Mobility is a Key Requirement for Enterprise Resource Planning Systems

multitasking in handsWorkforce mobility has become a requirement to remain competitive in today’s fast-paced business environment. Mobile devices are being used in all aspects of business not only as a source of real-time information but also as a way to improve efficiency and performance. Increased mobility is transforming industries. The question is no longer if you will use mobile devices, but how and when.

Mobility is firmly entrenched in today’s business operations. In a 2013 survey of 752 companies, CDW found:

  • 94% say mobile devices make them more efficient
  • 89% of business employees use mobile devices for work
  • 67% would be less competitive without workforce mobility

Since workforce mobility greatly increases the number of devices used by your systems, it could generate complexity and chaos. To mitigate these risks, your mobile strategy should include an integrated IT system such as Acumatica Cloud ERP, Sage 100 or Sage 300 (formerly Sage Accpac). When data needs to be available anywhere and everywhere, a common technology platform and database will help enable information integrity and accessibility. Data transparency allows visibility and insight as you empower all levels to make better decisions and act responsively to changing business needs.

The requirement for workforce mobility integrated with an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system is supported by recent studies conducted among IT leaders.

  • 88% of CIOs prefer an integrated IT solution rather than a “best-of-breed” approach
  • 10% of IT budgets are already being spent on mobile ERP
  • over 50% have a plan for mobile ERP

If you are looking to add mobility to your workforce, what other things should you consider? There are a number of mobile capabilities to evaluate including functionality, usability, compatibility and security.

  1. Functionality: Simple reporting and dashboards have been available on mobile devices for some time, but now companies are moving toward conducting business processes on these devices. Employees will need to have the same functionality on their mobile device as they would on a desktop computer using an enterprise resource planning system like Sage 300.
  2. Usability: At the same time, the interface will need to be optimized for smaller screens. The interfaces must be simple and easy-to-use to eliminate employee frustration. For example, Acumatica contains intuitive controls and customizable dashboards making it easy to use and delivering desktop-like performance right out of the browser.
  3. Compatibility: The technology must work on a variety of devices. While there has been some pushback toward BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), the trend of BYOD has taken off and is becoming the norm in workplace mobility. With its new mobile enhancements, Sage 100 gives you more ways to connect with everyone involved in your business.
  4. Security: Increased data accessibility helps improve efficiency and responsiveness, but it creates more data security issues. Regardless of the platform you choose, care must be taken to secure data both internally and externally.

While mobile devices are being used in all areas of a company’s business, there are some areas that are more impacted than others. Mobile ERP applications are most important in functions where employees work more effectively away from their desk. Key areas include:

  • Human Resources
  • Distribution and Manufacturing
  • Sales and Marketing

In future blogs, we will look at the mobility trends in these functions, the advantages of implementing mobility, and the challenges you will face.

As you can see, mobile technology will have a continued impact on your business and should be fully integrated into your enterprise resource planning system. Mindover Software has been providing award-winning software systems and consulting solutions spanning the business lifecycle to small and medium sized business. Now, with consultants in Dallas, San Antonio and Austin, Mindover Software provides strong local support with the resources of a national company. To learn more about some of the solutions we offer here at Mindover Software including Acumatica Cloud ERP, Sage 100 and Sage 300, please contact us to learn more about enabling mobile technology in your ERP.  For more information on ERP with mobile capabilities, visit our website.

 

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