How to ensure business continuity and embrace a modern way of working
In today’s challenging and competitive markets, businesses need to adapt and optimise how they work continually to ensure they stay ahead.
To survive and thrive, organisations need to watch their costs, to have clear and constant visibility of cashflow and be able to adjust budgets in real time. You need access to crucial systems and data at all times (including from mobile devices) to operate in an agile way, using reliable insight to support accurate business decision-making in real time.
For this, Cloud computing has been hailed as a revolution – making data and systems securely available any time, from any device.
‘With 93 percent of organizations either adopting or considering the cloud, it is essential for CFOs to determine its value proposition and its implications for accounting, contracting, security/risk, and other areas of the business.’
Deloitte. Crunch time VIII: The CFO guide to Cloud Report
Many organisations have a strong desire to access these and a host of other advantages. But embarking on the Cloud journey can feel like a daunting step. How do you move on from a diverse collection of legacy, on-premise systems and business data that’s stored and managed in different places?
We recommend a step by step approach – with financial management systems being the top priority for migration to the Cloud.
Your financial systems are at the core of business management and decision-making. The benefits and risk reduction you can achieve from adopting a Cloud approach are immediate and tangible, helping you manage your business in a more resilient and informed way.
‘As CFO, you know cloud will be part of the future, whether driven by the need for innovation, cost reduction, or both. By making more effective cloud decisions, you may get a jump on competitors in terms of innovation, agility, and cost.’ Deloitte. Crunch time VIII: The CFO guide to Cloud Report
The limitations of on-premise finance systems
On-premises financial management and ERP systems, are often outdated. Their functionality may be adequate for your standard or historic business needs, but there’s not enough flexibility or headroom to evolve. It’s not easy to adapt on-premises solution to new business propositions in an agile manner, to grow or reduce activities and headcount or to add new functionality quickly and cost-effectively.
A modern, Cloud finance system like Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central wipes out overheads and gives you the exact resources and features you need in the current circumstances, with potential to adjust and extend responsively whenever you need to. You can seize opportunities as well as managing costs, to reflect business demand.
Cloud supports business continuity
Your business is far more resilient if you can guarantee access to critical systems 24/7. You can rely on decision-making insight being available at all times, whether you’re in the office or working elsewhere. Essential finance management processes and reporting take place automatically, keeping your business records up-to-date with transactions, purchasing and invoices. You have a clear picture at all times of your current financial position.
There’s no need to be on your business premises, staff can work anywhere, using any device. This helps businesses to reduce their carbon footprint and appeals to staff who want to work for an organisation which offers flexibility and a modern way of working. Something rival companies may have already done to keep ahead of the competition.
The Microsoft Dynamics user interface is familiar, accessible and offers a consistent experience on mobile, tablet, desktop or laptop. What’s more, access is completely secure, because data and systems are stored in Microsoft’s own Azure Cloud, protected by the most current and robust protocols. There’s no third-party storage provider, hosting requirement or infrastructure management needed.
Comprehensive functionality – headroom for growth and change
Having a finance management system in the Cloud, gives you a full oversight of data from all your offices and international divisions or businesses. It’s a single, dependable source of truth.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central has more standard functions and features than ever before. As an all-in-one business management solution it offers all the sophisticated functionality that modern businesses need to handle finance management connecting financials, sales, purchasing, inventory, service and operations to streamline processes, improve customer interactions and enable better decision making. With so much out-of-the-box functionality, configuring the solution to match your business needs is straightforward.
If you have specialist requirements and existing customised applications that feed into finance, they’ll still work perfectly. Business Central has a range of APIs to support robust integration with bespoke software from other vendors. Or you can select a specialised app written to integrate out-of-the-box with Dynamics 365, from the Microsoft App store.
Insightful, visual reporting
Access to intelligent data insights and comprehensive, accurate reporting is a top priority for businesses. With Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central you have access to 600 out-of-the-box reports as standard. Alternatively, data can be shared with Excel and reports created in the tool you already know and love. Should your organisation have invested in Power BI, Microsoft’s Business Intelligence tool for creation of visual reports (charts, dashboards, KPIs and graphs), there are out-of-the-box reports within it for your Business Central data or you can easily create your own. Microsoft have provided the tools to ensure the data you need is at your fingertips.
High performance and innovation
A substantial advantage of Business Central is constant, automatic access to Microsoft innovation and the latest features. You don’t need to upgrade or buy add-ons – you get the benefit of Microsoft R&D straight away, with automatic updates. In Business Central, expensive upgrade projects are a thing of the past. Hands-free updates, back-ups and disaster recovery provision happen automatically rather than incurring cost, resources and system down-time.
Cutting out maintenance and upgrade costs from your finance management system adds up to a substantial saving in overheads, compared to an on-premises system. Dynamics 365 Business Central is provided on a subscription basis. There is one per-user, per-month price, with no extras. That’s unusual in a market where hosting, storage and upgrades are routinely charged on top of subscriptions and fees.
Using Business Central also helps drive more value from your current Microsoft investments. There’s no need to adopt other productivity and communication tools: your team can continue using the Microsoft Office 365 apps they’re used to, from Outlook to Excel, with Business Central fully integrated.
Choosing the right Cloud provider
Microsoft’s Cloud solution provides the ultimate in security and resilience. With more threats online than ever before, Microsoft’s enterprise-level security provides strong and continually evolving protection from cybercrime. With Business Central, you get the application, the cloud platform and the security from a single trusted provider. As part of Microsoft’s global innovation platform, you can rely on market-leading connectivity, access, capability and security.
Watch our on-demand Webinar
Core financial information and operational insight is the most important thing to keep in the Cloud, both for resilience and business growth, through accurate real-time decision-making. To learn more about how your business could benefit, watch our on-demand webinar.