Businesses need to support agile workforce

January 28th, 2014

Companies today no longer have to restrict their employees from performing mission-critical tasks in an office setting. Technologies such as cloud computing have made it possible for staff members to use their own smartphones and tablets to access software, especially enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions, anywhere through the Internet. Firms that wait too long to adopt the cloud or support bring-your-own-device (BYOD) initiatives may find that personnel is jumping ship to organizations that do.

A recent uSamp survey found that nearly two-thirds of companies allow employees to work remotely. Nearly 70 percent of staff members reported feeling more productive while working remotely than they do at the office, with 69 percent asserting that such conditions are "liberating."

"We have seen that with the advances in technology, it is easier than ever for employees to perform their jobs at a high level while working remotely," said Matt Dusig, co-founder and CEO of uSamp.

Small and medium-sized businesses without the resources of a large enterprise can especially benefit from innovative technologies to support a remote workforce. SMBs relying on the cloud do not have to invest in the biggest office or have as many desks and as much equipment if personnel can work from home or remotely.

SMBs can experience additional savings supporting BYOD policies since they no longer have to issue corporate-owned gadgets. On the employee side of things, workers will be happy that they get the opportunity to use devices they are familiar with. This is truly a win-win for firms and their employees.

Cloud ERP is a wise choice for SMBs

The affordability of cloud computing has also had a major influence on the availability of ERP software. In the past, large enterprises with vast resources were the main users of such tools. Today, small organizations and even startups are embarking on cloud-based ERP implementations.

Joel Strangeland, CEO of an ERP vendor, said one of the issues with ERP solutions for smaller companies is that the firms often grow over time, meaning that the software is unable to scale properly to meet their new demands, CIO reported.

"Once a business outgrows Quickbooks, the next option is a Tier 1 enterprise solution, which is really costly and inefficient. So, many growing businesses end up cobbling together piecemeal systems to handle finance, inventory, purchasing, sales, various databases, payroll, integration with Web stores and online ordering - it's incredibly complex," Strangeland said, according to the news provider.

Scalability, however, is no problem for cloud computing. SMBs that need additional computing power or storage capacity can add such functionality without purchasing more hardware and software, keeping costs in line with budgets, since they only pay for the services they consume. This capability is not possible with on-site systems that require an upfront capital investment even if they are never used to full capacity.

SMBs that have never given ERP much thought until now should not hesitate to embrace the software. The cloud has made it more affordable than ever.

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