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The Impact of Big Data on ERP

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems play a crucial role in businesses. Unfortunately, not every firm has taken advantages of the benefits an ERP system can have on business. One such advantage that companies should learn to master with this tool is with Big Data. When integrated with Big Data, your ERP system can achieve better processes and drive substantially higher revenue. Marketing expert Mrunal Chokshi shares an article on Customer Think on the huge impact of Big Data on ERP. and why this integration is a necessity for businesses in today’s day and age.

  1. Understand customers better: What big data does is empower ERP systems with better insights and data, sourced from a variety of new sources, including social media.
  2. Better supply chain: When ERP is fortified with big data, companies gain access to insights into the supply chain, i.e., an in-depth overview of the processes, assets, etc. that can then be leveraged to streamline the movement of products across the entire supply chain.
  3. Sales forecasts: Any business needs to be able to make sound sales forecasts. And the duo of ERP and big data helps in this department as well by analyzing inventory and supply chain data.

 

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Five Must-Do’s When Assessing ERP Data Security

If there is anything that the current pandemic has caused, it’s panic. Businesses had to scurry to either close down or adjust their way of day to day operations and sometimes that panic can make them vulnerable. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) data security should be a carfeully monitored, especially when most employees have been ordered to work from home with remote networks (that may or may not be as secure as their work networks). Marcus Harris,  with Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP, share an article on lexology.com  about ERP data security and how important it is to ensure maximum safety. There are five must-do steps that organizations need to take in checking ERP data security and then close any gaps that are revealed:

  1. Assume nothing. Begin with the premise that the outcome is unknown. Making assumptions will put an organization at risk.
  2. Use every tool to assess risks. Recognize that no single tool will solve the problem of ERP data security. It is far safer to also assess risks that may arise elsewhere, using things such as network detection and response software.
  3. Keep an open mind. Relying on the history of what you have always found in the past creates its own bias. It is vital to look at the data from all angles.
  4. Don’t judge in advance. No matter how keen one’s judgment and experience might be, a holistic approach – and solution – to solving a problem is needed. Professionals need to see everything happening on a network.
  5. Beware of what the eye sees. Be wary. A small discrepancy that isn’t usually perceived as a genuine threat could well be masking a more lethal attack.

 

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How to protect ERP data when access to corporate networks is both ubiquitous and for sale on the dark web

With the current pandemic, remote working has become a new norm for the majority of the workplace. With this new way of doing things, networks may be vulnerable to malicious acts in software viruses and especially information gathering in the dark web. Piyush Pandey shares an article on SecurityMagazine.com how to protect your enterprise resource planning (ERP) data in these conditions. Ensuring ERP data security, privacy and compliance can no longer rely solely on network threat monitoring. It requires layed identity defense to limit access to and within mission-critical appliances.

Here are some ways to protect your ERP data from being sold to networks in the dark web:

Start with securing your crown jewel ERP systems. “Organizations looking to accelerate their data security maturity can choose to lock down access across their ERP systems for a “quick win.” According to the 2020 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, 67 percent of 2019 data breaches arose from credential theft, social engineering attacks, or errors that enabled malicious actors to gain unauthorized access to sensitive data.”

Continuously monitor privileged user activity and behavior. “With Attribute-based access controls (ABAC), organizations can set fine-grained access controls that mitigate risks. Privileged users, such as system administrators, need superuser access to do their jobs. While ABAC provides some level of control that can limit the data they access, their job functions require them to add users, delete payees and engage in other potentially risky activities across the ERP ecosystem.”

Creating layered defense at the identity perimeter to strengthen data security. “By establishing dynamic, attribute-based controls, companies can more precisely define access to ERP resources. Data masking or hiding sensitive information not necessary to the job function creates an additional security layer. Users not only are limited in their access but by masking the data, the access granted eliminates excess access risks associated with visibility of unnecessary, sensitive data. An organization’s payroll manager may not need to see employees’ account information to process the payments. Thus, limiting access and masking data create a double layer of defense.”

