In recent few years, cloud computing has been dramatically developed and become the area of focus to general public ranging from normal users to businesses. And the phrase “To cloud or not to cloud” is considered as a familiar question in any IT strategy these days. Similarly, not only is “cloud” no longer a strange term for enterprise applications, but also has been the prominent trend.
Source: Google Image
What is cloud computing?
As a claim by Berry, cloud computing could be understood as the delivery of computing services over a network that is a proprietary network or even the Internet. Those services are mainly infrastructure, platforms and applications. In simple words, Griffith (2016) states that the cloud here is a metaphor of the Internet; and cloud computing refers to store and access data or programs through the Internet instead of your device’s hard drive.
Source: Google Image
A typical example of cloud computing for normal users is Google Drive where your data is stored and cloud applications such as Google Docs and Google Sheets can be also found online. Moreover, the drive can be accessed by various types of device from PC, tablet or smartphone. Another recent example is Office Online offering web-based version of Word, Excel, Power Point and One Note, which means users can access these applications via web browser without installing anything.
Benefits of implementing ERP systems
Obviously, implementing ERP systems bring to business organizations the following benefits:
- Inventory reduction
- Improve cash management
- Increase revenue and profits
- Reduce transportation & logistics costs
- Reduce IT costs
Albeit intangible, organizations can gain these benefits including: unanticipated cost reductions, improve responsiveness to customers, more flexibility and effective management of the supply chain.
Pros and Cons
As an old saying “Every garden has its weeds”, so does ERP has its own pros and cons. Thanks to the integration of business processes, it can be seen that ERP systems enable to offer these advantages:
- Save time and expenses
- Data and reporting tools allow faster decision-making for management levels
- Single data source and easily share data among all units/ departments
- Help to track every transaction from starting till end
- Supply real-time information whenever required
- Provide synchronized information transferred between different functional areas such as sales, marketing, finance, manufacturing, human resource, logistics, etc.
While these advantages usually outweigh disadvantages for most of enterprises implementing ERP systems, there are some of the most common drawbacks suffered:
Serial posts published with intention to share knowledge and experience about ERP follow micro-learning practice and hopefully are useful for those who would like to basically learn about ERP. These posts are compiled from various sources ranging from print and online reference sources to personal work experience. I will try my best to deliver these posts in as understandable language as possible and in the case you have any concerns or feedback, feel free to leave comments.
What is ERP?
ERP standing for Enterprise Resource Planning is simply defined as “a process of managing all resources and their use in the entire enterprise in a coordinated manner”. While ERP system is a category of business management software – typically a set of integrated applications or modules – is responsible to carry out most of business activities. In other words, ERP system can support business organizations by tracking, maintaining and optimizing business functions such as procurement of goods and services, sales and distribution, finance, accountings, human resource, manufacturing, production planning, logistics & warehouse management.
ERP integrates all functions into a single system and serve needs of every different department within the enterprise.