During a certain era, when digital technology was new, early adoption of the latest business technology could catapult a company way out in front of their competition. But as business technology became affordable and universal, and functionality became similar regardless of brand, the advantages became less apparent. In the marketplace, there were a lot of good products designed to increase efficiency. To compete, software companies relied on differentiating product features, price, and availability.
With the advent of Cloud computing, there once again became a way to differentiate at the company level based on technology choices. One thing the Cloud has done is to allow small and mid-size businesses access to software that was previously affordable only for larger businesses. The Cloud has done away with the need for large capital investment in hardware and the on-staff IT department to maintain it. Now that they can afford top-notch business software, those companies that choose to go the Cloud route have a competitive advantage on two fronts:
- Internal operations– Companies can now program and automate processes that before they could not, such as AP automation or real-time inventory tracking. Internal calculations that provide data for decision making, forecasting, and analysis, can now be available in real time and boast greater accuracy. Reporting against data that was previously in ‘silo-ed’ databases becomes much easier and therefore much more readily available.
- External facing services—Not only can vendor and partner services be enhanced and automated with portals, but customer portals also provide a means to better customer service and self-service as well as presenting suggestions for additional online products and revenue streams. Mobile shopping gives your customers additional ways to access your products and services.
So, yes, your business technology does matter. Companies that put their accounting and business software in the Cloud can focus on their business and driving growth rather than focusing on the technology that enables it. They can provide better service to their valued customers, vendors, and partners, and they can increase employee satisfaction by removing unnecessary inefficiencies and frustration from internal operations.
By NexVue Information Systems