There are major setbacks in the cloud journey. First of all, I did not get any clarity from any cloud service provider, as to what will happen to the existing technology stack? I have already acquired license for it. How will this investment get protected? Furthermore, confusing statements come out from different cloud vendors. IaaS can't be simple co-location. There is no clarity of the services that will be offered, if we take IaaS from a cloud vendor.
Meanwhile, if we look at hybrid cloud solution, where the solution is offered as PaaS, there is no clarity on how much of the platform will be supported by the service provider. Whether they have the required expertise to provide such service. What will happen to the existing perpetual licenses. While vendors are talking about moving ERP systems to the cloud, the situation in the ground is grossly different. We are not confident of moving to cloud unless we get clarity on the questions.
Process automation has been a key boon for the industry. It has helped reduce deficiencies at each manual intervention level. With the advent of ERP, the entire organization started functioning as single oiled machinery. Business became transparent. Information silos were broken down. One big boost to employees came in the process of inter department interactions. This increased information sharing meant that a production guy now knew about the materials function while a supply chain person got to know about frontline sales. This in turn made the organization agile.
After ERP came the eBusiness model. This meant connecting to the extended enterprise. While ERP helped put the internal house in order, eBusiness tools like customer and supplier portals, expense management, travel management etc. made the entire organization productive along with its external stakeholders. Free flow of information throughout the value chain made time to market faster and decision making swifter.
While IT continued to add value to the organizations it also started to evolve. New tools were introduced to increase productivity. Two such tools from top of the mind recall will be the mobile app for shop floor management and sales force automation.
Shop floor automation tool helps the production and shop floor team to run a lean manufacturing setup thus freeing up working capital through pipeline inventory reduction.
The sales force automation tool increases the productivity of the front line sales force significantly. The entire process of route planning to selling and promotions is automated. It creates new avenues for revenue generation, since now you can venture into unknown territory armed with data.
CRM applications have helped serve the customer better. In today’s global market we need to service the customer keeping in mind the specific need. Here IT comes to the rescue with a host of cloud hosted CRM and service CRM offerings that satisfy the unique need of customers. This has helped retain customers and increase businesses.