Table of Contents

 

Despite being introduced for several years, Cloud Computing or Cloud Technology has continued to be the buzzword among IT experts and businesses. Since its invention, Cloud Computing has been expanded into many industries. Cloud Computing overcame sceptical concerns and proven its capability to support businesses and lead them to great success.

Although the term Cloud Computing is still vague, it is an inevitable shift for those who are aiming for great success and prosperity within the Digital Era. Disrupt or be disrupted; it depends on the leaders of the organisation to decide.

What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud Computing means the capability to provide computing services over the Internet, a.k.a “the Cloud.” Computing services varied from servers, storage, databases, network, software to analytics and even more. Cloud Computing allows its users to operate virtually, compared to the traditional way of processing data with on-premises facilities.

In other words, Cloud Computing is a general term for the delivery of hosted services over the Internet. For example, online files or photos sharing via iCloud or Google Drive is one of the many forms of Cloud services.

Cloud Computing can be divided into two parts: The Cloud and the Computing. “The Cloud” is the deployment model of the Cloud strategy. While “the Computing” is the service model of the Cloud strategy.

The Cloud

The deployment models of Cloud services can vary depending on the particular needs of organisations.

  • A Public Cloud application is fully deployed in the cloud, and every aspect of the application run in the cloud. The public Cloud system is mostly provided through a Cloud service provider; hence, the company is not responsible for maintaining the server.
  • Private Cloud or on-premises Cloud, on the other hand, is a type of cloud infrastructure operates solely for just one organisation. Typically, the company will take on the maintenance and build its own data centres. Therefore, this type of Cloud system has a higher level of security compared to Public Cloud. However, it requires the company to be competent to manage, store and utilise the data.
  • To combine and take advantage of both deployment strategies, organisations can consider the Hybrid Cloud. The hybrid deployment helps connect infrastructure and applications between cloud-based resources and on-premises resources that are not located in the cloud — allowing its users to extend either the capacity or the capability of a cloud service, by aggregation, integration or customisation with another cloud service.

There are other modifications that serve different needs of different companies, such as Community Cloud, Distributed Cloud and Big Data Cloud.

The Computing

There are three main types of Cloud Computing services: Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).

  • Software as a Service (SaaS): SaaS allows organisations to access the application software and databases without minding about maintaining and managing the infrastructure. A third party will be responsible for hardware installation, provision, and maintenance, as well as software licensing, installation, and support and make it available over the Internet for the end-users.
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS): With PaaS, organisations have the control over the deployed applications and can configure the settings for the application-hosting environment, excluding the network, servers, operating systems, or storage. This means application developers can develop and run their software solutions on a cloud platform with minimum costs and no burden of managing the underlying system.
  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): IaaS is also known as Hardware as a Service (HaaS). The service model provides organisations with the highest level of flexibility through the delivery of computer infrastructure on an outsourced basis to support enterprise operations. IaaS providers supply clients with the basic, virtualised IT features (hardware, storage, servers, data centre, or network components, etc.). The service providers are also in charge of housing, operating and maintaining these features for the clients.

Though invented way back in 1996, Cloud Computing just started to gain attention in recent years. 2012 was the time when Cloud computing blew up, and since then, its applications have spread to every industry possible.

Why Cloud

The economics of Cloud

For businesses, the transition to the cloud is as much about financial benefits as it is about new technologies.

The most visible financial benefit of cloud computing is that businesses can avoid costly upfront capital expenditures, including hefty licence fees and investments in hardware required to operate on-premises software.

Additionally, cloud-based systems also require less customisation and take less time to deploy. Therefore, the associated costs are drastically reduced, as shown in the following infographic. The figures are applicable to ERP software, but the basics are the same for other types of enterprise software.

The economics of Cloud ERP at a glance

Other benefits of adopting Cloud Computing in the organisation

In addition to the economic benefits, cloud computing offers superior your stored data is safe on the Cloud from both natural disasters and cyber thefts. The Cloud continuously updates its security through audit and compliance. Moreover, all activities on the Cloud will be closely monitored and frequently audited by a third party to ensure that security standards are up to par.

