Cloud

How Azure helps SMBs grow

How Azure helps SMBs grow their businesses

How Azure helps SMBs grow their businesses 2400 900 Xcelpros Team

Azure is

Small and medium businesses and enterprises(SMBs/ SMEs) looking to make the move into a secure and versatile cloud computing environment need to take a closer look at Microsoft’s Azure platform. About to enter its 12th year, Azure has provided a wealth of open source programs, renown security, cloud computing services and scalability to help small and medium businesses grow.

Microsoft’s Azure is:

  • Hybrid cloud computing, letting companies create virtual machines on Linux or Windows platforms
  • Application development including E-commerce and mobile products
  • AI (artificial intelligence) aimed at helping mine knowledge from your existing data
  • Cloud migration and modernization, moving information from an on-premise server farm to a distributed cloud
  • Data and analytics, including blockchain
  • The Internet of Things, allowing manufacturers to attach sensors to machine components and be alerted before critical failures strike
  • Security, including disaster recovery
  • Industry solutions covering financial services, government, healthcare, manufacturing, retail, energy, media, entertainment and space

Azure features are useful in all of these situations, and more. By using open source programs, companies can create custom applications for their unique needs and run them through Azure. Additionally Azure can seamlessly share data with other Microsoft products like Dynamics 365, Microsoft’s flagship enterprise resource planning (ERP) suite.

Azure and IoT: A Perfect Match for Manufacturing

IoT in manufacturing most commonly refers to a set of smart machines and equipment that communicates in a network. There can be hundreds of connected sensors that monitor wear on equipment, relate temperature and pressure settings, and monitor flow rates.

Each of these sensors feed information into a computer network. The data then needs to pass from its source where it can be analyzed and turned into actionable intelligence.

This is a huge benefit if your company has a manufacturing plant in another country. Every team is aware of what the other is doing, and if there are any issues in the manufacturing process.

Connecting other Microsoft programs, like Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management on top of Azure ensures your small to medium enterprise (SME) has accurate control of its inventory. With the global supply chain issues ongoing, knowing what’s where and how to get your products to your customers has become critical.

Azure is Open Source

The benefit of Azure’s being open source means your developers can create programs that help your business along with other companies’. As a bonus incentive, as of Sept. 28, 2021, your company can even earn Azure credits for open source projects for one year.

Among the programs already taking advantage of Microsoft’s incentive are:

Figure: 1 Advantages of Microsoft’s incentives

Advantages of Microsoft's incentives

  • FreeBSD, a Unix operating system for servers, desktops and embedded platforms. The credits help developers work on custom kernels.
  • Alma Linux, an enterprise distribution system.
  • Snakemate, a workflow management system for creating scalable data analyses. The workflows can be scaled to server, cluster grid and cloud environments.
  • Promitor discovers Azure Metrics for easy use anywhere.

Often, taking advantage of open source technologies like these helps SMBs getting just started with Azure identify a number of new opportunities for growth. Quoting a 2020 McKinsey and Co. report, Microsoft states, “organizations that adopt open source technologies score 30 percent higher on innovation and 20 percent higher on developer satisfaction.”

One of the oldest open source programs around is Linux. Linux virtual machine(VM) images make up 60 percent of Azure Marketplace VM images. Pairing Linux with Microsoft’s Azure lets developers and businesses:

  • Spend less time on administrative tasks
  • Streamline the creation of fully governed environment using Azure blueprints
  • Protect your intellectual property (IP) and digital assets with the Azure IP Advantage program.

Among the seven products listed on the Azure Linux home’s website is one that lets you provision Windows and Linux virtual machines in seconds, one letting you migrate your current on-premise virtual machines to Azure, and another letting you gain deeper insights into your data.

Azure is IoT

Azure is designed for the Internet of Things (IoT). Azure IoT Central is an app platform that’s secure, industry-focused, enterprise grade and scalable. As your business grows, your investment can scale with it.

Since IoT is able to create stacks of big data in real-time, Azure has been designed to provide quick connectivity between IoT devices and the cloud. This lets you track what’s happening and modify commands when unexpected situations occur, like an unexpected breakdown on the production line.

Azure’s IoT-based design provides a bridge between business applications, such as the Dynamics 365 ERP suite and your IoT data. Complex custom intermediate software is not required to interpret what your IoT sensors are telling so it can communicate with your ERP. Azure handles it for you.

The IoT Plug and Play app helps simplify device interactions, enabling easy device-to-cloud integration. This cuts development time, cost and complexity. It lets you build devices that integrate easily with Azure IoT cloud solutions without writing embedded code.

Azure is About Making Data Useful

One of the programs built for the Azure cloud services program is Azure Databricks. Azure Databricks offers three environments for generating data intensive applications:

  1. 1.Databricks SQL for analysts wanting to run SQL (structured query language) queries, letting them explore your data from different perspectives.
  2. 2.Databricks Data Science & Engineering, providing collaboration between data engineers, data scientists and machine learning engineers. Ideal for big data pipelines, Azure Databricks can turn information from multiple sources into insights your SMB can turn into profits.
  3. 3.Databricks Machine Learning is an end-to-end machine learning environment for experiment tracking, model training, feature development and management plus feature and model serving.

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Azure is Innovation

Being open source, Azure has access to a host of shared programs.

CsharpCorner lists nine ways to run an application in Azure. They include virtual machines, Azure Kubernetes service, Azure Container Instances service, Azure Batch, Azure App Services Web Apps or Mobile Apps, Azure Function Apps and Logic Apps.

With more than 180,000 open source projects and more than 1,400 unique licenses, the odds of finding pre-built, easily customizable open source software are in your favor.

For example, the Azure Marketplace is promoting featured apps that support innovation and software needs in several industries:

  • Digital Factory: Digitize manufacturing processes such as performance tracking, production scheduling and log-keeping quickly and cost-effectively
  • Exact Globe: Designed for financial services, it integrates financial and operational processes creating best-in-class financial administration
  • Personalization Platform: Made for online retailers, it lets your customers have a personalized, relevant and intuitive experience

The Bottom Line

Azure provides security and flexibility with unparalleled potential growth in terms of computing. This in turn will help your company grow, especially if it wants to digitize production. Designed with the IoT in mind, Azure has features that let it seamlessly move information from machine sensors to ERPs. Any SMB considering moving beyond on-premises computing to the cloud should take a long, hard look at Microsoft Azure, and the growing number of open-source solutions. What’s your next move?

About XcelPros

XcelPros is a Chicago-based company delivering transformation through technology. We offer business and technology solutions with deep industry experience in Chemical, Pharma, Life Sciences (including Medical Devices, Bio-Medical & Biotech), Insurance, Discrete Manufacturing, Process Manufacturing, Distribution and Food & Beverage.

XcelPros is a Microsoft Gold Partner, Direct Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) and a Systems Integrator (SI) offering software licensing, implementation and consulting services for Microsoft Dynamics 365, CRM, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Business Intelligence & Analytics (Power BI), SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure (Cloud, IOT, Microsoft Flow amongst many others).

