Posted by By Harriet Lewis

20 January 2016

20 Jan 16

Why Fast Growing Companies Are Turning To Cloud Applications

iain campbell

Iain Campbell, Vice President of Sales

As Oracle’s UK Cloud Partner of the Year, Inoapps is finely attuned to the key trends that emerge both in IT and also in application areas such as ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) and HCM (Human Capital Management). One of the common themes that is starting to emerge, is the increasing acceptance of cloud technology applications, by fast growing companies facing significant financial events. These events include: an IPO or the need to secure second phase funding.

This trend seems especially prevalent amongst young, rapidly expanding Professional, Business and Financial services companies. Typically, these are organisations that have focused initially on securing growth; so much of their early IT investment has been deployed to support customer facing and front-end operations. However, by the time they need to consider an IPO or seek to secure additional funding, they have often outgrown their original back office software. So traditionally, it has not been unusual to find fast growing mid-market companies still cobbling their financials together with a combination of entry level accounting systems & spreadsheets. The situation is little better with those using older on-premise ERP systems. Here, conservative CFOs expect their IT department to drive the selection of new systems; remaining somewhat detached from the day-to-day implementation processes. The upgraded system could then take several years to get right and is deployed at considerable expense. Indeed, we have heard of long and complex on-premise upgrades costing more than £1m, which did not deliver any new functionality at all.

Potential investors, will no doubt review the set-up of fast growth companies at the time key financial events happen. They will, of course, take an extremely keen interest in assessing the management practices and systems that are in place. Weaknesses in areas such as ERP and HCM systems are quickly exposed. It often becomes very clear that the back office needs to catch up to meet the new levels of scrutiny applied and to provide superior levels of management reporting and analytics. This, in turn drives these fast growth companies to seek cost-effective methods of refreshing their IT estate with more modern systems.

It’s not surprising therefore that we have noticed that a new breed of switched-on CFO has started to appear at these younger fast growth companies. This new generation of CFO is far more hands-on and keen to identify solutions that provide a structured, disciplined and future proofed alternative that is cost–effective. They have witnessed Cloud technology permeate the mainstream and are aware of the low entry costs of the technology, together with a host of other best practice benefits including: business agility, scalability, support for mobile working practices and innovation. The fact that these solutions can be supplied through the cloud is seemingly irrelevant, as the CFOs are more focused on ensuring the quality of the output than on questioning how it is delivered.

The new breed of CFO is also aware that there are a large number of vendors that supply Cloud business software. Often these software companies specialise in just one or two areas. However, if one reviews the credible and independent data sources available, it is now clear that Oracle leads the global market for a full range of integrated Cloud-based business solutions and it is clearly the key vendor to focus on for most midsize companies. For example, as recently reported in Forbes, over 1,500 companies have now contracted to use Oracle ERP Cloud applications. Already, 450 of these companies are now live in the cloud. Many of these companies are midsize too. As Oracle Chairman, Larry Ellison, said recently in a conference call to Analysts; “Oracle is the first company to market a complete cloud ERP suite for [both] midsize and large enterprises….”

When companies choose Oracle ERP Cloud, there also seems to be an increasing trend to select other Oracle applications and services, including those for HCM, Supply Chain and Customer Experience. The modern CFOs involved see the clear advantages of buying multiple cloud applications from just one provider as the apps are designed to work together, thereby eliminating any integration costs. In addition, by choosing Oracle Cloud applications companies can acquire a complete range of modern and integrated best practice systems on a more cash flow friendly OPEX basis. As a consequence, Oracle applications are also extremely impressive when it comes to reducing the Total Cost of Ownership.

At Inoapps, we understand these benefits fully as we have already implemented Oracle Cloud applications across our own organisation for finance, HR, sales & marketing. We made this investment in advance of our own financial event; receiving a £10 million investment of growth capital from BGF (Business Growth Fund), the independent company established to provide growth capital to UK businesses.

As a result, we have a very clear understanding of the needs of other fast growing companies seeking to achieve the same output. For example, we know that when mid-size companies need to upgrade their systems because of a financial event, such as an IPO, that they need to do it reasonably quickly. That’s why we are the ideal implementation partner for Oracle Cloud applications.

We can meet this need for speed in a way that delivers the desired results quickly. As many of the accounts systems in companies are now managed the same way, we can take a set of standard processes for ERP, HR and planning & budgeting and have the user up and running far more quickly than previously possible. Indeed, we can have a new Cloud-based system up and running in as little as just 10 to 12 weeks. The even better news is that our InClusive® range enables companies to access the latest enterprise-class Oracle Cloud solutions and related services on a cost-effective monthly basis, with no initial upfront cost. By this means, younger fast growth companies can punch above their weight by using the same systems as much bigger organisations but at a fraction of the cost of outright purchase.

It’s also possible to extend this service across the Globe too. With offices in EMEA, the Far East and The Americas, Inoapps is one of the first partners capable of delivering single vendor, multi-applications solutions across international boundaries; indeed we have helped one of our clients establish systems across 28 countries across the globe.

So to the CFOs of fast growth companies, the choice is becoming increasingly clear. Oracle Cloud applications now provide a range of integrated solutions that support sales growth and innovation. The cash flow friendly, cost-effective methods by which these systems are available fits naturally with their need for speed once the investor pressure is on. The decision whether to carry on with inadequate systems or to make the move to the cloud is ultimately a choice CFOs have to make themselves. However with Inoapps working as an experienced implementation partner, the chances are that they can and will make a move to the Cloud sooner rather than later.

For more information about Oracle Cloud and how it can transform your business, get in touch with us today.

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