How Cloud ERP Benefits Consulting Firms

Posted by Chris Duddridge on September 26, 2017



  • More than half of all digital transformation investments in 2017 will go toward technologies that support operating model innovations.
  • The firms that get their cloud ERP strategy right are those that strike a balance between people, process and technology.
  • The Cloud can give you the edge over competing firms: instant visibility, employee mobility, talent acquisition, one-system integration.
  • The main cloud ERP benefits include: cost savings, increased security, eased scale-ability, and easy implementation vs on premise software.

According to the 2017 Professional Services Maturity Benchmark by Service Performance Insight, in the past, professional services technology use was confined to operations and service execution. It has now become essential, in all corners of a business: to enhance collaboration and knowledge sharing, and enable for planning, budgeting, forecasting and analysis of data anytime and anywhere.

The best consulting firms are leading their competitors by deploying integrated business applications across all aspects of the business, giving them visibility and control to see and take advantage of business changes in real-time. Technology understanding and use has become a strategic imperative to keep ahead of competitors and take advantage of instant data access.

Digital Transformation In The Consulting Industry

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IDC reports than more than half of all digital transformation investments in 2017 will go toward technologies that support operating model innovations. Consulting businesses that can see the long term benefits of digital technologies are committed to focus on making business operations more agile and effective. They do this by investing in technology that digitally connects their people, processes and data. The right technology will help firms redefine how the work gets done. Having instant access to a holistic view of the business on one dashboard revolutionises the way decisions are made when it comes to projects and profitability.


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Cloud ERP Strategy

The firms that get it right are those that strike a balance between people, process and technology; all working seamlessly together and ensuring user adoption. Consulting firms will benefit from deploying business management applications such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) software that allows them to use integrated applications to manage the business and automate back office functions such as finance, resource and project management and human resources. 

Successful consulting firms see ERP deployed via a cloud platform as a base for a new corporate infrastructure that will support the overall business strategy and provide agility to respond to emerging trends, customers’ demands and market changes. More can be read on this topic in the IT Europa report: Cloud ERP: A Crucial Investment for Consulting Firms.

  Tweet it out: Cloud ERP is no longer a future trend. It’s a critical investment. Are you ready for the move?

Historically, enterprise size firms have been more prone to move to a cloud-based solution. Medium to small firms have been reluctant for fear of spiralling costs. But the advent of cloud technologies has brought a new realisation that professional services firms of all sizes can benefit from ERP deployed via the Cloud. 

Defining key success factors and asking the right questions such as ‘why are you implementing a new ERP system?’ and ‘what are you trying to achieve?’ will help determine the business requirements. Selecting an ERP vendor that has an industry specific solution rather than a generic one lets organisations avoid buying a number of unnecessary ‘building blocks’ that may not suit their business.

How Cloud ERP Helps Firms Be More Competitive

Cloud ERP is a critical business system for consulting firms, which plays a crucial role in providing control of data for optimal performance.

The four points below provide an insight on how Cloud ERP can help firms do better and work faster.

How cloud ERP helps consulting firms

Instant visibility - consulting firms offer intangible services and rely on their projects going according to plans. Cloud ERP provides an instant view of people, skills and projects, allowing consulting firms to allocate the right people on the right projects that will deliver value for money.

Employee mobility – For project-based businesses, people are their business – with projects becoming bigger and expanding abroad, they must have the right technology in place to make sure they support their staff wherever they are by allowing them to access project data anywhere.

One integrated cloud system - one database and one version of the truth. Everything is updated in real time and consulting firms can control projects parameters as they go and anticipate their return on investment.

Talent Acquisition– According to an Accenture report, professional services account for 15% of the United Kingdom’s gross domestic product (GDP) and employ 14% of its workforce. But with the talent shortage experienced in the industry, one way to attract the best people is to show your firms ability to use modern technology as part of your overall business strategy. In turn, technology savvy workers will be interested in working for consulting firms that have technology empowering employees to do their job faster and better. These digital workers can lead the way towards more digital transformation, beneficiary to the business and its customers.

The Benefits Of Cloud ERP For Consulting Firms

Gartner has stated that at least 30% of service-centric companies will move the majority of their enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications to the Cloud by 2018.

Some of the Cloud ERP benefits for consulting businesses are:

benefits of cloud ERP

Easy to implement: A cloud solution can be installed in a matter of days while an on premise system takes months to get up and running.

Scalability: Whether a business is winning many new projects or downsizing, a cloud infrastructure is able to cope with the changes with greater flexibility and agility.

Cost savings: Cloud computing cuts out the high costs of hardware and servers, there is no need for a team of IT people to run the system. Businesses simply pay as they go and receive regular updates and maintenance.

Security: When cloud computing first started to attract the attention of enterprises, one of the big areas of concern was security. After some time, companies realised that much of this fear was misguided and that well-run cloud providers could actually offer higher levels of security themselves.

More short and long term benefits can be found in the IT Europa report Cloud ERP: A Crucial Investment for Consulting Firms.

Digital transformation is a reality to remain competitive, and better enable people to deliver superior projects. Consulting firms moving to a cloud ERP solution can reap the benefits both in the short and long ters by deploying an industry specific solution and establishing KPIs beforehand.


IT Europa Report 2017:

Why are so many consulting firms moving to the cloud?

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