The current moment illustrates the value of truly mobile Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software. Most, if not all information workers in the US are working from home. Indeed, most people are being ordered by the government to stay indoors. Your employees, customers and suppliers are all likely interacting with your business systems from remote locations.
COVID-19 and Business Agility
The concept of business agility is often presented as an abstract need to be able to respond quickly to changing circumstances. The subtext is usually that this expected change will take place over a period of months or maybe even years. Changing a company in a year is considered agile. But, what if, as we are now experiencing, everything changes in a day?
From one day to the next, all of your customers cannot come into your store. Your staff cannot be in the office. How quickly can you react? The answer will depend partly on culture, structure and management style. However, your agile response will also have a lot to do with software. If you rely on software to run your business, you will also be relying on it, for better or worse, to handle today’s extreme agility challenge. Companies operating legacy ERP may find themselves constrained by limited mobile functionality.
Why a Truly Mobile ERP Solution is Critical to Success in this Moment
The agility demands of COVID-19 are indeed startling. They result in a variety of IT challenges, including:
- The need for people to work effectively and securely on non-corporate devices and consumer Internet connections
- Getting software to function on different form factors, e.g. tablet vs. smartphone
- A big increase in remote connections to the software, which can overtax network resources
- A potentially increase in e-commerce delivery business versus in-store purchases—straining warehouse management and fulfillment capabilities
- More demand for IT to support these requirements.
To handle such challenging parameters, you will need a truly mobile ERP solution. This is software that adapts to remote work and a variety of mobile form factors. Not all solutions are suitable.
Nobody knows for sure how long the effects of the COVID-19 lockdown will linger in our workplaces. But you can start discovering the benefits of a remote workforce now by downloading The New State of Work in Challenging Times.
What Constitutes a Truly Mobile ERP Solution
A truly mobile ERP solution is going to be native to the cloud. Acumatica offers a good example of such a software architecture. A cloud-native ERP application is designed at the outset to be hosted in a cloud data center. Its programming language and architecture are ideally suited to the cloud—and hence, mobility.
- Browser-based—All users can access identical functionality through a web browser. They do not need to install specialized client software on their devices. This reduces compatibility and IT support issues.
- One code base for all devices—With Acumatica, all devices are interacting with the same code base. This seemingly esoteric detail means a lot for remote work. In this approach, when a user performs a function at home, everyone else working from their homes, see the results instantly. There’s also a single database in the cloud, further streamlining mobile work by providing all stay-at-home employees with the same “truth” in real time.
- Scalable, flexible provisioning—Cloud-native software is easier and faster to provision and configure than legacy systems. These qualities are useful when people may need new functionality quickly, e.g. adding home-based customer service representatives to handle a flood of new e-commerce orders. Application integration using standards-based (e.g. RESTful) API then provides a quick mode of integration with third party systems like warehouse management software and vendor order management systems.
Acumatica comes with an adaptive mobile app and mobile expense reporting that delivers a complete ERP user experience on virtually any device. The app further leverages device-specific functionality like GPS tracking, digital signature capture and photo uploading. These are valuable for dealing with customers in the field.
Remote work is more important now than ever. To learn more about how Acumatica Cloud ERP can be your truly mobile ERP for remote work, contact us for a free consultation and demo.
For more information, download our eBook to learn:
- What it takes to stay resilient in challenging times
- How to give everyone access to your business systems from anywhere
- Why working remotely doesn’t have to mean working in isolation
- How to ensure the safety and integrity of your cloud data
- How Acumatica customers are thriving with cloud ERP