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Prevent wasted data when using ERP technology

Karlee Renkoski shares an article on bakingbusiness.com regarding the way we use data from our enterprise resource planning (ERP) technology. While ERP systems can gather an abundance of customer data, a good amount of companies have underutilized the effectiveness of of the data gathered, according to a 2016 study. The wasted information can be from a number of reasons such as not knowing they had access to such data, or selecting an ERP system and/or vendor (who assisted with implementation) with little or no knowledge of the chosen system. The way to fix this problem comes down to paying more attention in the ERP selection process, implementation and training. Lastly, understanding and analyzing the given data in the best way to help your business grow.

 

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Three Ways Wearables Boost Supply-Chain Efficiency

Wearables, smart electronic hands-free devices, have not only peaked interest for the everyday user, but has been a huge asset in other fields such as health and logistics. The latter, for example, shows the benefits of wearables being used in supply-chain processes and management. Kristen Herhold shares an article on supplychainbrain.com of the many ways wearable technology has aided in supply-chain efficiency and has since increased productivity within warehouses and all throughout organizations.

 

Minimize Manual Labor – Wearables streamline warehouse workflows by removing manual steps from day-to-day processes. Simple things such as barcode scanners are being quickly recorded real-time by wearable and mobile devices, quickening logistics processes. “Scanner-enabled wearables allow employees to automatically send reports to management that would otherwise have to be manually typed in,” says Herhold.

 

Provide Comprehensive Data – Wearables allow businesses to monitor their workers’ physical activity, location, and health. Similar to how professionals are using these devices in the healthcare field, these devices with biometric sensors report the health and wellness of employees, especially if most require physical labor at warehouses. Herhold notes that the data collected by warehouse wearables gives management the opportunity to better serve workers’ needs.

 

Offer Real-Time Feedback – Wearables are a smart device, so it usually means that any activity inputted and recorded is sent to another device or database where others in the network are given immediate access to data, in real time. Voice headsets, for example, connect to a phone on the user and increase the accuracy of warehouse work through real-time feedback.

 

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Using technology to change health care

Technology has made a name for itself in the healthcare industry. Software innovation for example has made strides in the medical field with electronic health record systems helping physicians keep track of patient records more efficiently. Shreyas Tanna shares an article on Biopharmapress about how technology has impacted a healthcare organization, Mediclinic, and how they’re continuing to leverage new innovations to further their healthcare system into the digital age. For example, technology is being applied to improve the contact of patients with Mediclinic Middle East and provide them with more opportunities to engage with, simplify and speed up the procedure for scheduling a date, and to ensure prompt tracking of requests and queries. Additionally, Tanna adds that technology assists with actual patient treatment at Mediclinic in fields such as oncology where they use the newly developed TrueBeam linear accelerator for radiation therapy. Healthcare organizations like Mediclinic who utilize technological applications to improve patient lives are testaments of this digital age and will pave the way for more innovations in healthcare.

 

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How Technology Is Improving Physician Satisfaction

Healthcare has seen a recent surge in IT and digital advancement since the early days of digital hospitals in the early 2000s. Electronic-health record (EHR) systems were a huge turning point and since then the industry has continued to invest and dip their hands in technology to optimize their practices. George Mathew, Chief Medical Officer at Americas for DXC Technology, shared an article on Forbes explaining how technology is helping physicians provide a better patient experience and optimal efficiency in their operations. While first and foremost physicians are trained to be care providers they must also be on top of their EHRs for all their patients. Fortunately with the advancement of technology in the medial field, there are digital solutions that will make their data entry systems much faster and easier in making better care decisions for their patients.

Understanding The End-User – Mathew points out to help improve physician user experience and operational workflows, health care technology vendors have started applying persona-oriented design to their systems. Persona-based user interfaces and workstations are geared toward enhancing the workflow of specific health care professionals, such as a doctor in a clinic or a nurse in an intensive care unit. Not to mention the available mobile applications helping them with real time information.

Intelligent Interfaces Enrich The Care Experience – Again, Mathew says that digital advances are making it possible for technology vendors to create ambient physician user interfaces that adapt and respond to their users’ needs. These interfaces use machine learning algorithms to automatically search, filter and present relevant context-based information based on, for example, a patient-doctor conversation. When used in a clinical setting, this technology can help ensure providers are given the right data at the right time to lead to the right decision and that patients are empowered to understand and use health information to achieve better health outcomes and management.