Our mission is to provide integrated technology solutions that amplify impact and empower our customer’s businesses. We believe technology is the key enabler of exponential growth for us and our customers.

Contact XcelPros today to transform your business.

Call us toll-free – 1.855.411.0585 (or) visit www.xcelpros.com

How a Cloud-Based ERP Helps Chemical Manufacturers

How a cloud-based ERP helps in Chemical Manufacturing?

How a cloud-based ERP helps in Chemical Manufacturing? 1920 1080 Xcelpros Team

Introduction to Modern Manufacturing

We’re seeing a radical change in production methods overtaking the chemical industry. Technology is gaining more attention in almost every sector, including manufacturing and distribution. The introduction of this new technology is forcing business leaders to upgrade their stack and replace outdated processes to meet the changing demands of the market. Today’s market requires a rapid transformation of the chemical manufacturing value chain to improve customer service, efficiency, productivity, quality, precision and pricing.

Complexity serves no purpose for business, yet it’s been part of the chemical industry for decades. Many companies still suffer from siloed department structures, disparate systems, inefficient data management and a lack of streamlined processes. Each of these complexities creates roadblocks that can affect a business’s bottom line. Most companies don’t realize how their complex independent system affects them until the lack of integration between the floor and functional areas becomes an issue. The lack of system integrations can lead to lost orders, or lower quality products because of suboptimal production runs or poor capacity planning.

Many of these companies are suffering these effects for one reason: lack of an agile enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution. Chemical manufacturing companies must take action by redefining their business models and re-evaluating their IT roadmaps. The most successful chemical companies invest in transformation projects such as integrating a cloud-based ERP solution with operations to streamline processes, drive collaboration and efficiency and offer informed decision-making.

Figure 1Agile ERP Solutions in Various Phases of Chemical Manufacturing

Agile ERP Solutions in Various Phases of Chemical Manufacturing

Unforeseen Circumstances: COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic is still having an effect on every industry. Production and shipping departments are still facing challenges nearly two years after Covid-19 first appeared. Hundreds of companies have been forced to scale down their manufacturing operations by as much as 40%-60% in part because shipping containers are not where they’re needed. A lack of adequate containers, coupled with the loss of port workers and truck drivers means fewer raw materials are arriving at production plants. By February 2021, the global production of chemicals fell by 2.4%.

The inability to make products is still severely impacting the revenue of chemical companies. Rising transportation costs along with a lack of raw materials means priority has shifted to essential functions. This financial pressure is forcing companies to downsize their workforce while continuing operations. The result is added pressure on leadership to implement a rapid technology transformation.

An Agile Manufacturing ERP

Unlike other sectors, chemical industry businesses can’t simply stop production and send workers home, though some are pivoting operations to meet the demand of the market.

The chemical industry is facing a unique set of challenges including:

  • Fluctuating raw materials prices and their impact on margins
  • The need for constant product innovation
  • Increasing risks in supply chain and manufacturing
  • Tightening regulations
  • Market uncertainty, budget and controlling costs
  • Difficulty in resource management

To overcome these complexities, companies need to possess a detailed overview of the market. Having accurate information lets them identify shifting customer dynamics and plan their production runs appropriately. Cloud-based ERP systems for manufacturing can help identify market needs, shape the manufacturing processes, and inform a chemical company’s financial business processes.

Maximum your ROI with our cloud based ERP system tailored for chemical manufacturing companies.

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6 Ways Implementing an ERP Improves Chemical Manufacturing Operations

01.Improved Visibility

An agile ERP unifies data across departments, increasing the visibility of information. Organizations can share information, eliminating unnecessary infrastructure costs while providing higher data security. In a chemical company, process automation add-ons to a cloud ERP can ease resource overload by optimizing workforce utilization on the shop floor. All departments across the company—including inventory management, purchasing, accounting, human resource management, production and finance—function together with a minimum breakdown and maximum operational clarity. Versatile cloud-based ERP systems for manufacturing help companies access real-time data on a uniform platform, boosting throughput and reducing downtime.

02.Enhanced Flexibility

As market conditions fluctuate, the manufacturing supply chain needs to be highly adaptable. Using the right ERP solutions provides this needed flexibility. For example, a chemical company can share important updates plus revised manufacturing plans and schedules using an ERP’s supply chain planning system to plan stock availability.

An effective agile ERP system for chemical manufacturing should follow a tiered approach that includes:

  • A Secure database
  • A Simple user interface with easy access to key functions
  • Easy integration with external tools

Along with basic business requirements, the chemical industry needs to accommodate health and safety regulations aimed at protecting workers and the environment. Cloud-based ERPs give these companies the flexibility to customize solutions to suit their needs without moving data or altering the entire piece of software.

03.Better Collaboration and Transparency

Having the right computer software designed for your industry leads to better collaboration across a company. Complex business procedures are simplified, making them understandable to more people. These procedures can then be modified to meet changing government regulations. All modern systems have enough access controls to enable a disciplined method of functionality. A process and rule-based system improves transparency, helping organizations operate more efficiently.

04.Better Supply Chain Efficiency

Companies investing in newer, more robust and flexible ERP systems find that managing their supply chain becomes easier. They have access to more accurate, real-time data letting them plan shipments based on accurate demand forecasts. Data insights collected from an ERP system designed for chemical manufacturing can reduce inventory costs, enhance supply chain efficiency and optimize production processes. These improvements help build a robust, efficient supply chain, with the added benefit of reduced raw materials spending, increasing profit and capital growth.

05.Improved Production

Chemical companies often pay a hefty price when the system they use lacks functionality. The typical end-to-end chemical production process contains many steps with data moving between multiple hands and devices. Every time your data moves from one silo to another, it increases the chance of errors. A poorly designed manufacturing execution system can drain resources and add unplanned costs to the company. An agile, cloud-based ERP system for chemical manufacturing eliminates many of these unplanned costs.

06.Enhanced Customer Service

With the right ERP and customer relationship management (CRM) solutions in place, companies can more easily meet customer-centric objectives, including understanding the customers’ needs, improving service levels and enhancing their experiences. An agile ERP that helps companies meet the needs of their customers makes a huge difference in customer retention.

Final Thoughts

Every day, chemical manufacturing companies face challenges. What matters the most is how these challenges are handled. Whether you produce specialty chemicals, bulk chemicals, private-label, co-pack or you’re a contract manufacturer, having the right cloud-based ERP systems for manufacturing helps to build operational efficiency. Having software helps you bring products to market faster and reduce your operational costs while adding flexibility and responsiveness to any future market changes.

About XcelPros

XcelPros is a Chicago-based company delivering transformation through technology. We offer business and technology solutions with deep industry experience in Chemical, Pharma, Life Sciences (including Medical Devices, Bio-Medical & Biotech), Insurance, Discrete Manufacturing, Process Manufacturing, Distribution and Food & Beverage.

