Businesses that are experiencing rapid growth can use cloud-based business management solutions to impose process discipline without restricting their flexibility.
That's according to Keith Fenner, VP Sage Enterprise Africa and VP Sage Middle East, who says that the shift towards the cloud empowers mid-sized organisations to thrive without needing to spend more money on hiring IT staff or building out an IT infrastructure.
What's more, a robust cloud-based business management solution can be deployed rapidly, can be tailored to the needs of the business, and does not lock companies into technology they cannot easily replace or change, adds Fenner.
"As a small business grows into a mid-sized enterprise, or mid-sized enterprise grows into a large one, it will find that it needs to streamline business processes, take control of productivity, and gain more visibility into operations," says Fenner.
"In the past, it would need to address these challenges by implementing a monolithic ERP system in a long, expensive project. Now, cloud-based solutions help enterprises to grow and run a lean, agile business without the high upfront costs, protracted implementation cycles, or complex business process reengineering."
The concept of using cloud software services is becoming a reality in Africa. According to IDC, by 2018, at least half of IT spending will be cloud-based, reaching 60% of all IT infrastructure, and 60–70% of all software, services, and technology spending by 2020.
Struggling with legacy systems and manual processes, businesses lack the insights to streamline business processes and supply chain integration that will allow them to accelerate growth while reducing their cost basis.
“In response to a business’s needs for more flexible solutions, we are seeing the rise of a new era of cloud-enabled business management solutions that are leaner, more focused, and more agile than the ERP systems of the past”, adds Fenner. Recently at the Sage Summit, the continued success of the Sage X3 business management solution was highlighted with the launch of the new Sage X3 cloud release update 10 and a growing ecosystem of cloud applications.
With this, customers have the flexibility to deploy such products on the infrastructure of their choice: in the cloud, on their own server, or in an environment hosted by Sage certified business partners - all with identical functionality and universal web and mobile access to their business management resources.
"Losing visibility and control of their process is a common concern for many business leaders as their company grows," says Fenner. "Powerful, cohesive solutions that empower businesses to effectively manage business processes and control performance across all areas of their enterprise is exactly what we aim to provide to our customers. By creating the right type of partnerships, time spent fixing details are reduced allowing customers to focus on their business and build the way forward."
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