It can be easy to think of information technology (IT) as a highly complex, overly demanding and recklessly evolving aspect of modern business. Ironically, however, much of the complexity and labor intensity companies currently experience with their IT solutions has resulted because the companies haven’t kept pace with the rapid evolution of technology. For example, no one would claim that having data spread across discrete application silos is a good thing, or that using spreadsheets to keep track of financial and operational data is the most efficient or effective way to run a business. Likewise, many IT and business managers understand the numerous cost and operational benefits that cloud-based IT solutions can deliver.
Despite this common understanding, it often takes some “trigger” to force companies to break free from the status quo and modernize their IT solutions. A new business demand or some other catalyst can suddenly expose legacy systems that had been “good enough” as serious obstacles to future success. Growing numbers of companies faced with such business catalysts are turning to NetSuite OneWorld, a cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution that addresses some of the most critical business operations and needs. OneWorld’s holistic array of ERP services permits companies to standardize their core operations on a modern and easily configurable platform. In addition to ensuring that all its applications have access to accurate, up-to-date and consistent financial and operational data, OneWorld also offers a variety of capabilities specifically designed to help companies sell and operate across multiple entities and international markets in our ever-shrinking world.
By using a cloud-based, software-as-a-service (SaaS) delivery model, NetSuite OneWorld delivers a variety of benefits compared to on-premises ERP solutions. Those cloud benefits range from rapid deployment to significant reductions in both capital and operational expenses. Most importantly, the integrated collection of OneWorld modules provides a proven way to address the challenges posed by a variety of business triggers. The box at right shows some of the catalysts that prompted customers to migrate to OneWorld-based solutions.
The examples that follow illustrate some of the actual challenges that legacy ERP solutions couldn’t meet. The examples are placed within five broad categories of benefits that NetSuite OneWorld customers realized after deploying the cloud-based solution.
ERP Upgrade Triggers
Several common triggers cause companies to evaluate and deploy cloud-based ERP solutions, including the following:
- Mergers & Acquisitions: New company units often bring with them IT applications and databases that are difficult to maintain or integrate.
- Divestitures: Business units spun off from a parent company often need to get up and running quickly with their own, independent IT solutions.
- Adding New Products and/or Markets: Legacy ERP systems or spreadsheet-based operations can struggle to accommodate companies as they diversify into new product categories or new geographic markets.
- Adding New Channels: Companies attempting to add new sales and distribution channels such as ecommerce can struggle to do so quickly and cost effectively with legacy systems.
- Going Public: Fast-growing companies considering an initial public offering often find that their existing IT systems can’t accommodate their growth and can demand excessive attention from an overburdened finance department.