Your typical ERP (enterprise resource planning) and CRM (customer relationship management) platforms are ideal candidates for cloud-based computing solutions. They heavily depend on real-time data that change with great speed. Besides, their relevancy depends on their availability as and when required. While making critical decisions it is very important that you are able to access your ERP system immediately and through whatever device you are using.
Decision-makers and managers are travelling all the time but they still need to remain connected to their core business intelligence applications and data. Cloud-based ERP and CRM solutions let them stay connected and perform their responsibilities whether they are in transit or staying at some remote location. Long gone are the times when they had to wait for e-mails and faxes from the head office before making calculated decisions. They can immediately log into their dashboard and retrieve all the information they need.
Computing is rapidly shrinking to smaller devices that can be easily carried around. Since these devices are not stationary they all carry the ability to connect to the Internet. PC sales are declining and smart phone sales are increasing all over the world with greater emphasis on consistent connectivity. This necessitates a paradigm shift towards computing that does not depend on a single machine or a group of machines.
Another growing trend that creates a ripe ground for cloud-based ERP and CRM applications is interoperability and inter-device communication. Computers can talk to cell phones and handheld devices and vice versa. Similarly people are using different operating systems and computing environments. Since it is still not very easy to create applications that can easily function under various operating environments they need an interface that works in every environment, and presently that interface is your browser. No matter what device you are using, no matter what operating system you prefer, you have a browser working for you. And if you have a browser, you can access a cloud-based application. The cloud-based applications vendors leverage this advantage. And it’s not just the vendors, even consumers benefit tremendously with this feature. They no longer need sophisticated machines and operating systems to run and manage their ERP and CRM solutions. All they need is a browser with conventional capabilities and they are ready to go.
The cost is also a big factor. Until recently only large-sized businesses could afford ERP and CRM solutions due to the scale of investment required in terms of hardware, software and the staff to manage the both. The on-demand feature in cloud-based ERP and CRM solutions allows even mid-sized and small businesses take advantage of these business intelligence software applications. They can be easily scaled and tailored according to the individual requirements of businesses. You can pay for only what you use. First of all, you don’t need the infrastructure at your own location. All the applications exist on remote servers that you can easily access through your browser. The moment you log into your dashboard all the modules and data are available to you.
Since you are not managing the infrastructure at your location you don’t need to worry about maintaining it too. This immediately eliminates the cost of security, maintenance and staffing. Even if you are a single person business you can just pick the modules you want to use and pay for them. There are many services that charge per user. This way if you only have 5 employees in your office you just pay for those 5 employees. This way you can use cutting-edge ERP and CRM solutions at a nominal cost.