Cloud computing has been the enabler and driver of digital transformation, and a game-changer at an enterprise level in the past decade. Almost all businesses today use one or more forms of cloud technology.
After years of slow uptake, controversy and debate, cloud technology has become an integral part of most organisation’s IT infrastructure design and is finally taking centre stage to transform core business models and processes on a larger scale and faster than ever before.
Cloud First: ASP to SaaS
Organisations started to see the value of a ‘cloud first’ strategy and the implementation of a SaaS (cloud-based software as a service) business platform as opposed to the outdated and disconnected ASP (Application Service Provider) model reliant on on-premises infrastructure.
Cloud adoption intensified with the growing focus on customer interaction, e-commerce, and new mobile and touch-enabled technologies, all which required rapid innovations, flexible systems and data centers, and surging transactional processing power.
The ASP experience moved to the cloud environment to address specific business requirements that needed massive innovation and mobility functionality due to a shifting marketplace. Email, storage, and customer-centric processes (CRM) were the first to move to the cloud.
But while non-ERP business processes embraced the cloud benefits, the core of the enterprise, the ERP and other such related management systems – warehouse, operations, financials, still relied on the on-premises functionality and data centres.
The same scenario applied to the back-office processes and database functionality on which business computing is based upon for day-to-day operations.
As a result, most business processes were still reliant on the on-premise infrastructure and ERP systems, rendering a rigid, complex, and time-consuming experience.
It is no longer the case, as market demands and technology advancements have rendered the move to cloud-based ERP processes necessary for organisations.