Cloud Computing also allows its users to access their works on-the-go, 24/7, via any devices of their choice as long as there’s an internet connection. Updates and upgrades are done automatically supporting real-time collaboration between different divisions of the organisation.

Finally, along with endless possibilities created by an array of services, Cloud Computing can adapt to any changes. Its ability to scale up or down will be the critical advantage for organisations to put themselves one step ahead of those who still incline with traditional computing.

Innovative organisations are one of the first companies to acknowledge the necessity of deploying Cloud Computing.

TAL Apparel Limited - one of the world’s largest apparel producers, has been integrating Infor Cloudsuite since 2016. This transition has sped up their production time, reduce workload and helped the company to save the total cost of ownership (TCO). TAL Apparel is just one among many companies that realised the benefits of the transition from legacy on-premises systems to cloud-based platforms.

Koch Industries, the U.S. second-largest private company, has also moved its core financials and HR processes to the cloud. The company is currently using Infor CloudSuite to keep up with the fast-paced technological change in the industry.

Cloud Technology Trends

Cloud technology has been transforming the overview of businesses forcing organisations to change in both the way people think and the way advanced technologies are utilised. Applying disruptive technologies, such as Machine Learning, Data lake, Artificial Intelligence, Analytics, or Business Intelligence, can ignite the digital transformation process.

Cloud-washed vs Cloud-native

What makes Cloud Cloud? Considering the trouble and the cost involved in the process of developing original cloud-native software, some vendors risk losing their credibility and engage in the so-called cloud washing.

In short, cloud washing is a marketing ploy through which a product/service is rebranded and/or repackaged to be associated with the buzzword “cloud.”

To be certified as cloud-native,  a solution/service must encompass all these five essential characteristics:

  • On-demand self-service
  • Broad network access
  • Resource pooling
  • Rapid elasticity
  • Measured service

Cloud Security

When it comes to cloud deployment, security is top of mind for all concerned. Cloud service providers like Infor does not rely on any single security device, technique, or practice for data assurance.

Instead, their team implements multiple layers of overlapping security approach to safeguard your data through each link of the chain and ensure a high level of solution availability.

The multiple security layers approach used by Infor included:

  • Application security
  • Network security
  • Physical security
  • Operations security
  • Monitoring

Data Centres

A data centre, in essence, is a physical facility that houses all the necessary IT equipment, such as servers, storage, network systems, routers, firewalls, etc. Furthermore, a data centre also includes non-IT elements like electrical switching, ventilation systems, backup generators, telecommunications, and more.

As this is where all of the customers’ data is stored, data centres are critical assets for everyday operations. The facility requires both human and technologies protection against cyber threats, illegal intrusion and natural disasters.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is famously known for their tightly secured data centres and cloud infrastructures, which provide services to businesses in 190 countries all over the world.

Internet of Things

Although the Internet of Things and Cloud Computing are two different terms, they are symbiotic in nature and work best together instead of separately. Internet of Things (IoT) is an umbrella term representing any device that can connect, or disconnect, to the Internet. IoT technology helps to make data analysis possible with the development of smart sensors and beacons.

In the case of manufacturers, IoT enables facilities and production managers to get out of the control room and have greater visibility into operations. Smarter production and process allows businesses to produce products that are “smart” and customised to customer’s specific needs and preferences. 

Industry 4.0

Industry 4.0 is the umbrella term that covers all the emerging technologies: smart factory, smart manufacturing, big data, Internet of Things, etc. Originated from the industrial revolution in the Manufacturing industry, Industry 4.0 opens doors to automatic, digitalised production – the “smart factory”, which continued to yield measurable results for early adopters. Industry 4.0 is blurring the line between Information Technology and Operational Technology and further merging the virtual and physical worlds.

Besides the opportunities, integrating Industry 4.0 into manufacturing still holds its challenges. Cybersecurity, the scarcity of specialists, and the job market shrinkage due to the replacement of machines in human’s tasks are the three most pressing challenges in the Industry 4.0 era.