XcelPros is a Microsoft Gold Partner, Direct Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) and a Systems Integrator (SI) offering software licensing, implementation and consulting services for Microsoft Dynamics 365, CRM, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Business Intelligence & Analytics (Power BI), SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure (Cloud, IOT, Microsoft Flow amongst many others).

Our mission is to provide integrated technology solutions that amplify impact and empower our customer’s businesses. We believe technology is the key enabler of exponential growth for us and our customers.

Contact XcelPros today to transform your business.

Call us toll-free – 1.855.411.0585 (or) visit www.xcelpros.com

Revamping Your Cloud Data Strategy

Top Reasons To Revamp Your Cloud Data Strategy

Top Reasons To Revamp Your Cloud Data Strategy 2400 900 Xcelpros Team

Introduction

More and more companies are moving to the cloud for easy data storage and to boost technology innovations. Modern businesses understand the strategic competitive advantage and availability of customized applications to suit their needs. Especially during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, many companies are considering letting go of their onsite infrastructure and hardware, opting instead to store their data on remote servers, a process known as cloud storage.

Cloud storage makes sense for business survival, pushing all enterprises to move faster. Going forward, more and more companies will need experts who understand what cloud computing is and how it can help their business. These same people monitor and implement an organization’s end-to-end cloud computing journey.

Now more than ever cloud migration is imperative to avoid glitches in infrastructure, as the market is trying to survive the pandemic.

Figure: 1Key reasons companies are switching their operations to cloud

Key reasons companies are switching their operations to cloud

In an Aug. 2, 2021 report, Gartner compared worldwide public cloud services end-user spending and 2022 forecasts, which suggest:

  • $171,915 million for Cloud Application Services (SaaS)
  • $121,620 million for Cloud System Infrastructure Services (IaaS)
  • $100,636 million for Cloud Application Infrastructure Service (PaaS)

Many companies are looking at how they can focus on their technological and process reengineering needs. Why consider revamping your cloud strategy and what steps should you take to successfully complete the reboot?

Figure: 2Factors that drive a cloud transformation

Factors that drive a cloud transformation

5 Reasons to Revamp Your Cloud Strategy

There are five main reasons to revamp your cloud strategy today:

  1. 1.Becoming more agile in terms of the ability to adjust to customer orders
  2. 2.Better position to adopt next-generation software
  3. 3.Monitoring the transition in terms of equipment and people
  4. 4.Improving data security
  5. 5.Building a skilled worker base

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Becoming more agile

Every organization has a specific roadmap layed out to fulfill the big picture of their IT landscape. Being agile lets your company quickly change the pace at which it adapts the transformative–and at times, disruptive—process of moving into a cloud-centric architecture. By restructuring your cloud strategy, IT departments can move from slowly delivering big, single-origin and rigid applications to rapidly deploying flexible, smaller applications. Some people call this process, “byte-sized transformations.”

Revamping your cloud transformation also affects your software development lifecycle. Making changes helps make the company and its staff more nimble. It can conduct continuous development (CD) and continuous integration (CI) using the DevOps model to boost your overall business.

Better position to adopt next-generation software

The future of cloud computing is all about speeding up the process of application development. Companies are adopting cutting-edge technological advancements like artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), data analytics and machine learning (ML). An organization’s strategists must determine if their IT roadmap can access and use these cloud-native solutions.

In today’s virtual world, everything is connected. A rapid innovative delivery model is needed to predict future customer demand after analyzing historical data. Your company IT team can achieve its goal with better accuracy by starting with cloud transformation and ending at the ultimate goal: full optimization.

Cloud technologies like Microsoft’s Azure, and Power Platform efficiently handle day to day business operations while also letting your company work toward its long term strategic vision.

Monitoring the transition

No matter what solutions your organization decides to employ, the changeover needs to be watched carefully. Implementing a cloud strategy affects the organization and its people. The entire update needs intricate monitoring of the transformation through:

  • An infrastructure supporting the organization’s cloud journey.
  • On-boarding experts who train workers while implementing the upgrades, boosting the staff’s digital skill levels.

One way to achieve your goals is a willingness to alter your implementation strategy so it aligns your roadmap with a comprehensive cloud transition plan.

Figure: 3Companies are expecting a holistic development in operations from hybrid cloud

Companies are expecting a holistic development in operations from hybrid cloud

“Through 2022, at least 95% of cloud security failures are predicted to be the customer’s fault.”Source: Gartner

Improving data security

The instant data moves online, companies start worrying about security and data privacy. Backing your cloud strategy with a robust infrastructure like Microsoft Azure ensures the security, authenticity and longevity of your organization’s data, processes and applications is not compromised. The Azure platform is continually evaluated and updated automatically to protect against potential security threats.

Building a skilled worker base

Moving away from in-house technology to the cloud can impact roles, responsibilities and accountability across a company’s organization. Having a strategic plan to make the move should also include making sure workers are able to take advantage of the new technology.

Especially when it comes to Customer Service, the relationship between companies and their customers is more than just “order to shipments.” Solutions like Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance use artificial intelligence and predictive analytics to more accurately forecast customer behaviors and needs.

Steps to Revamp Your Cloud Strategy

While every organization has its set of challenges and requirements when it comes to strategic rethinking of its cloud journey, some pointers to remember are:

  • Build and update your employees’ skills to ensure your organization’s cloud migration is successful. A comprehensive, organization-wide training plan is an integral part of any migration.
  • It’s ok to make the change one step at a time to make it easier to move from older programs to newer ones.
  • Take advantage of predictive data analytics to preempt the expected technical and operational glitches.
  • Define your cloud milestones before starting your migration. Stick to them. Your strategic roadmap to cloud reboot is going to be as unique as your requirements.
  • Create a blueprint of the cloud revamp and let it guide you at the pace of your employees’ ability to accept the changes.
  • Hire highly-skilled subject matter experts to make the end-to-end implementation of a new cloud strategy as smooth as possible.

Revamping your cloud strategy may sound unnecessary but following these suggestions will benefit your organization. Taking in a broader, “30,000-foot view” of the core of your cloud journey makes it easier to create your transformative blueprint.

Figure: 4 Strategies to successfully complete the cloud transition

Strategies to successfully complete the cloud transition

Key takeaways

  • Cloud infrastructure is a comprehensive and disruptive technology that helps businesses operate more efficiently.
  • Rethinking your cloud architecture helps you achieve your cloud computing goals.
  • Ensure your transition is compatible with cloud-native solutions such as IoT, AI and machine learning.
  • Moving to the cloud works better when your staff knows how to get the most out of it.
  • For added security, many organizations take advantage of products like Microsoft Azure.

About XcelPros

XcelPros is a Chicago-based company delivering transformation through technology. We offer business and technology solutions with deep industry experience in Chemical, Pharma, Life Sciences (including Medical Devices, Bio-Medical & Biotech), Insurance, Discrete Manufacturing, Process Manufacturing, Distribution and Food & Beverage.

