Since the emergence of high speed internet, businesses have benefitted from powerful operational tools. Business organizations can now tap new markets, source new kinds of raw materials and reach new areas of expertise across the globe. If you have been thinking about expanding your organization outside local boundaries or you are feeling the need to operate your business globally in a more efficient way, you should ask yourself: Do you have the necessary tools to go international?
Beware of information overload
You are no doubt familiar with buzzwords including: “Instant email access”, “Instant Messaging”, “Social Networks”, or even “Cloud Computing”. Are these tools really helping you to lead your business effectively or are they creating an information overload that can hinder timely business decisions? It is not uncommon that you may have gotten lost midway through trying to find information about how to grow your business. A recent study published in an article in Harvard Business Review, revealed that business leaders are often trapped by information overload. The study found that the enormous volume of data, that we are exposed to daily, combined with their work interruptions can adversely affect personal well-being, decision-making, innovation, and overall productivity.
Better Leadership Skills vs. Smarter Technologies
Global leaders definitely require specific skills sets such as virtual leadership abilities, and an in-depth understanding of cultural differences and team dynamics. Additionally, access to accurate real-time business information is a key enabler of efficient global operations. As a business leader, making informed decisions is, without doubt, part of your core duties. You need to think whether you really have the right tools to actually get more visibility and control over your business. Conversely, you should assess to what extent key decision-makers in your organization are being dragged down by information overload and how your tools can alleviate this from happening .
The Complexity Struggle by IT Departments
During my past 10 years in the ERP industry, mostly in the EMEA region (comprised of European, Middle East and Africa), I found that many organizations are still struggling with their complex and disparate on-premise information systems. People at the strategic level have a completely different perception about their information systems compared to the technical staff sitting in the IT Department near the massive servers.
In various cases, I found big companies with huge financial turnovers are still maintaining critical business information such as customer, human resource and payroll data on flat Excel files and in some cases rudimentary information systems developed in the 1990s. Business leaders have the tendency to overlook the complexity of on-premise operations as well as the challenges technical people face in IT Departments as long as they receive financial information in their desired output. Most technical staff would say, “our boss doesn’t know what we do, but they are happy as long as we provide the information they requested”.
Risks and Costs Associated
Sadly, and most often, only the critical IT issues are escalated to top management. Some examples include: the company website has been hacked, internal backups systems have failed or there might be a major issue that could delay payroll. Usually, only at these specific moments, do business leaders realized about the importance of regular IT Investments. Often it is “a little too late” as the business has already suffered considerable financial loss.
Recently, a power failure shut down the computer operations of Delta Airlines and forced the carrier to cancel more than 1,500 flights. Delta then realized that several of their information and network systems did not switch to backup mode as expected. Imagine the type of cost and time savings that Delta could have experienced if a proper audit had occurred in advance.
Besides posing huge security risks, these kinds of on-premise and disparate systems lead to poor visibility and lack of control over business operations. The costs of these information system failures are often beyond the imagination of business leaders, no matter to what extent they may have worked on a risk management plan.
Mobile and Cloud Computing Era
We are in the era of mobile computing and even our kids have smartphones nowadays. Yet, business leaders are not really tapping to the full potential of these devices. Though your mobile phones and tablets might be helping you respond to emails while being out of the office, what about real-time figures and dashboards emanating from your information system?
During a recent conversation between our team from the Big Bang ERP Mauritius Branch and several CEOs from both SMEs and Top 100 Companies, more than 90% of them believed that the solutions that provide such mobile connectivity are not affordable.
This belief is quite untrue. With cloud-based ERP solutions such as NetSuite, it is now possible to access business-critical information without the need to connect through expensive VPNs or dial in through complex networks and firewalls. There is also no need to spend money on costly certified system administrators to perform fixes or change management tasks to the on-premise IT infrastructure.
You can take advantage of all that NetSuite has to offer; mobile apps, cross-departmental access to key business data, scheduled software updates performed by NetSuite themselves, and complete visibility into your business in real-time. All of this at a fraction of what an on-premise would cost.
Be a Smarter Global Leader with Cloud-Based ERP Solutions
In a world where having a competitive advantage could make or break your business, cloud-based ERP solutions step up to the plate. You will benefit from better inventory control, faster sales cycle, streamline employee onboarding process, more accurate performance management and automated procurement and order management among others. It is important to mention that cloud computing is compatible with low broadband internet. Based on the experience of the Big Bang Mauritius team, we can confirm NetSuite ERP works very well in bandwidth capacity as low as 512 Kbps. In our testing, we found that the NetSuite ERP loads much faster than system access through VPNs. This means, emerging markets are well poised to leverage the ERP systems
Cloud Computing as Part of Your Information Systems (IS) Strategy
If cloud computing adoption is not part of your current or upcoming IS and IT Strategy, you definitely should have second thoughts about it. At Big Bang, we have a pool of cloud computing-certified experts with diverse backgrounds. Whether you run a professional services firm, a retail business or a manufacturing plant, we can recommend the right cloud solution for your business.
In the era of globalization, leaders should be able to operate worldwide and effectively lead global and virtual teams. Cloud-based ERPs give you the tools you need to operate and sustain your business globally.
Interested in learning more? Contact us to get more details on how we can take your business global.