Digital Transformation

Digital Transformation, through the application of new technologies, opens up new opportunities to gain breakthrough results. And manufacturers are among those who stand to benefit the most from this shift – integrating Cloud Computing into the daily operations to enhance the production process and the supply chain.

However, in order to have a successful digital journey, organisations must work out a coherent digital strategy that is in alignment with the corporate strategy.

And though the technology is essential, organisations have to pay attention to the organisational culture as well. Creating a workplace environment that is conducive to self-learning, continuous improvement, and adaptation is one crucial part of the cultural shift.

On one hand, the success of the digital giants like Apple or Google implies the potential of thriving and expanding of the Digital Transformation. On the other hand, Digital Transformation still presents a massive challenge to businesses. Digital Transformation involves everyone in the organisation as this journey is all about fundamentally changing how an organisation operates. 

Further reading:

  • 9 Steps to Digital Transformation in Manufacturing: Part 1 | Part 2

How to Adopt Cloud

Cloud accounting

Cloud accounting software is an application that runs on remote servers, allowing users to access accounting functionalities via any common web browser.

Cloud accounting software can be most beneficial for start-ups and SMEs due to its scalability and powerful processing power. From a simple bookkeeping capability to sophisticated forecasting and budgeting functions, today's cloud accounting systems have drastically evolved to accommodate every business' needs.

To ensure the success of your cloud accounting software implementation, first and foremost, you have to know your current software. There are “can’t live without” daily modules in the existing system that your accounting staff expects to experience something similar, or better, with the new solution. 

Understanding at which step that halts/ enhance your productivity puts you one step closer to identifying the suitable cloud accounting solution for your organisation.

What’s more, it probably has been a while since the last time you looked for a new IT solution. Current software available on the market today may overwhelm you with rather compelling features and technologies.

There are various software comparing tools and online review sites that can help you to objectively evaluate each solution/ vendor, read real reviews from organisations that experienced the same solutions or simply to ask questions. Therefore, don’t get lost amidst fancy names.

Cloud BI

Cloud-based Business Intelligence (BI) is the future. And one of the first BI vendors to capitalise on this trend is Birst - "the only enterprise BI platform in the cloud."

Networked analytics was marketed as the technology behind Birst Cloud BI. Networked analytics was born to solve the problem of virtualising the entire Business Intelligence ecosystem and transforming the organisation from application developments to user-centric data mashups and content.

Networked/ Cloud BI is a ground-breaking approach to analytics that connects every part of your organisation to deliver near-real-time intraday analytics.

One of Birst’s successful implementation story is Build.com, an online home improvement retailer headquartered in Chico, California. By using Birst’s Cloud BI platform to combine and analyse the customer-related data, Build.com has been able to extend their customer lifetime value, reduce customer acquisition costs, and focus more on profitable customers for better overall results.

Another Birst’s success story is with CheapCarribean. Learn how this popular online travel resource remodels their business with Birst’s Cloud BI here.

In Ventana Research’s 2019 Mobile Analytics and Business Intelligence Value Index report, Birst was named the overall leader and surpassed other reputable brands in the market like IBM, Qlik, SAP, etc.

Cloud PMS

A hotel property management system is an all-in-one solution used to manage booking reservations, room rates, facilities, staffing, and many more.

As the traveller's demands and behaviours are continually changing, hoteliers are in dire need of a holistic management solution that enables them to complete multiple tasks at once. Legacy, on-premise PMS can no longer satisfy the expectations made by modern travellers and hoteliers.

PMS on cloud equips both the hoteliers and customers with improved agility and mobile functionalities that connect and tighten the relationship from both ends.

Hoteliers must educate themselves to pick out real cloud solutions. Beware that not all cloud services are "truly cloud," which we have mentioned in the cloud-washed vs cloud-native part above. There are five critical factors to consider when choosing Cloud PMS:

  • Functionality
  • Integration
  • PCI Compliance
  • Scalability
  • Vendor support

Before committed to one Cloud PMS brand, take a moment to go through the following four steps to further increase the success of your solution selection and implementation.

