How SMEs are using the cloud to keep up with large businesses

Wednesday, 21 Dec, 2016   /   Soltius

How SMEs are using the cloud to keep up with large businesses

SMEs can now compete with large enterprises because of the flexibility, speed and visibility that cloud-based computing provides. In this digital age, businesses of all sizes need oversight of their processes in order to grow and succeed. And now that SMEs have this ability, they’re able to compete with the big players in the game.

Visibility and reporting is where real-time, cloud based technology really comes into its own. It shows you what's happening as it happens, allowing for informed people and informed decisions - adding value, and the ability to problem solve, in the moment. This technology, once considered a tool used only in big business, is now within reach of companies of all sizes.

In this blog, we explain how small to midsize enterprises (SMEs) are using real-time technology to grow their businesses.

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Although ERP systems are often associated with large and complex companies, SMEs are seeing big benefits of running software-as-a-service (SaaS) and cloud computing versions of this traditional big-business system. When they can’t afford the luxury of taking their time, these SaaS applications offer the capability to respond to market changes as they occur. Fast-growing SMEs need software that has the capacity to grow with them.

ERP software, which has been traditionally reserved for larger businesses, can add considerable value to smaller companies.

Here are a few of the main reasons today’s leading small to medium-sized manufacturers are running ERP systems:

1. Tighten processes

With growth often comes complexity and ERP software can help automate manufacturing processes and tighten business operations, giving correct, real-time information. This makes it easier for management to identify issues that can affect their ability to deliver to quality standards.  

2. Cost saving

ERP software gives manufacturers the ability to manage operations, avoid disruptions and delays, and make decisions more quickly. 

3. Flexibility

An essential component to businesses where efficiency is everything, ERP software is both flexible and configurable. It can be tailored to suit particular business needs and adapted to business growth.

The cloud is easily within reach

Developments in cloud and SaaS technologies have reduced the need for costly computing infrastructure and maintenance. ERP software is no longer out of reach for SMEs. These smaller businesses now have access to the same breed of powerful business software, which means they can compete more effectively with their larger counterparts. We’ve already seen a number of examples of ‘born-digital’ companies taking on the world, and this is only set to increase.

Forbes Insights recently reported on the role that real-time, cloud-based software is playing in America. See some of their findings below:

Business Tools Used by SMBs

Figure 3. Doing Business in the Moment (from Forbes Insight, June 2016)

Business Tools Used by SMEs

(Respondents were asked, “which of the following kinds of tools do you use today to monitor, plan and predict corporate performance?”)…

2016 Top Tech Priorities for Global SMBs
Figure 4. Doing Business in the Moment (from Forbes Insight, June 2016)

The Forbes Insights report tells us what’s happening in America, and it stands to reason that this will follow a similar path here in New Zealand. As you know, this digital world is a small one and for a business to grow and stay competitive, it must take advantage of these valuable technological advancements.  

To find out about a cloud based ERP system ideal for businesses of all sizes, watch our video on SAP Business ByDesign.
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