XcelPros is a Microsoft Gold Partner, Direct Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) and a Systems Integrator (SI) offering software licensing, implementation and consulting services for Microsoft Dynamics 365, CRM, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Business Intelligence & Analytics (Power BI), SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure (Cloud, IOT, Microsoft Flow amongst many others).

Our mission is to provide integrated technology solutions that amplify impact and empower our customer’s businesses. We believe technology is the key enabler of exponential growth for us and our customers.

Contact XcelPros today to transform your business.

Call us toll-free – 1.855.411.0585 (or) visit www.xcelpros.com

DISCLAIMER:

All statements and/or opinions expressed in this article were based on experience and / or third party materials available to the authors which formed the basis of such statements/opinions. XcelPros does not warrant the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of such underlying information (or the Company’s interpretation thereof) which has formed the basis of the Company’s and/or author’s opinion. We strongly recommend that you consult an expert from XcelPros before you take action as a result of this collateral.

Three actions CEOs can take to get value from cloud computing

Three Actions CEOs Can Take To Get Value From Cloud Computing

Three Actions CEOs Can Take To Get Value From Cloud Computing 1500 750 Xcelpros Team

Three Actions CEOs Can Take To Get Value From Cloud Computing

The last decade has seen accelerated growth and transformation in various industries as they embrace digital trends. There’s a pressing need for companies to streamline their processes and optimize their operations in an effort to go agile. Simply implementing cloud is not going to generate value for a business. Higher-level executives (especially the CEO) need to take lead in the journey towards digital transformation. For more information see the full article here.

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lift and shift cloud migration

Migrating to the cloud through lift and shift

Migrating to the cloud through lift and shift 1202 451 Xcelpros Team

Introduction

Most businesses had never heard of cloud computing before Google CEO Eric Schmidt introduced the term on Aug. 9, 2006 even though it originated in the 1960s. During an industry conference, Schmidt was talking about the potential of network-based computing. “It starts with the premise that the data services and architecture should be on servers. We call it cloud computing,” Schmidt said.

Now, more than 15 years after the term “cloud computing” was born, the numbers show its effectiveness. A report from Hostingtribunal states:

  • 94% of enterprises (i.e., companies with more than 1,000 employees) are already using a cloud service
  • 66% of enterprises already have a central cloud team or cloud center of excellence
  • 50% of enterprises spend more than $1.2 million each year on cloud services
  • 30% of all IT budgets went to cloud computing in 2018
  • By 2025, data stored in cloud centers is expected to top 100 zettabytes (i.e., 100 trillion gigabytes)

A majority of these end-users prefer to “lift and shift” their applications into dispersed cloud server banks. Lift and shift gained prominence in the early days of cloud computing when organizations used this approach to shadow on-premise applications into the cloud.

Lift and shift is a common and simple first step toward embracing the power of cloud.

In simple terms, lift and shift means moving an application without changing the workload framework or software architecture from the existing hardware and operating system when it moves to the cloud. It is essentially rehosting your software on someone else’s distributed computing network. This approach helps companies save time, money and resources required to redesign the applications.

In this article we will touch upon the merits of the lift and shift approach and in the process find out whether moving to the cloud is worth it?

Advantages of Using Lift and Shift

The lift and shift approach is designed to help companies wanting to explore cloud computing without replacing their current software. This method is cost effective, rapid and has higher acceptance from its users because the functionality of the application remains the same.

Advantages of the lift and shift approach include:

  • Application familiarity – Moving an existing application to the cloud means the functioning and usability of the application to end users does not change.
  • Low migration costs – The program is not modified, eliminating the need and cost of rearchitecting the application.
  • Faster deployment – Since there is no need to rebuild the application, speed of delivery is higher compared to building an app from scratch.

For example, consider a Plant Manager in charge of Production Scheduling. This person has a lot to do. They need to maximize their productivity. When the company is expanding and needs to scale up its software, some form of cloud computing—public, hybrid, private or multi-cloud—is the more efficient method than doing it on-site. Replacing an existing program with a newer, unfamiliar one is likely to be met with resistance from staff unwilling to learn new methods of performing the same tasks.

Lifting a familiar program from in-house computers and shifting it to remote servers reduces the fear of change while balancing the need for agility and scalability. According to a 2018 study by IDC, 66% of the end users preferred to lift and shift their production scheduling application to the cloud for higher efficiency compared to 33% who favored keeping it on-premise.

Figure: 1Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) perceive lift and shift.

Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) perceive lift and shift.

How do Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) perceive lift and shift?

When IDC conducted its 2018 survey, 45% of independent service vendor customers preferred the lift and shift cloud migration method for moving business applications. Combined with cloud computing, 69% of end customers understand the positive implications of using cloud-based software. These include agility, scalability, cost effectiveness, efficiency and others.

Is Cloud Computing Worth the Cost?

The most important reason to move company software to the cloud, even at an initial infrastructure as a service (IaaS) level, is cost reduction. Companies save money by lowering hardware maintenance for servers, adding computing power and virtual machines plus the expense of managing the infrastructure on-site.

Using managed services can significantly lower a company’s operating costs, directly impacting its bottom line.

In terms of actual savings, the combined benefit of minimal hardware support, higher efficiency, better manageability of resources could result in a 20 – 30 % average savings on virtual machine (VM) resource configuration alone.

Upgrading an existing application on the cloud provides an integrated platform. Other resources—such as Microsoft’s ecosystem—can be leveraged, adding agility and improving speed by up to 33%. Savings can be much higher.

For example, a multinational insurer was able to save 80% on the cost of a specific development testing environment in an application suite by lifting and shifting it to the cloud. Achieving similar results demands meticulous planning and the ability to gauge savings beyond dollar value. The wider definition of savings must also include intangibles such as the value of time and money from the faster rollout of products enabled by new cloud-enabled capabilities.

Why Microsoft Azure is best suited to lift and shift your applications

There are many cloud computing platforms to choose from. Organizations looking to adopt a cloud model need to ensure everything works correctly after the move. This means interdependencies that exists between applications, data in the system and the workload continue to function even though they are now remote.

Microsoft has a transparent lift and shift process that give you a heads-up on the cost estimates before a company makes the decision to migrate. Microsoft offers a cost calculator that assesses all dependencies and variables involved in the lift and shift process. It helps better assess the migration from a complexity and cost perspective. After analyzing your requirements and determining the effort involved in the lift and shift process, the calculator determines the cost and sequence required in migrating to Azure.

Microsoft’s Azure Migrate can help plan your cloud migration with ease, ensuring you are on top of every move. The service details the mechanisms involved in the process. It provides guidance and insights to smooth your cloud journey.

Benefits of using Azure Migrate include:

  • Discovery and assessing on-premises virtual machines
  • Inbuilt dependency mapping for high-confidence discovery of multi-tier applications
  • Intelligent right sizing to Azure virtual machines
  • Compatibility reporting with guidelines for remediating potential issues
  • Integration with Azure Database Management Service for database discovery and migration

With Azure Migrate, you can be assured that your workload and application will smoothly be lifted and shifted to the cloud without any adverse impact on the business. With the right guidance and tools from Microsoft, the ROI can be maximized, while your application performs seamlessly with the highest security and reliability.

