By Heinrich de Leeuw, Managing Director, SEIDOR in South Africa
ERP software has seen rapid growth in recent years following the Covid-19 pandemic. Even though it can be deployed quickly, ERP systems are complex and require significant computing resources, which can be expensive to acquire and maintain in-house.
By hosting ERP software on a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) model, businesses can leverage the scalability and cost-effectiveness of cloud computing while still having full control of their ERP system as the application environment is dedicated to their business and not shared with any other tenants (businesses).
This allows SMMEs to have their ERP solution hosted in the cloud and have full control over it.
PaaS also creates a sustainable environment for the business to develop and deploy enhancements and customisations to its ERP software.
Although many ERP systems offer some level of customisation, bespoke enhancements, customisations, and development more often than not are a challenge when it comes to native SaaS ERP solutions. Generally, there are restrictions on the infrastructure or software platform because these are shared with multiple tenants.
This may result in businesses outgrowing their existing ERP system because it cannot be enhanced to keep up with specific business requirements.
PaaS can also be used to integrate ERP systems with other business applications. For example, a business might use an ERP system for financial management and a separate CRM system for customer management.
By using a PaaS platform, SMMEs can create integrations between these systems, allowing for seamless and secure data transfer as well as a more unified view of business operations.
Together, ERP and PaaS enable SMMEs to leverage the scalability, cost-effectiveness, development tools, and integration capabilities of PaaS platforms to enhance the capabilities of ERP systems.
PaaS offers several key benefits:
- Reduced IT complexity:With PaaS, organisations do not need to manage and maintain the underlying infrastructure that supports their ERP system. This reduces the complexity of the IT environment, freeing up resources to focus on other areas.
- Increased agility:PaaS allows organisations to quickly develop, test, and deploy new applications and features, providing greater agility to adapt to changing business needs. This is especially important in the rapidly evolving world of ERP, where new features and capabilities are constantly being developed.
- Lower costs:By using PaaS, organisations can avoid the significant capital expenses associated with building and maintaining their own IT infrastructure. Instead, they pay for the services they use on a subscription basis, with costs typically based on usage.This eliminates the need for on-premises hardware and software installation, maintenance, and upgrades, making world-class technology solutions much more affordable.
- Scalability:PaaS and ERP solutions can be scaled up or down as per business requirements, allowing SMMEs to add or remove features as needed. This flexibility enables SMMEs to grow or downsize their business without worrying about IT infrastructure limitations, and to quickly respond to changes in demand or business needs without having to invest in additional hardware or software.
- Customisation:With PaaS, organisations have full control of their ERP software and data, allowing for greater customisation and integration with other systems. This can lead to improved efficiency and productivity, as well as better decision-making through improved access to data.
- Streamlined processes:ERP solutions can provide a centralised database, which can streamline processes, improve data accuracy, and eliminate duplication of effort. By automating processes, SMMEs can save time and resources, which can be redirected to core business activities.
- Improved collaboration:PaaS and ERP solutions enable better collaboration between employees, departments, and business partners. By providing access to real-time data and collaboration tools, SMMEs can enhance communication and decision-making.
- Better customer service:PaaS and ERP solutions can enable SMMEs to provide better customer service by providing a single view of customer data, tracking customer interactions, and streamlining customer support processes.
By giving SMMEs greater ability than ever before to focus on their core activities and grow their business, PaaS can take them to the next level.
It provides the necessary building blocks to respond to demand, making businesses more agile, efficient, and competitive in a rapidly changing environment.
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