The COVID-19 outbreak has produced some unprecedented responses, including the shutting down of businesses across the globe. Enabling a remote enterprise is fast becoming priority #1, and Acumatica’s Director of Product Marketing explains how technology, specifically Acumatica’s cloud ERP solution, can help.
Besides ‘COVID-19’, there is one word you’ll hear over and over again on the news: ‘unprecedented’—as in the unprecedented response to the lightning-fast spread of the coronavirus, which includes a global lockdown in an effort to stop the outbreak.
The lockdown has closed the physical locations of many non-essential businesses. Across the country, America’s largest employers have responded with various policies to keep their businesses running and to support their employees and customers—like bonuses, customer accommodations, community relief funds, and paid sick leave. Additionally, and at the time of this post, over half of businesses (Target, Amazon, and CVS, to name a few) have responded with work-from-home policies.
To enable a remote enterprise and to ensure business continuity, these businesses are turning to modern management technology, such as cloud ERP.
Cloud ERP technology enables remote enterprise
In a recent CIO article about COVID-19’s impact on the enterprise and remote work, Kris Lahiri, co-founder and CISO of Egnyte, says organizations need to provide remote employees with collaboration tools and technology. “Pandemics and natural disasters put corporations behind the eight ball, but organizations that can maintain access to critical business content and collaboration processes…are in a good position to deal with these,” he said.
Turning to technology will prove relatively painless for companies in the technology and information industry. Unicorn startup GitLab, for example, has maintained a fully remote policy across its entire workforce. The company recently published a survey that found 26% of remote workers are employed by organizations that are 100% remote.
Even non-technology organizations have been gradually shifting investment toward activities related to the creation of digital IP. Powerful laptops, low-cost monitors, high-resolution cameras, and SaaS-based communication and collaboration tools are helping facilitate the transition. Equally important are the advances in underlying technology infrastructure such as hybrid computing, cloud file storage, high-speed networking and endpoint security systems.
With today’s unforeseen circumstances, this shift towards digital IP will need to kick into high gear. Having remote employees is no longer just a possibility, it’s fast becoming a requirement, and modern cloud ERP technology such as Acumatica’s can make it easier. Remote access is an inherent feature of Acumatica cloud ERP. Acumatica customers have the ability to access their ERP data and connected modules from anywhere, at any time, from any device, and they are able to perform their unique business management processes without disruption.
But that’s not all. There are many more benefits to working remotely using cloud ERP software.
The benefits of working remotely
Richard Branson, founder and chairman of Virgin, has promoted the benefits of working remotely for years, writing in a 2013 post, “If you provide the right technology to keep in touch, maintain regular communication and get the right balance between remote and office working, people will be motivated to work responsibly, quickly and with high quality. Yours truly has never worked out of an office and never will.”
With the exception of the remote-office work balance (a situation businesses can’t control right now), he is spot on. He also writes, “Working life isn’t 9-5 anymore. The world is connected. Companies that do not embrace this are missing a trick.”
At the very least, they are missing out on the benefits above. In Why Mobility Matters in Cloud ERP, Acumatica’s Michaela Terrenzio notes other benefits, including increased productivity and data accuracy for organizations with field employees, who can enter data immediately rather than waiting until they return to the office. Being able to access the data with real-time visibility allows for better—and faster—decision making, more satisfied customers, and a boosted bottom line.
In fact, the benefits of working from home will cause many organizations to continue the practice even after the crisis has passed. Video conferences and meetings can reduce corporate travel, while having a remote workforce can lessen the need for real estate in densely populated city centers. Additionally, many remote-work companies, especially small businesses, cite the advantages of being able to hire candidates from anywhere. Finally, businesses may view working from home as a smart long-term strategy when it comes to continuity planning or reducing carbon footprints.
Cloud ERP: modern management software critical for today’s businesses
Modern management software is critical in understanding how recent disruptions impact businesses in every industry. Thankfully, CRM, ERP and supply chain software have evolved dramatically in recent years, helping firms improve visibility into customer and supplier channels to respond to changes in underlying business conditions.
This has been particularly notable in the current crisis, as businesses can quickly inform customers of product shortages, cancellations and potential refund procedures—something they can continue to do remotely.
Contact our team about implementing Acumatica’s cloud-based ERP solution to become a remote-based, connected business today and beyond. Rest assured, we are committed to ensuring business continuity for our customers and would love to do the same for you.