 

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3 Ways Your Business Can Benefit From a CRM System

It’s no secret that many major corporations spend thousands of dollars on customer relationship management (CRM) systems to organize their customer data. While we can’t all have the pocket book of a fortune 500 company, there are small to medium sized businesses who can benefit from the same enterprise software. Radio.com shares some ways that your business can benefit from a CRM system without having to spend a fortune.

Customer database
“A CRM system will establish a database for your business that organizes where customers are located, what products or services they ordered and what they might order in the future. It  can also be used to show what products or services current and prospective customers are most interested in.”

Sales campaigns
A CRM can be used to track if and when sales emails have been opened and if they have generated interest, as well as schedule your emails so that they will arrive at the optimum time. CRM systems can also filter through contacts to better generate leads, thus allowing sales personnel to make better use of their time.

Find, keep and win back customers
“A CRM can help identify loyal customers, as well as what has made them loyal, and what rewards or efforts can keep their loyalty. It can also detect patterns that could be repeated or applied to dealings with prospective or former customers to gain or win back clients.”

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Migrating ERP to the cloud

The most common trend in enterprise resource planning as of late is migrating their solutions to the cloud. Dave Ives, Digital Advisory Executive at Altron Karabina, shared an article on IT Web Africa about how this migration is beneficial to organizations. With the arrival of mult-national data centers in the country, more organizations seen the benefits of the cloud and making it a standard business practice in South Africa. The business value in making the move sooner rather than later cannot be ignored. There are some challenges, however, that require a lot of obstacles to successfully run ERP in the cloud. Ives explains a couple and how to overcome it.

  • Governance rules – Ives explains, “ERP operates in a highly governed environment. This means that any business must undergo several internal processes, including streamlining redundant and outdated processes, before committing to an upgrade or migration. With this decision comes the migration of legacy data and ensuring traceability of past transactions. Migrating from an on-prem to a cloud version requires a deeper assessment. Diagnostic tools are available from certain vendors to assess the impact of upgrading, while in some cases a refactoring of the solution, adaption of the interfaces and significant process changes may be required. The tools and assessments are typically run by a trusted partner who can align to a client’s organisational requirements. The resultant diagnostics also enables the partner to understand how the ERP application has been configured for an on-premise environment and what can be adapted for a cloud-based deployment. This enables the partner to either natively port the ERP processes or reconfigure them for a cloud solution.”
  • Overcoming challenges – Says Ives in his article, “The cloud might provide the same features natively that companies had to tweak in their on-premise solutions, thereby foregoing the need to customize anything online. This is where an assessment forms an integral part of the migration plan. Tools and libraries that are available, such as the American Productivity and Quality Centre (APQC), provide standard process classification frameworks and assist in aligning to standard processes.”

 

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3 Questions to Ask Your ERP Vendor About Data Management

Throughout your enterprise resource planning (ERP) selection process, you as the business manager will have many questions regarding its functionality, ease, and worth to your company. Another thing you should keep in mind is the future of your ERP, your long-term commitment to the system. Sometimes that means switching to a new platform, or switching vendors for support. With that in mind, you’ll have to wonder about data management. But what are the right questions to ask when considering long term solutions for your ERP? SolutionsReview.com suggests the following 3 questions to ask your ERP vendors regarding data management.

  1. Who owns my data? When you ask this question, most vendors are likely to answer that, of course, you are the owner of your data. Most vendors will also direct you to their privacy policy or security documentation. While important, those documents aren’t everything.
  2. If I decide to leave your software, how can I take my data with me? Being able to leave a solution with your data should be a given in this scenario. However, the vendor should also have both policy and process in place for exporting your data from their system. Preferably, your information can be converted to a universally exportable file (such as a .csv). It can then be imported into another ERP system.
  3. How is data restricted from (or permitted for) different users? Ask your vendor if permissions can be granted on a more granular level. Once customized, every employee who uses the system can access exactly what they need, while being restricted from what they don’t.

 

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