While most businesses struggled to survive the disruption brought by the Covid-19 pandemic, the consumer packaged goods (CPG) and retail sectors responded in ways that kept their businesses going strong. From keeping the supply chain on, managing last-mile and contactless delivery during lockdowns, to ensuring the well-being of employees and customers, the acceleration in these two sectors is possibly the fastest since the e-commerce boom of the early 2000s.
The cloud will dominate the future of enterprises
The technology that powered most business responses was the cloud. A recent IDG Cloud Computing Survey suggests that with 81% of organisations already using cloud computing or having applications in the cloud, the age of the cloud is here. We need to reframe the conversations around the cloud from traditional monolithic ERPs to a more democratised cloud environment where cloud apps can help organisations be more agile in a post-pandemic world.
Cloud apps and the ERP context
ERPs such as SAP and Oracle will succeed in the cloud era owing to the investments companies make in customising an ERP solution. While ERP monoliths continue to service, the internal organisations’ cloud apps become a necessary choice to bring agility in external collaboration. Let’s look at the cloud app environment, particularly the native cloud apps, and the standardised value-added capabilities they bring to the CPG/retail industry.
Scalability and flexibility: The specific, functional value that cloud apps offer in a modular manner provides the deployment scaleability and flexibility at the click of a button. For example, a cloud-based CRM solution can be scaled-up based on seasonality, sales trends—without any downtime, retraining, or fixed overheads.
Security and data privacy: As individual data and privacy concerns take centre-stage, companies want cloud-based solutions that can provide secured data access while complying with regulatory requirements.
User-friendly: Cloud apps come with a front-end and are designed to be used on the go on different devices by users who may not be familiar with the technology. Using principles of design thinking to build highly intuitive UX/UI makes them very appealing.