Articles and documents
ERP applications in the cloud as a tool to reduce business risk
A good example is a bug in ERP implementation, that prevented 27,000 University of Massachusetts students from registering for their classes and for the financial support system. On the other hand, some of the big companies, such as Nike or Hershey's, recorded sales losses of 100 million dollars, as a result of errors in the ERP system, e.g. in the part related to the supply chain operation.
Software producers such as Microsoft (Dynamics 365) develop various modules supporting all functional units of the company. They regularly develop, improve and invest in the development of their products. In turn, enterprises want to use the latest solutions and expect regular updates, and with them proper implementation and testing.
But should they be afraid of risk? Well prepared, rather not, and even if so, it should be remembered that these tools are designed to support the integrated management of the most important business processes - including the coordination of proper relations between individual departments of the enterprise. At the same time, system updates enable its further development and extension of the scope of integration. For this reason, the company's key processes are supported by ERP, and their regular updates prevent possible errors or threats.
Properly maintained ERP requires constant supervision and testing of system operations, including identifying and fixing flaws and the reporting and decision making processes improvement.
The manufacturer from Redmond is a key supplier on the ERP market, and the continuous development of its product allows it to maintain an advantage over the competition. The challenge, however, is that customers are unable to benefit from the improvements unless they have the latest software version. So far, Microsoft has regularly released updates twice a year.
Assessing the risk associated with updating threads often comes down to answering the question whether changes in the ERP system can affect business continuity. If so, it is essential to introduce the appropriate testing tools.
A quick diagnosis of problems and their assessment is essential. The ability to identify disruptions in the business model, as well as to counteract them dynamically, is of key importance in the conditions of increasing competitiveness. With regard to ERP systems, this kind of activity enables and simplifies testing. Especially when the ERP system becomes very complex and requires special attention.
In the vast majority of cases, tests are performed manually and consume a significant part of the budget for ERP system maintenance. Moreover, they don’t guarantee all the benefits of using the system. In the era of cloud services, tests are performed by appropriately programmed robots that perform their tasks faster, more accurately and to a much wider extent. Currently, there are many automation testing service providers on the market, offering various tools – from simple to very advanced. Most often these are standard and free solutions prepared by ERP producers themselves, e.g. Microsoft RSAT (Regression Suite Automation Tool).
Companies that are more exposed to risk in the upgrade process are advised to perform more complex and flexible tests - Executive Automats (an alternativeto RSAT). The solution enables thorough and detailed testing of all programs in demanding and sensitive areas of the company's operations. Properly prepared test automation allows to improve product quality, and at the same time reduces costs and saves time.
More dynamic and consistent releases. Automation of tests in the ERP system allows to eliminate problems resulting from tedious and protracted manual software testing. The company can use the current version of the system on an ongoing basis, while at the same time ensuring cost reduction and beneficial ROI.
A cost-effectiveness ratio (part of CEA). Test automation enables uninterrupted monitoring of ERP systems, which greatly simplifies the process of finding and fixing any errors. Thus, it helps to avoid the serious losses that often accompany long-term, expensive - manual - testing of large amounts of data.
No human weaknesses. The complexity of ERP forces testing to be flawless and dynamic. Automation avoids all the limitations associated with the traditional (manual) test model. This translates into timely delivery of goods and services, as well as accuracy and high quality of business operations.
Unlike manual testing, the validation of cloud-based ERP systems is much easier, accurate and flexible. It does not require much staff, time or resources. Timely projects, maintaining ERP and increasing the quality of testing requires the company to use more reliable and faster tools such as Executive Automats. In a word, turn to automation.