According to Gartner, a Small to Medium sized business is grouped as follows:
- Small Business: fewer than 100 employees with less than 50 million in annual revenue
- Medium (Midsize) Business: 100-999 employees with greater than 50 million but less than $1 billion in annual revenue.
These are the general guidelines for SMB but are not written in stone. Both of these designations bring different technology challenges that each organization will need to analyze to determine where they fit.
For a growing Small to Medium Size Business (SMB), when is the right time to replace the legacy system currently running the organization’s Financials? For growing SMBs, this question often arises when the original system starts to show its age and has become a less functional system due to increased business requirements. But the usual first response is “Can my organization afford this effort?” or “Won’t this disrupt my business?” Replacing core Financials can sound daunting, however, in today’s marketplace there are much more options available for the SMB space. And with more choices available, the better it is for SMBs looking at the future.
There are many reasons SMBs start to look at existing core financial and other business systems. Below are some of the most common.
- The business requirements have grown to such an extent, the organization’s current systems are failing to provide the level of service that is now expected by customers.
- It can also be a risk mitigation strategy, some systems may not be supported anymore, hardware may be very difficult or non-existent to find, so there is an inherent business risk in keeping an outdated legacy system.
- As your SMB grew over time, there is probably a plethora of disparate systems, both systemic and manual, that are not integrated to the core Financials, which can cost the organization deeply in terms of efficiency.
- With data residing in multiple systems, there may be data conflicts and a lot of duplicate entry.
- There are probably plans to grow the business, and the current legacy business systems would not be able to support the increase of demand on the system or any new additional requirements. A fully integrated system is needed to support growth plans and give a powerful foundation from a functionality perspective.
- Recruiting is an area that must be considered as well. Younger generations want to work with the latest and greatest technology, therefore a new integrated business system can attract talent.
So, you have decided that it is time to replace your core financial and business management systems. As mentioned earlier, cost is always a concern. Can my organization afford this effort? Will I need to hire more employees to administer the system? Will I need a brand-new infrastructure? With the growth of technology, a lot of those concerns can be mitigated.
There is obviously still the traditional On-Premises deployment that may allow you to use your existing infrastructure. However, if managing the system from an administrative perspective is a major concern, the Cloud offers several “subscription based” alternatives for both hardware and software. The most commonly used term here is SaaS (Software as a Service). This allows an organization to pay a monthly fee for both the software and infrastructure. This scenario represents cost savings on multiple levels. First, the hardware is provided for you in a vendor’s datacenter. No new hardware is required by your organization. Also, the vendor will deploy, manage, and administer your system for you. No additional IT resource commitments are necessary. Also, in this scenario the monthly fee includes any annual maintenance that are typically found with the On-Premises solution.
Another concern mentioned earlier is how a new implementation might affect my business during implementation. Although any implementation of this size requires a project team from your organization, the newest fully integrated Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations solutions offer tremendous flexibility. These systems are modular based and can be implemented piece meal as needed.
As an example, you can just implement Financials first such as GL, AR, and AP. Knowing that the entire solution is 100% fully integrated, you can then add modules as needed such as Sales Order Entry, Quotes, Purchasing, Operations, and CRM. This will lessen the need for resources to implement. In addition, your vendor of choice will help you step by step through the implementation and guide you to success. This all adds up to a nimble, seamless, integrated business management system that will now form a solid foundation for the future of your organization.
At PowerObjects, we are committed to helping small to medium sized business obtain their technology goals. By leading and assisting you with our offerings in solution development, deployment strategy, and implementation services, PowerObjects is your one stop shop that will help take your organization to new heights. Learn more about our solutions and services and contact us today!
Happy Dynamics 365’ing!