Summary

Companies unwilling to make wholesale changes to their computer software environment can still take advantage of many cloud computing benefits: they can move their existing programs to the cloud using the lift and shift method. Working with Azure Migrate allows the software and data to move with minimal impact on daily operations.

Book a free assessment to know more about Azure lift and shift cloud migration abilities.

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About XcelPros

XcelPros is a Chicago-based company delivering transformation through technology. We offer business and technology solutions with deep industry experience in Chemical, Pharma, Life Sciences (including Medical Devices, Bio-Medical & Biotech), Insurance, Discrete Manufacturing, Process Manufacturing, Distribution and Food & Beverage.

XcelPros is a Microsoft Gold Partner, Direct Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) and a Systems Integrator (SI) offering software licensing, implementation and consulting services for Microsoft Dynamics 365, CRM, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Business Intelligence & Analytics (Power BI), SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure (Cloud, IOT, Microsoft Flow amongst many others).

Our mission is to provide integrated technology solutions that amplify impact and empower our customer’s businesses. We believe technology is the key enabler of exponential growth for us and our customers.

Contact XcelPros today to transform your business.

Call us toll-free – 1.855.411.0585 (or) visit www.xcelpros.com

Dynamics 365 Business Central vs Finance and Operations

Dynamics 365 Business Central vs Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations: Comparison

Dynamics 365 Business Central vs Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations: Comparison 2501 938 Xcelpros Team

At a Glance

  • Microsoft Dynamics has a range of products that are designed from the ground up for different functionalities.
  • As an enterprise, picking the right product (for eg. Data migration from NAV to Business Central and choosing between Business Central vs Finance and Operations) requires intricate knowledge about the in’s and out’s of these platforms.
  • The Microsoft Dynamics family of products offers a wide array of business applications that can provide you with the maximum efficiency and ROI for your enterprise.

Microsoft Dynamics is known for upgrading or in some cases even overhauling its range of products to:

  • Make them compatible with the changing technologies (rewriting on-premise enterprise products for the cloud)
  • Enhance business applications
  • Streamline operations management, resource planning, and/ or financial management functionalities

As an existing Microsoft Dynamics suite customer or an enterprise looking to invest in a modern product, it can be an overwhelming decision to understand the differences between Microsoft’s vast range of products. Whether it’s understanding the minute differences between Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central and Finance and Operations, or determining the additional features that these products offer, making an informed decision is critical.

This article discusses the major differences between Dynamics 365 Business Central and Finance and Operations.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central vs Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations: Picking the Right Enterprise Resource Planning System

First, it’s essential to understand that Dynamics 365 encompasses both Business Central and Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations. Business Central is essentially a cloud-based ERP solution on its way to replace the older Microsoft Dynamics NAV product. The dual functionality of Business Central (on-premise and on the cloud) is what makes it more efficient for operations management and resource planning. The cloud functionality of business central can be leveraged to access data 24*7 anywhere you go. This can be especially useful in recent times where remote work has jumped in scale.

Here’s an In-depth Comparison Chart to Understand the Difference Between Dynamics Business Central and Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations

Dynamics 365 Business Central Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations
User-base Previous Dynamics NAV Users Financial Compliance Teams, Vendor Management, Inter Company Stock Transfers etc
Analytics Maturity Dashboards, Reporting, Ad-hoc Analytics Advanced and More Intricate Analytics, Richer Reporting Options, Machine Learning-enabled Features, Advanced Business Intelligence Tools
Options for Customizations Developers can access open codebase for customizations Multiple plug-in options, Many Modules Available on AppSource
Implementation Cost Generally, 30% of Cost of Implementation of Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations All infrastructure costs are included
Licensing Subscription-based Model Monthly Subscription-based Model

Dynamics Business Central vs Dynamics for Finance and Operations are often compared for their scale. While Business Central is usually targeted towards smaller-scale operations (companies that want to move on from basic accounting models to intricate business analytics functionality), Microsoft Dynamics 365 offers two ERP products: Business Central and Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations.

It’s widely considered that In time, Business Central will take center stage, possibly phasing out Dynamics NAV completely. Here are some of the more compelling reasons for this hypothesis.

Dynamics Business Central Key Benefits and Distinguishing Features:

  • Easily accessible on-cloud and/or hybrid models available
  • Better safety with its cloud-based and web-based applications
  • With Business Central, companies can get maximum use and ROI from other applications such as SharePoint, MS Excel, Outlook, and MS Word
  • Business Central offers a variety of new functionalities
  • The flexible upgrade and licensing model allows companies to be digitally agile in the implementation of software
  • Data migration from Nav to Business Central is a fully-supported, streamlined process
  • Overall implementation of Business Central is much faster, thanks to customization options, add-ons development and combination option with other Office 365 products.

In conclusion, companies that are looking for nimble, cloud-based software options for their enterprise’s accounting requirement can opt for Dynamic Business Central. On the other hand, companies looking for intercompany stock dealings, transportation management, and financial compliance solutions should opt for Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations. Depending on the requirement of companies, their IT infrastructure maturity and growth strategies, an informed choice has to be made.

Key Takeaways:

  • Dynamics 365 is an umbrella encompassing Business Central and Finance and Operations ERP solutions.
  • Business Central offers intricate analytical functionalities with the option of going cloud-based or local (on-premises) or hybrid.
  • Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations has a more niche user-base.
  • Companies can get support from experts and consultants to make the right call and for faster, smoother implementations.

Trouble choosing between Dynamics 365 Business Central and F&O? Get help from experts today!

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About XcelPros

XcelPros is a Chicago-based company delivering transformation through technology. We offer business and technology solutions with deep industry experience in Chemical, Pharma, Life Sciences (including Medical Devices, Bio-Medical & Biotech), Insurance, Discrete Manufacturing, Process Manufacturing, Distribution and Food & Beverage.

XcelPros is a Microsoft Gold Partner, Direct Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) and a Systems Integrator (SI) offering software licensing, implementation and consulting services for Microsoft Dynamics 365, CRM, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Business Intelligence & Analytics (Power BI), SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure (Cloud, IOT, Microsoft Flow amongst many others).

Our mission is to provide integrated technology solutions that amplify impact and empower our customer’s businesses. We believe technology is the key enabler of exponential growth for us and our customers.

Contact XcelPros today to transform your business.

Call us toll-free – 1.855.411.0585 (or) visit www.xcelpros.com

Why companies are moving to the cloud

Top Reasons Why Companies Are Actively Moving to The Cloud

Top Reasons Why Companies Are Actively Moving to The Cloud 2400 900 Xcelpros Team

Introduction

Cloud computing has remained a hot topic for quite some time now and businesses are rapidly shifting their processes to the cloud for streamlined workflows and increased productivity. With cloud efficiency saving millions of dollars, companies are eagerly coming forward to reap its benefits. Let’s find out how moving to the cloud is helping companies transform themselves.

