UAE’s SMEs hastens cost-effective, cloud-based ERP adoption

By Amirtha P S, Desk Reporter
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With the outbreak of COVID-19 and restriction driven by it, businesses have accelerated their digital transformation efforts and switching to cloud services to enable remote operations and communications.

The pandemic situation has also made more SMEs implement Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions. The ERP solutions help track and monitor a businesses’ resources and processes, thus optimizing operations and maximizing profits. However, SMEs face many challenges while shopping for ERP solutions.

The leading software development company Zoho Corp’s regional director, Ali Shabdar states that the key barriers for SMEs to adopt ERP are the huge capital expenditure and high implementation costs, in addition to the cost overruns due to unexpected delays in deployment, user buy-in, and employee training.

George K Thomas, chief executive officer of leading customer-focused IT solutions provider Pinnacle Technologies, suggests that “Cloud solutions make sense in many scenarios, even if it is not easy to generalize. However, the inclination to move in this direction is based on a range of factors that include organizational attitude or mindset, skillsets, and adaptability of employees, security concerns, investments already made for ‘on-premise technologies.” 

According to reports, there are nearly 350,000 SMEs in the UAE  and this entails a substantial market size of a minimum of $1.09 billion. Cloud-based, low-code platforms give businesses the power in creating custom ERPs for their industry and the trend that’s spreading across the SME landscape. 

Ali Shabdar
Ali Shabdar
Regional Director
Zoho Corp-MEA

“In the present-day, organizations leverage hybrid and multi-cloud architecture patterns to run their business operations. But, from now on, as cloud adoption picks up pace, we will begin to see more and more businesses moving their entire operations online for better ROI. Since cost is a major factor that comes up when discussing ERP for SMEs, the industry is ready now with ERP solutions for SMEs. With cloud-based ERPs, which are now available with more cost-effective options including the subscription model. Industry-based solutions and add-on modules are also available.” 

Industry experts think the 80/20 rule applies to an organization’s business software needs irrespective of the industry, 80 percent of the digital requirements are standard for all of them while the remaining 20 percent are industry-specific.

In the current business environment, there is a host of on-premise and cloud-based ERP solutions made exclusively for SMEs, which promise to solve the above problems, scale with business growth, and ensure better flexibility.

ERP solutions have long been known to be challenging implementations for SMEs due to various factors like staggering costs, data migration difficulties, steep learning curves, limited customization.

Also Read: Ajman Bank unites ACCI to support SMEs, Innovative projects in the Emirate