain in response to customer needs, giving them the ability to disrupt the competition.
  • Better security. Cloud vendors provide a higher level of security than most companies could do on their own. In the cloud, secure communication between enterprise applications, supported data, processes, and user interfaces isn’t an issue.

SAP S/4HANA Cloud – Intelligent ERP solution

S/4HANA Cloud is SAP’s cloud-based solution that brings latest computing and technology platform to an enterprise. S/4HANA Cloud consists of a modular set of Editions that provide a flexible, extensible ERP solution that scales up and down according to business needs. With end to end processes supporting finance, plan to product, order to cash and procure to pay, it offers enterprise-ready functionality for digital businesses. It is a secure platform that is fully integrated, provides actionable insights, and increases productivity—enabling you to innovate, transform and stay ahead of the competition.

SAP S/4HANA benefits include

  1. Intelligent innovation with machine learning
    1. Intelligent services based on machine learning algorithms, such as automated invoice matching process by integrating with SAP Cash Application software
  2. Self-service intelligence with contextual analytics
    1. Built-in, enriched analytical capabilities
    2. Real time analytics for actionable insights to respond quickly to changing environments and drive profitability
    3. A 360 degree view of the business, automating repetitive processes and predicting outcomes delivered to users
  3. End-to-end business process coverage
    1. Successful digital transformation of business processes across the enterprise
    2. Standard best practices that are available for rapid global deployment
    3. SaaS solution that includes procurement, sales, finance, supply chain, and HR business areas

Cloud ERP implementations require a sound strategy and expert guidance

Given the vital role ERP systems play as the transactional backbone of a company, you need to identify processes, inventory your systems, and define the integration points across the enterprise. There are different paths and considerations to embrace cloud adoption including skills, organization structure, user training etc.

For net-new customers, SAP S/4HANA Cloud is a “No brainer”. For existing customers with ERP systems nearing the end of useful life, a modern transformative S/4HANA Cloud forms the foundation of digital journey. There is no one standard template for ERP cloud migration. Each company has its unique environment, competitive landscape, corporate goals, customer expectations, and enterprise IT priorities — which is why, at Connexions, we provide a framework along with an arsenal of best practices, pre-built templates, project accelerators, and above all business process expertise needed to guide our customers along their unique ERP cloud migration journey.

Connexions has a cloud first approach and has made significant investments in becoming an S/4HANA Cloud leader. We are S/4HANA Cloud Lighthouse partner with all our S/4HANA Cloud workforce SAP certified. Connexions is proud to be a trusted partner helping our customers navigate the transition to the cloud — from development of an internal cloud strategy and framework, to full implementation, and ultimately, to post-deployment support and managed services.

Does the article sound interesting?  Let’s sit down with your team to plot and navigate your organization’s digital transformation, beginning with your ERP systems.