Top Reasons Why Companies Are Actively Moving to The Cloud

Have concerns migrating to cloud? Book your free consultation with a cloud expert today!

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About XcelPros

XcelPros is a Chicago-based company delivering transformation through technology. We offer business and technology solutions with deep industry experience in Chemical, Pharma, Life Sciences (including Medical Devices, Bio-Medical & Biotech), Insurance, Discrete Manufacturing, Process Manufacturing, Distribution and Food & Beverage.

XcelPros is a Microsoft Gold Partner, Direct Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) and a Systems Integrator (SI) offering software licensing, implementation and consulting services for Microsoft Dynamics 365, CRM, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Business Intelligence & Analytics (Power BI), SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure (Cloud, IOT, Microsoft Flow amongst many others).

Our mission is to provide integrated technology solutions that amplify impact and empower our customer’s businesses. We believe technology is the key enabler of exponential growth for us and our customers.

Contact XcelPros today to transform your business.

Call us toll-free – 1.855.411.0585 (or) visit www.xcelpros.com

Rising data security risks in chemical plants

Rising data security risks in chemical plants

Rising data security risks in chemical plants 2400 1200 Xcelpros Team

At a Glance

Digital security threats are increasingly targeting industries—including the chemical sector—to the point the Department of Homeland Security is now issuing cyberterrorism guidelines. Among the protection and detection resources a few chemical softwares available are:

  • Free detection and protection tools for small and midsize chemical companies from Homeland Security.
  • A free report to help companies detect abnormal behavior in a computer network before damage occurs from the National Institutes of Science and Technology (NIST).
  • Several ways to protect distributed data on Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing platform.

Introduction

Using technology to automate factories has the potential to revolutionize the biochemical and pharmaceutical industries. The same technology permitting rapid development and customization, though, also exposes these factories to new risks from outside actors.

Factory technicians have the ability to track progress at every stage, permitting adjustments when required. Whether it’s creating a new drug virtually and using technology to anticipate how it will perform, and then tweaking it to get the right results, or producing medicines customized for a single patient, all of these methods share common tools: computers.

These same smart factory methods permitting efficient manufacturing also open the facilities to new vulnerabilities in the form of undesired computer modifications, known colloquially as hacking.

Potential Threats to Production Facilities

Connecting sensors and devices, along with accessing vital systems and information remotely, “results in manufacturing networks with greater vulnerabilities to cyberattack,” a recent article in Quality Digest states.

The most recent example occurred April 11 at Iran’s Natanz nuclear processing site. A power system used by centrifuges required to process uranium was demolished, requiring an estimated nine months of work to bring it back online. Another example cited in a 2014 The Wall Street Journal article explained how a targeted email sent to a German iron plant allowed intruders to cross into the production network. The result was an inability to shut down a furnace normally, causing severe damage to the entire system.

Types of Cyber Attacks

Cyberattacks can come in several forms depending on the attackers’ goals. These include:

  • Stealing sensitive and important information, such as materials covered by patents.
  • Installing malicious software, allowing attackers to control critical systems.
  • Damaging production control systems

Cyber attackers usually have one of two goals in attacking anyone or anything, including a biochemical or pharmaceutical production facility. The goals are:

  • Money in the form of a ransomware attack demanding payment to release control of these systems.
  • Sabotaging machines with the goal of hurting a plant or company.
  • Political motivations (e.g., Iran claims the April 11, 2021 attack was caused by Israel)

 

3700customer records were taken from LC Industries in June 2015

40,000 research files were taken from DuPont by a former employee

900,000customer records stolen from Hanes Brands in mid 2015

$54 million was stolen from aircraft manufacturer FACC in early 2016

Source: Digital Guardian

Monitoring Industrial Systems

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) recently released its “Securing Manufacturing Industrial Control Systems: Behavioral Anomaly Detection” report, which is available free.

Behavioral anomaly detection (BAD) monitors industrial systems for unusual events and trends. Using smart factory technology such as the industrial internet of things (IIoT) sensors, BAD looks for real-time evidence a system is being compromised. Instead of reacting to an attack already underway, or finding evidence a cyberattack happened in the past, BAD monitors industrial control systems and operational technology (OT). This lets factory technicians monitor what is happening.

When an operator sees signs of an unauthorized connection or device, the operator can stop it. One example cited in the Quality Digest article is knowing what communications are allowed with the programmable logic controller (PLC) common in many industrial machines. Unauthorized connections can generate an alert, letting the human operator know intervention may be required.

Figure: 1 An example of computer alerts in the Cyber X console (courtesy NIST)

computer alerts in the Cyber X console

Tools and Resources for the Chemical Sector

“Securing these chemicals against growing and evolving threats requires vigilance from both the private and public sector,” the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) states in an article on the Chemical Sector. This sector includes pharmaceuticals. Tools and resources are available to small and midsize chemical facilities through the CISA designed to aid chemical facility owners and operators, risk managers, business continuity planners and others.

CISA states these resources are not to be confused with the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS), which focuses on high-risk chemical facilities. The program identifies and regulates high-risk facilities, reducing the risk of hazardous chemicals being weaponized by terrorists.

NIST also has tools available through its Cybersecurity Framework webpage.

Azure Has Tools to Fight Cyber Attacks

While many small and mid-sized businesses lack the financial resources to fight cyberattacks, commercial tools do exist. One advantage is they remove much of the computing burden from on-site servers and move it to the cloud. Especially in a business environment where many employees and managers work remotely, possibly in different countries with varying degrees of cyber security, the ability to protect data and operations becomes critical.

One of the top products of this type is Microsoft Azure, a cloud computing platform with services including Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS).

Using remote data servers (i.e., cloud computing), Microsoft uses a layered approach to ensure its physical facilities storing data from remote factories are secure. Access approval is required at the facility’s perimeter, the building’s perimeter, inside the building and on the datacenter floor. Customer networks are isolated in Azure. Per Microsoft the isolation improves performance and security.

Physical access to computer hard drives is not a typical security issue for most companies. Stealing or damaging the data on them, though? Worrying about that can lead to sleepless nights. One benefit of using Azure is its ability to accept data from Microsoft Office 365 programs such as Access and Excel. Microsoft Azure Sentinel provides intelligent security analytics. The Azure data security platform also provides other forms of security. This includes:

  • Structured query language (SQL) authentication
  • Multi Factor authentication by users
  • The ability to lock various computer resources
  • Constant security updates automatically applied to the overall system by Microsoft

Multi Factor authentication, for example, sends a code to a user’s email account or cellphone. The user must input this code to gain access. Azure also has its own Security Center that provides an overview and recommendations for making each subscriber’s virtual network and virtual machines more secure. Reports are exportable in a format readable by programs such as Microsoft Excel. Azure’s Security Center also provides:

  • Details on security incidents with recommended actions to prevent similar issues
  • Built-in remediation proposals, requiring only mouse clicks to activate them
  • A wealth of information based on industry-specific policies for a specific country or region

Final Thoughts

Cyber attacks on industries are increasing worldwide and a better infrastructure without the maintenance hassle is the direction that more companies are preferring. Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing platform includes many security features designed to protect data when using a distributed workforce.

