The Cloud and Competitive Advantage
Does the Cloud help a small business gain a competitive advantage? It is time to examine this critical question as cloud solutions acquire prominence.
As per a 2015 paper by Verizon- their annual paper titled ‘State of the Market: Enterprise Cloud’, over 77% of firms cited the cloud as a key factor for competitive advantage, compared with less than 74% in 2014.
Over 35% of organizations said that the cloud has enabled their firm to adapt their business model, with an additional 44% saying they were working towards it or considering it. By 2018, Verizon claimed that 50% of companies will be putting at least 75% of their workloads in the cloud.
Verizon found that adoption depended on the dominant persona of the potential user as only 6% of skeptic survey respondents expected less than 25% of their workloads in the cloud by 2018.
Organizations also seemed to be becoming less cloud phobic: 87% of those polled said they thought that the cloud is at least as reliable as on-premises infrastructure, while 80% said that it is as least as secure. Over 90% of companies were using two or more cloud providers, while 25% of companies were even using ten cloud solution providers.
A note of caution here! Using a plethora of standalone solutions can create a navigation and data portability nightmare and most cloud solution users would be well advised to look at a one-stop comprehensive solution or minimize the number of their standalone solutions for better efficiency and lesser duplication of effort.
Earlier, the cloud was being used for mission-critical workloads; but now enterprises are using it more as a way to transform their business processes and operations. Cloud solutions are being used to create competitive customer experiences, business process engineering towards standard models of functioning, finding growth opportunities, and managing risk and compliance imperatives easily.
The cloud creates a competitive advantage by enabling:
- IT staff to be moved from routine maintenance and support to focus on strategic work.
- You have access to tools and applications that provide features like predictive analytics and CRM functionalities at no extra cost.
- The cloud provides a data integration layer that enables analytics to be applied expediently across multiple data sources. Some cloud solutions can pull data from a company’s on-premise systems and combine it with public and proprietary data sources to yield better insights for better decisions.
- Companies can use cloud services to add functionality and support their e-commerce sites and call centers e.g. the ability for customers to sign up for a mailing list, the addition of customer ratings, recommendation engines that suggest related products for a prospect to consider, etc.
- Services can be connected through APIs to enable process stakeholders to plug into a company’s cloud e.g. order information can be automatically translated from a supplier to a customer’s accounting system.
- Easy upscaling or downscaling as the need maybe
- Affordable cost structure and visible ROI in a short time
- No capital investment needs only operating expense
- Mobile compatibility with access to real-time data and transactions on the go anytime and anywhere
- Inbuilt compliance features and based on standard business process models
- Easy reporting and analytics features for better planning, forecasting, and operational decisions
- Ability to manage multi-entity accounting across geographies and currencies
As per a 2015 survey commissioned by Microsoft and conducted by 451 research LLC- more than 50% of the respondents cited improving technology quality, helping grow the business, and adding competitive capabilities that couldn’t be built internally as their principal reasons for moving to the cloud.
The competitive capabilities that a good ERP solution provides would be almost impossible for smaller businesses to leverage without the cloud. Now even the larger players are aggressively testing the waters for embracing the cloud.
OUR VALUE PROPOSITION
We at Versa Cloud ERP have created a multi-award-winning, secure, comprehensive Cloud ERP solution that is e-commerce and mobility ready. The Versa Small Business Cloud ERP dba Versa system is accessible anytime and on any smart mobile device. It provides support for e-Commerce and Multi-Channel Retail includes integration with 3rd party e-commerce platforms as well as POS systems.
In addition, the Versa Small Business Cloud ERP system includes the ability to remotely manage Master Data on multiple e-commerce and POS systems including product description, pricing, images, etc.
It is affordable and targeted towards small businesses and is backed by a promise of dedicated support. It is being used by clients in diverse verticals and could help you redefine the way you operate and grow your business.
Our solution is designed for fast-growing small businesses, between $1-$50 M in annual revenue, looking to upgrade business management solutions like entry-level accounting products or mid-tier legacy on-premise ERP systems or even those looking at comprehensive and affordable ERP solutions.
Built from the ground up on the latest cloud and mobile technology, the Versa Cloud ERP system allows businesses to automate and optimize their operations across multiple companies, countries, and currencies with one integrated ERP system.
We will help you in a structured manner to migrate your data seamlessly from Epicor, Infor, QuickBooks, Microsoft Dynamics, MYOB, Sage, SAP Business One etc when you make the decision.
We’d love to hear from you.