In our work helping growing companies update their legacy technology with modern, cloud-based business systems, we have a front-row seat to transformation. Cloud computing has democratized the data management and automated workflow functionality that was once only accessible by organizations with the deepest pockets and most experienced IT teams. Its impact on SMBs has been thrilling to watch—and we’re doubly pleased to help our clients take advantage of their opportunities via cloud solutions.

In the first part of this series, we explored how cloud-based business software is helping organizations become more strategic, more collaborative, and quicker to act on insights. Here, we’re wrapping up our list of 7 ways the cloud is making companies better. 

4. Implementation and ongoing development is more streamlined.

We won’t go so far to say that cloud-based software is always as easy as plug-and-play; apps vary in complexity and myriad factors go into building a timeline for deployment. But when compared with traditional on-premise system implementations, cloud-based solutions tend to get up-and-running faster.

That’s because data and processes live on the software vendor’s servers, eliminating the need for on-site hardware and software installation and development. The shared tenancy model also helps accelerate software deployment and maintenance schedules, as the same code is delivered across a number of clients. What’s more, cloud software is built with flexible APIs built for integration and “speedy” development of new or customized functionality.

Take our experience with Kayco, a MIBAR customer for whom we implemented an ERP in 2000, followed by a CRM system. When the company was ready to introduce advanced reporting capabilities, we built an interactive and customized Power BI reporting environment for them in less than 100 hours. Get more details in their MIBAR case study.

Don’t miss How Long Does It Take to Deploy a Cloud Computing Strategy? and Survey Reveals SaaS Implementation Secrets—and Partners’ Role in Success for more important insights.

5. Focus can be placed on the customer experience.

Today, companies across industries—and not just in the B2C space—are introducing software promising to help power a delightful “customer experience.” In fact, in Consider the Customer When Implementing New Enterprise Technology, we discuss how collecting the right customer data and providing customer-facing employees with the right tools are among the key components of a customer-centric IT approach.

The fact is that today’s consumers, in B2C and B2B marketplaces alike, have increasing expectations regarding how companies engage with them using technology. We’re not referring simply to marketing campaigns and customer service interactions: through a cloud-based ERP system, for example, an organization’s back office can “drive” the delivery of products, services, and experiences that make a difference to not only customers, but employees and vendors, too.

Find more insights in How a Cloud-Based ERP System Helps Enhance Your Customers’ Experience.

6. Data silos are breaking down.

Data proliferation is the key challenges leading companies to replace their on-premise legacy systems with cloud-based alternatives. With cloud-based business systems, data proliferation is an opportunity—not a problem to be solved. In Are Data Silos Creating a Big Data Problem for Your Company?, we give readers some food for thought. When all of your business data is captured, stored, managed, and analyzed in one central location—within your cloud-based solution, that is—decision-makers have access to every insight they need to make informed decisions and run the business with foresight (not hindsight).

Consider the impact this data centralization has on workflows and reporting. Our client, Dexmet, had been using Excel spreadsheets to manage their reporting, which was cumbersome because their data was spread across multiple sources. Manually cutting and pasting became a thing of the past when they started using Excel-based report templates within their cloud-based Microsoft Dynamics 365 software—a solution enabling them to connect to a live CRM database and automate their project management workflows. Uncover more details in their MIBAR case study.

7. Anything is possible moving forward.

Cloud-based business software is built for scalability, making it ideal for growing companies. It’s affordable per-user subscriptions help cloud solutions come in at a lower overall price-point for most companies, who don’t need to invest in new hardware or a robust IT staff to support their data and tools. Additionally, functionality can be easily purchased in modules so businesses can start with what they need today (e.g. financial management and accounting) and incorporate other capabilities (e.g. supply chain management) when they’re ready.

Read Why Enterprise Resource Planning Software is a Three-Legged Stool for more discussion about scalable functionality.

Don’t miss part one of this look at how cloud computing is making organizations more effective. In the meantime, contact us for a free consultation to explore your company’s plans to move business systems to the cloud.

Additional Resources:

How Strategy Can Ensure a Secure and Efficient Move to the Cloud

3 Steps to Calm Your Fears About Moving Your Data to the Cloud

6 Signs It’s Time To Migrate Your Legacy IT Environment to the Cloud, Part 1 and Part 2