Aiming to transform into a risk-free organization with Azure? Start the free trial!

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About XcelPros

XcelPros is a Chicago-based company delivering transformation through technology. We offer business and technology solutions with deep industry experience in Chemical, Pharma, Life Sciences (including Medical Devices, Bio-Medical & Biotech), Insurance, Discrete Manufacturing, Process Manufacturing, Distribution and Food & Beverage.

XcelPros is a Microsoft Gold Partner, Direct Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) and a Systems Integrator (SI) offering software licensing, implementation and consulting services for Microsoft Dynamics 365, CRM, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Business Intelligence & Analytics (Power BI), SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure (Cloud, IOT, Microsoft Flow amongst many others).

Our mission is to provide integrated technology solutions that amplify impact and empower our customer’s businesses. We believe technology is the key enabler of exponential growth for us and our customers.

Contact XcelPros today to transform your business.

Call us toll-free – 1.855.411.0585 (or) visit www.xcelpros.com

ERP competitive advantage

Rethinking your ERP strategy for gaining a competitive advantage

Rethinking your ERP strategy for gaining a competitive advantage 1200 600 Xcelpros Team

At a Glance

  • Investing in an effective ERP solution today is essential for the smooth operation of any business.
  • A prediction by Statista estimates the global ERP market to grow to $28.8 billion by 2022 growing with a CAGR of 8%. cv
  • Your ERP system manages various aspects of your business like materials, inventory, sales, distribution, and even your accounts, making it essential to focus on a smooth transition from legacy systems to the cloud.
  • As there is so much sensitive data hosted on the cloud, the transition from on-premise systems to the cloud should be done carefully, taking several factors into consideration. Steps taken to ensure a smooth transition can range from prioritizing applications to the geographical constraints and regulations put on data sharing.
  • According to a prediction by Dell, companies that invest in big data, cloud, mobility, and security tend to see a 53% revenue growth as compared to their competitors.

Investing in a good ERP system is the biggest responsibility for any company. Choosing the right ERP system is not only a huge financial responsibility but as large companies like Oracle and SAP announced plans to phase out support for the older versions of their ERP software, business executives everywhere are forced to rethink their own ERP strategies.

What today’s companies need instead of just a flexible system is one paired with rapid responsiveness to customer needs and which can lead to increased business opportunities. The next generation of ERP implementation strategies is likely to have a smaller core of critical business processes and easily manageable connections for industry data that lives on the cloud including third-party solutions.

According to Statista, the overall ERP market is expected to grow to $28.8 billion by 2022 depicting a compound annual growth rate of 8%. Companies are rapidly moving from legacy systems to the cloud to reap its benefits. In fact, a recent report by SelectHub showed that the global cloud market is expected to reach $411 billion by 2020.

ERP in Core Operations Management

An ERP software manages essential information for different departments of a company. They provide software assistance in most areas like –

  • Materials and Inventory: Managing stock levels, material requirements, and vendor requirements.
  • Manufacturing and Assembling: Helping in planning, scheduling, and forecasting production and material requirements.

Figure: 1Must-Have ERP Modules

Must have ERP Modules

  • Sales and Distribution: Ensuring real-time data tracking for increased visibility on customer orders and distribution requirements.
  • Accounting: Managing essential back-office processes, tracking all transactions, and supporting financial reporting.

Most companies need stable and multitask-capable systems to work on to meet the needs of their customers at a faster pace to stay at par with the competition. The only real solution is to adopt a legacy system replacement strategy using flexible microservices which can offer a competitive advantage.

Enterprise Resource Planning – On-premise and cloud

Currently, most ERP systems run on either on-premise or private clouds. According to a report by Panorama in 2018, 15% of companies use on-premise ERP solutions, 64% of companies use SaaS whereas 21% use cloud-based ERP solutions. On the other hand, in the year 2017, 67% of companies used on-premise ERP solutions, 6% used cloud and 27% used SaaS.

Figure: 2On-premise vs Cloud

On-Primise Vs Cloud ERP

The rapid increase in cloud solutions adoption shows that companies are slowly becoming comfortable with moving to the cloud and working on cloud-hosted systems. Cloud computing makes it much easier for vendors to deploy rapidly changing technologies using the internet of things (IoT), artificial learning, machine learning, and data analytics to keep their systems updated. This is the paramount reason for the cloud to dominate in the future. As and when this happens, the cloud will not only provide you efficiency and deliver valuable insights but will also enhance predictability.

This is not an overnight change because customers and users take time to mature and invest in current systems, the change is yet inevitable.

Steps to take before embarking on ERP modernizing journey

Moving to the cloud is a big step which means certain things should be done very carefully –

  • Prioritizing applications – Separating applications that help in business expansion and staying on par with the competition is essential. Applications like email, messaging, calendars, and other Office-supported apps are lower priorities compared to other business-critical software. Companies can make do without these less important apps for short periods. This helps in gaining a clearer understanding of which apps should immediately be moved to the cloud and which ones can wait.
  • Workload levels and demand levels – As many see the cloud as a solution for applications with major shifts in demand, public clouds offer increased server support when required. Running workloads with rapidly changing demand on the cloud increases efficiency and increase the financial support offered.
  • Importance of customization – When considering a shift to the cloud, workloads which require customer architecture require customization if performance is heavily dependent on a specific configuration. In cases where your internal organization has limited features and configuration capabilities, the cloud helps by increasing flexibility and provides resources necessary to identify workloads for optimal conditions.
  • Geographical and regulatory variables involved – Regulations can complicate your data framework immensely. Hybrid architectures help you successfully host your sensitive data and alleviate these challenges. Understanding these hurdles beforehand can save a lot of time and money. The regulatory requirements in different geographical areas also play a key role in moving data to the cloud. The broad presence of the cloud gives you the redundancy, content delivery network (CDN) capabilities and supports customers at any location that they access the data from without any additional costs. This also helps you by easing the complexity of operating geographically dispersed on your own.
  • Security threats – Security is a focus point for both private cloud providers and ERP software. Cloud providers operate at a larger scale, with increased security experts on staff and more experience protecting tenant data from new threats. When transitioning to the cloud, conducting a thorough assessment of both existing vulnerabilities and potential risks associated with service provider facilities before making your decision is extremely essential.

Better performance with modern ERP systems

Following the steps above can help companies go on to transition from their on-premise software to the cloud. They can effectively plan to modernize their ERP and transform their organizations. The experience of leaders who have been a part of such a transition shows that effort leads to significant gains including better and more secure access to data and increasingly efficient use of resources at reduced operational costs.

