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Cloud, a silver lining for ERP

Cloud, a silver lining for ERP

Cloud-based solutions are transforming Africa's ERP market and, according to business solution experts, new applications are replacing old ERP systems, which have long been criticised for high cost, lack of flexibility and difficulty with implementation.

Palladium Business Solutions managing director Stephen Corrigan says it is thanks to modular, cloud-based business applications that offer viable alternatives to the unwieldy, inflexible, and expensive systems that have long dominated the sector.

"Firstly, depending on the technology used, there are no desktop client apps – so you can access from any browser. In addition, ERP's developed using HTML5 are responsive in design and can be accessed using any mobile device," says Corrigan.

However, he warns that companies looking to implement such systems must look beyond the hype surrounding them, and consider them in the context of an actual business case, including benefits, costs, the shift to a subscription-based purchasing model, as well as security issues.

There is still a misconception that modifiable ERP software is expensive and beyond the reach of the smaller-to-medium-sized businesses, says Corrigan, "so they tend to go with legacy ERPs that actually act as an anchor and not a sail to the business processes."

This misperception, along with the influence of external accountants, is hampering more widespread adoption of cloud ERP technology. "No-one has lost their job in recommending the most well-known brand, even though their technologies and processes are antiquated. To purchase software to make it easy for the auditor to post journals is short sighted," Corrigan adds.

He explains that a lot of people don't realise the full benefits or value proposition of true ERP software.

"Cloud ERP vendors are now offering cost-effective solutions to companies that may not have been able to afford the on-premise software. They are already having a disruptive effect on the ERP market by offering affordable yet sophisticated, flexible, highly mobile, and easy-to-use applications," Corrigan explains.

The rate of adoption in Africa is on the increase he says and 50% of the company's sales originate from African countries.

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