If you’re trying to scale your business without adding headcount, the key is employee productivity. What tools can you give them so more products go out the door faster? How can you improve your processes so it takes less time to complete operations workflows?
A roadblock many businesses run into in trying to solve these challenges is the use of on-prem enterprise software systems, such as ERP platforms. The time interval to execute upgrades to the latest version is usually at least three years, and sometimes longer.
In the meantime, new features and functions evolve that end-users can’t tap into. It’s also challenging to integrate older on-prem systems with other new technologies.
The result…employee productivity stagnates. Without the latest technology, they can’t accelerate workflows. They can’t respond as quickly to customer requests, having to track down information manually that may be out of date—rather than getting automatic access to real-time, accurate data.
The Answer: Migrating ERP to the Cloud
Users of the Microsoft Dynamics on-prem ERP platforms (NAV, GP, SL, AX or Business Central) can overcome these challenges by migrating to Dynamics 365 Business Central in the cloud. Moving to the cloud provides many benefits, including access to the latest ERP functionality. Microsoft releases Dynamics 365 updates twice a year that automatically upload to your cloud platform where your end-users can immediately start using them.
This allows your internal teams to constantly improve their efficiencies and reduce their time on tasks. Along with the bi-annual feature and function updates, Microsoft applies application bug fixes automatically throughout the year. So if a process isn’t working quite right, your users won’t get stuck having to apply workarounds—that typically require more time—to make the process function correctly.
For on-prem versions, your IT teams must download and apply the patches manually. This does not always happen right way, forcing your users to wait before they can start working more efficiently.
Provide Capabilities Not Available On-Prem
The Azure cloud environment streamlines integrations between Dynamics 365 Business Central and other applications in the Microsoft tech stack. This lets your end-users tap into capabilities that are simply not possible with the on-prem versions of Dynamics.
This includes the integration with Microsoft Teams. Your employees can spend their entire day working in Teams to communicate internally and with customers. Without leaving Teams, they can view and edit Dynamics 365 Business Central data and run ERP processes.
In the cloud, users also have access to the artificial intelligence capabilities of Microsoft Copilot. This allows them, for example, to automate bank reconciliation. Inventory-centric businesses can leverage Copilot for AI-powered writing assistance, authoring marketing text (product descriptions) on items sold in online shops, like Shopify. With the click of a button, Copilot generates text that's engaging and creative and highlights key attributes of the specific item. With a bit of reviewing and editing, it's ready to publish.
Ensure Fast Application Performance
Besides the new features and enhanced functionality the cloud keeps delivering, your employees receive a productivity boost from the application performance the cloud ensures. Microsoft constantly improves Dynamics 365 Business Central screen load times, transaction processing times, and the speed at which reports are rendered.
And as your business grows—or when your busy season starts—and the workload on your ERP application increases, your hardware compute resources automatically scale. CPUs, memory, and storage all increase to handle transaction volume spikes. Your end-users won’t be held up by slow application response times.
If you run into a similar situation with your on-prem system, you can’t alleviate the situation until you deploy additional hardware or implement an upgrade to your ERP system. In the meantime, users continue to have to deal with slower application rendering time. Their efficiency level will sputter or perhaps even degrade.
The cloud also gives your ERP platform greater resiliency. If a hardware component fails, or if a power outage or natural disaster hits a Microsoft data center, your IT infrastructure can automatically fail over to another data center.
Keep Sensitive Data Safe
Providing the latest security controls for on-prem ERP systems requires a high level of expertise and ongoing investments in cybersecurity tools. Because many businesses are focused on delivering products and services to their customers, these security requirements often get put on the back burner. This opens on-prem environments to cyber vulnerabilities.
But in the cloud, Microsoft continuously updates the security controls and security patches protecting the Azure environment that hosts Dynamics 365 Business Central. Your application and the data you store run in a world-class data center that’s staffed by senior security specialists and features advanced cybersecurity defenses.
You’re not only protecting your company’s digital assets but also providing your employees with security for their user accounts and their devices. Everyone’s mind can be at ease that they won’t be hit with ransomware or CryptoLocker, or have any sensitive information stolen.
Enable Increased Productivity
By migrating your on-prem Dynamics ERP platform to Dynamics 365 Business Central in the cloud, you give your end-user an immersive Microsoft experience. With the ability to run internal processes faster and quickly access data in any application, they can increase their productivity and respond more quickly to customer needs, and that makes it easier for your business to grow.
About the AuthorMore Content by Tammy Radecke