One particular benefit was seen by an industrial company with operations spread across the globe. They aimed to reduce operational costs by improving performance. They planned to do this by effectively managing their financial transactions. The easiest solution to this was to improve the connections between their ERP systems and the data being circulated both internally as well as externally. This in turn improved decision-making using automated data flows reducing the time that the company spent in gathering data and boosting the company’s financial intelligence.

Key Takeaways

No transformation of such a large scale can be easy or convenient. It’s not wrong to fear these kinds of transitions but it’s essential for companies to step up and take control so they can reduce their operational costs, increase connectivity and host sensitive data on more secure platforms. Moving data from on-premise software to the cloud can be made easy by answering the questions about the scope and nature of the upgrade. Adhering to a few simple and practical guidelines can also make this process simpler. Once this transition takes place, executives can manage the risks of modernizing their ERP solutions to gain a competitive edge in the market.

Thinking of restructuring your ERP strategy to boost your bottom line? Get started with XcelPros!

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About XcelPros

XcelPros is a Chicago-based company delivering transformation through technology. We offer business and technology solutions with deep industry experience in Chemical, Pharma, Life Sciences (including Medical Devices, Bio-Medical & Biotech), Insurance, Discrete Manufacturing, Process Manufacturing, Distribution and Food & Beverage.

XcelPros is a Microsoft Gold Partner, Direct Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) and a Systems Integrator (SI) offering software licensing, implementation and consulting services for Microsoft Dynamics 365, CRM, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Business Intelligence & Analytics (Power BI), SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure (Cloud, IOT, Microsoft Flow amongst many others).

Our mission is to provide integrated technology solutions that amplify impact and empower our customer’s businesses. We believe technology is the key enabler of exponential growth for us and our customers.

Contact XcelPros today to transform your business.

Call us toll-free – 1.855.411.0585 (or) visit www.xcelpros.com

Three actions CEOs can take to get value from cloud computing

3 actions CEOs need to take to get benefits of cloud computing

3 actions CEOs need to take to get benefits of cloud computing 1500 750 Xcelpros Team

At a Glance

  • The decisive role of C-suite executives in a company’s digital transformation is crucial in driving business towards success.
  • When it comes to the goals and benefits of cloud computing, CEO’s need to take charge and be involved in the strategies to make sure that the blueprint matches the company’s requirements.
  • CEOs need to align with the CTO’s and CIOs to get the maximum advantages of cloud computing and make sure that the digital transformation journey is a smooth one.

The last decade has seen accelerated growth and transformation in various industries as they embrace the digital thread. There has been a pressing need for companies to streamline their processes and optimize their operations to go agile. However, the Covid-19 pandemic left a mark on every industry and made agility (along with flexibility) an inevitable aspect of business growth. To that end, companies are now looking to go for. This pandemic made remote working the new normal and thus advantages of cloud hosting became quite apparent. The benefits of cloud computing are many. Top executives are looking for ways to move their practices and applications to a better tomorrow.

These strategic moves have to start at the top to be cascaded down for maximum efficiency. This is where CEOs come into the picture as they can accelerate growth and take their companies on the path of agility and digital transformation while exploring the benefits of cloud computing.

32%

of IT budgets will be dedicated to the cloud within the next 12 months.

Source: IDG Cloud Computing

‘Above 30%’ of the budget is a huge amount. When such a big investment is made by a company, a lot rides on the shoulders of the chief person in charge- the CEO. So, if you are a CEO who is guiding the company towards a path of digital overhaul and you wish to harness business & economic advantages of the cloud, you need to take certain decisive actions! Read on to know more about this.

3 Game-changing Actions CEO’s Need to Take When it Comes to Cloud Adoption

First, it is important to understand why the role of a CEO in cloud strategy is so important. In order to make cloud adoption a success for your company, as a CEO you need to strategize the transitional moves and make sure that all the cogs in the wheel are functioning properly for a smooth journey.

According to David Cearley, Vice President and Gartner Fellow, “Organizations that do not have a high-level cloud strategy driven by their business strategy will significantly increase their risk of failure and wasted investment.”

So here’s what you need to do to ensure your employees understand why cloud computing is important and your company can get the benefits of digital transformation:

1.Communicate and Inculcate Behavioral Change in the Organization: As a CEO, this might be one of the most important actions that you would need to take in order to ensure successful cloud implementation. Any disruptive change creates certain resistance amongst the employees. While some might be worried about their skills becoming obsolete, others would be apprehensive about security when it comes to cloud-based systems. However, when the communication is direct and concise, employees can be in the know-how. The behavioral shift can also be supported through in-house communication campaigns, alignment with the heads of respective functions, preparing HR policies in place, and ensuring talent acquisition for smooth cloud implementation.

2.Keeping the Financial Flow Stable: The goals and benefits of cloud computing can be met only through proper funding. As a CEO, it is important to create a financial funnel that supports every step in the company’s cloud transition journey. It may take some time for your business to get complete advantage of cloud computing. It is thus important to make sure that the financial backing is stable and consistent.

Figure: 1Benefits of Cloud Computing

Cloud Adoption Strategy Drivers

3.Create a Business Strategy Blueprint for Cloud: A business transition is only as efficient as the planning that goes behind it. It is crucial to create a business strategy and a supporting technology operating model to get optimal value from cloud computing. Such a model harmonizes processes for collaborative interaction between IT and business and will unleash the potential.

In summation, the advantages of cloud computing can be reaped through a high-level strategy. A seamless harmony between the CEO, CIO, and CTO can turn a digital transformation journey into a profitable avenue for the business.

Key Takeaways

  • CEO’s need to look into cloud computing strategies from a long-term point of view and ensure that the company is allocated with the budget and resources for cloud implementation.
  • Right communication is the key in migration to the cloud: the employees should get these communications from C-suite executives in order to develop trust and ensure adherence to governance guidelines.
  • Simply implementing cloud is not going to generate value for a business. Higher-level executives (especially the CEO) need to take lead in the journey towards digital transformation.

Take your first step towards moving to the cloud with a free consultation from XcelPros.

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About XcelPros

XcelPros is a Chicago-based company delivering transformation through technology. We offer business and technology solutions with deep industry experience in Chemical, Pharma, Life Sciences (including Medical Devices, Bio-Medical & Biotech), Insurance, Discrete Manufacturing, Process Manufacturing, Distribution and Food & Beverage.

XcelPros is a Microsoft Gold Partner, Direct Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) and a Systems Integrator (SI) offering software licensing, implementation and consulting services for Microsoft Dynamics 365, CRM, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Business Intelligence & Analytics (Power BI), SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure (Cloud, IOT, Microsoft Flow amongst many others).

Our mission is to provide integrated technology solutions that amplify impact and empower our customer’s businesses. We believe technology is the key enabler of exponential growth for us and our customers.

Contact XcelPros today to transform your business.

Call us toll-free – 1.855.411.0585 (or) visit www.xcelpros.com