Home Cloud What is your cloud strategy? Don’t have one? Be prepared to go the way of the dinosaur

According to Oracle, cloud adoption  be it public, private or a hybrid of both  has almost reached the halfway mark in Australia with most major enterprises having a cloud strategy. But too many small to medium enterprises and governments are a long way from even thinking about it.

The bottom line is that cloud is the way to the future and if you have not begun to think about it – well your competitors have! Cloud supports everything from mobility solutions to big data and does it in such a way as to allow agility, scalability, and experimentation via everything as a service (XaaS) – software, platform, infrastructure, backup, security, and importantly business intelligence and big data analytics.

iTWire asked Chris Downie, director of cloud solutions and chief technology officer, PrimeQ, an Oracle cloud specialist, for a few comments on developing the right cloud strategy.

“It's an exciting time as the business world moves rapidly into a cloud-centric era. New products, business models and channels will be defined that open up more possibilities than we can imagine,” said Downie.

“Take PrimeQ for example. It is a relatively new cloud consultancy specialising in ERP cloud for Australia and New Zealand’s mid to large enterprises and public sector organisations. It believes that those companies which treat their cloud strategy as critical will stay in the game and gain competitive advantage, while many that don’t will risk falling by the wayside. Having no strategy is not an option while the competitive advantage is no longer in the applications you use. Cloud is the platform you use to connect everything together,” he added.

With its headquarters in Adelaide and an office in Melbourne, PrimeQ’s growth has been spectacular – it attributes it all to the cloud. It has gone from zero to fifty employees in less than six months with plans to have 200 within 12 months. Its business is providing services to customers across public cloud, private cloud, and hybrid deployments. As a new business, it decided to base its growth on the cloud subscription model – use and pay for what you need as you go, and grow.

It selected Oracle’s ERP Cloud, a business platform that enables intelligent business growth and will enable them to provide a high-quality service to their customers. It manages the needs of their business today, yet will allow them to scale for this rapid growth without the need to increase their administrative overhead.

“We are Oracle specialists, providing innovative Oracle cloud, applications, technology and managed services solutions for our customers in Australia and New Zealand. The Oracle ERP platform has enabled us to have more resources focused on our customers rather than tied up in the administration of back office business systems and management of associated hardware,” he said.

Downie has penned a few words on ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) Cloud strategy.

How the cloud has transformed ERP

Many organisations realise that a move to the Cloud not only makes ERP applications more affordable, they also make these systems easier to implement, manage and update. Businesses want simpler processes, the latest technology and access to updates without a disruptive and extended upgrade project. The Cloud also provides the ability for growing and mid-size organisations to adopt a tier one solution at a much lower price. Many organisations are also finding that Cloud ERP solutions are providing them with significant in-built features that would normally be costly additions e.g. invoice imaging, analytics and pervasive mobile capabilities.

The evolution of SaaS

Initially, we saw organisations look to move Customer Relationship Management and Customer Experience (CRM/CX) processes such as salesforce automation to the cloud. From there organisations then sought to shift Human Capital Management (HCM) processes such as recruitment. The third wave has been core ERP (Finance, Procurement, Project Management) and now we see organisations look to shift complex Supply Chain processes to the cloud. We are now at a point where an organisation can deploy a complete cloud suite enabling them to manage a complete process across multiple pillars e.g. take a sales prospect to quotation/sales order and then fulfil it via their supply chain and bill the end customer via their financials. This can remove a lot of complexity for a business and provide a complete end-to-end view across a business process.

The changing role of the chief financial officer (CFO)

The CFO role has been changing rapidly in recent years. We see CFOs become more influential within the business. These days, finance teams have access to more operational data on the performance of the business. In many cases, the responsibility of coordinating and interpreting this data has become their responsibility. People look to the CFO to shine a light on the path forward. Unfortunately, the CFO is often hindered by outdated systems where there is a lack of integration between finance and business operational data.

Functional necessity for competitive advantage

Organisations are looking to Cloud solutions to replace or enhance their current systems capability. The introduction of new applications is no longer a functional necessity; organisations are looking to gain real competitive advantage through the acceleration of innovation, via improved customer experience and through improving their margins via better cost management and the introduction of new revenue streams. Managing an organisation’s applications is a vital component of an organisation’s business success, innovation, and growth.

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Ray Shaw

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Ray Shaw ray@im.com.au  has a passion for IT ever since building his first computer in 1980. He is a qualified journalist, hosted a consumer IT based radio program on ABC radio for 10 years, has developed world leading software for the events industry and is smart enough to no longer own a retail computer store!

 

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