The role of software in business has evolved from “what’s that?” to “nice to have” to “have to have” to today’s essential truth, which is that software is the heart of the businesses. It’s hard to imagine a business of any size or substance operating without multiple types of software running across the organization. The software industry has responded, offering a wide range of options for companies of different sizes. There are small business software packages, solutions for mid-sized companies and enterprise-scale applications.
If your business is growing, and we hope it is, what types of software are helpful as you grow? Having worked with many clients whose companies were in growth cycles, we have found the answer to this question is far from simple.
First, a growing company needs software in all of its operating areas. It needs Customer Resource Management (CRM) and sales management software in its sales and marketing departments. It needs HR software in HR. Accounting needs accounting software. Most businesses also typically need Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), distribution management, field service management and warehouse management. It needs a relational database management system (RDBS) along with data visualization and reporting tools. These needs are in addition to desktop operating systems and productivity (e.g. Microsoft Windows and Office), file storage solutions and phone systems (VOiP) as well as any number of IT management solutions for running data centers, helpdesks, disaster recovery and on and on.
As you might see, a growing company needs a lot of software. The big issue, however, is management. For every piece of software, there needs to be (or should be) someone, or a team of people, responsible for supporting and maintaining it. In a large enterprise, there can dozens of people assigned to maintain a single application. There will be people tasked with keeping it running, securing it, backing it up, updating it and so forth. Software admin can be a costly, people-intensive area of a business. A poor choice of software tools can compound admin requirements.
Should you move to the cloud, with all this software? The maddening answer, as is so often the case in IT, is “it depends.” No two companies have the same cloud vs. on-premises dialogue. Sometimes, the best move is to leave an existing on-premises solution where it is. However, new cloud solution options are making the whole “should we move to the cloud?” discussion a lot clearer and simpler. With the advent of comprehensive cloud ERP solutions like Acumatica, it is now possible to run a wide spectrum of business software in a cloud/Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model.
Acumatica is modular, with the ability to add functions like CRM and HR as needed. As cloud software, it can scale in huge increments, on demand. Admin requirements fall precipitously as the supplier’s admin staff takes over many of the laborious processes you used to have to do yourself. Without a solution of this type, growth will cause you to go through painful upgrades to software as you inevitably outgrow your earlier generation of business software.
If your business is growing and you want to think through the best software solutions to enable the smoothest possible expansion, let’s talk.