  • Step 1: Carefully research all possible options
  • Step 2: Take notice of the factors that make you want to move away from the legacy system
  • Step 3: Prepare a list of questions to ask the vendors
  • Step 4: Listen to all stakeholders’ inputs

If there is a free demo being offered by the vendor, make use of it, and thoroughly test it out. The trial is critical in seeing how well the solution fit in your organisation.

Cloud ERP

There are two main reasons why small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) interested in cloud-based ERP systems: software buyers feel more at ease with using software-as-a-service for essential enterprise applications, and cloud-based services can now meet SMB’s more extensive range of requirements.

As SMBs grow, internal collaboration becomes essential, which is why it is crucial to have a system that can unify everything. However, transforming into an ERP platform can be exhausting due to prolonged and complicated implementation cycles.

This is where Cloud ERP comes in to fuel growth and innovation. In short, this model is a cloud-based version of the ERP products, which is accessible via a web interface.

From a financial perspective, on-premises ERP software can be classified as a capital expenditure, while the SaaS model can be considered an operational expense. The host-based cloud model is a mix of capital and operational expenses.

If your organisation already have an ERP system in place, transitioning from a legacy, on-premise to a cloud-based system requires careful planning, such as planning for data transfer and integration.

Cloud-based ERP systems were initially geared towards small and mid-size businesses. Thus, they were primarily offered by smaller vendors. Additionally, some vendors, most notably NetSuite, offer exclusively cloud-based ERP solutions.

In recent years, market leaders like SAP, Oracle and Infor have increasingly focused on the cloud and rolling out their own cloud offerings.

Selecting a trustworthy Cloud ERP solution and vendor can be challenging and time-consuming. Global enterprises regardless of sizes, have committed more than a handful of mistakes, which gives us valuable lessons for all of us to learn from.

To learn what are the mistakes encountered during the Cloud ERP selection process, please read our series of articles here: Avoidable mistakes when choosing Cloud ERP Systems Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3| Part 4

Cloud vendors

Infor

Infor - the enterprise software giant from New York City, has gained tremendous popularity by offering deep industry-specific applications and suites, cloud deployment and extremely user-friendly interfaces. Though lesser-known among other software giants like SAP, Oracle and Microsoft, Infor has gained tremendous popularity by offering deep industry-specific applications and suites, cloud deployment and extremely user-friendly interfaces.

A portion of Infor's products is already cloud-based, such as Infor CloudSuite Industrial, a full-fledged enterprise resource planning application powered by Amazon Web Services.

Their CloudSuite solutions were designed with the customer in mind. These suites of solutions are packed full of the latest technological advances with intuitive user experience.

AWS

Amazon Web Services (AWS) provides a variety of cloud computing platforms and services on-demand to individuals, organisations as well as the governments. This subscription-based service offers a virtual computing power which can be accessed anytime as long as there is an internet connection, or in some cases, no connectivity at all.

Today, AWS has left their footprints in 190 countries. The widespread of physical locations as well as the extensive global cloud infrastructures enable businesses to deploy quickly, innovate regularly, scale on-demand. More importantly, companies now can do all of the above in a matter of a few hours, 24/7, instead of weeks or months like before.

TRG International

TRG is an authorised cloud partner of AWS. We offer a wide range of cloud services to suit your specific needs. Whether you are a local SME or a global corporation, avoid making hefty upfront investments in hardware and spending tons of time and effort in managing it. Instead, get on-demand resources when you need and only pay for what you use with TRG’s cloud services.

Infor – the Cloud Computing expert

Infor product suites are specially designed to empower users to be more in control during business operations. Their products are packed with powerful functionalities that allow instant access to valuable data, enrich customer's experience, and a modern, intuitive user interface that is entirely customisable to fit your specific role.

Infor SunSystems

Infor SunSystems is a solution that focuses on providing comprehensive financial management combining with technological innovations and usability with a depth of functionality. Hosted in the Cloud, Infor SunSystems offers its user with easy-to-use interfaces, easy accessibility, security and scalability.

Realising the struggle for Hotels, Infor developed SunSystems for Hospitality to help hoteliers keep up with the rapid changes and innovation.

Infor SunSystems is the chosen financial management solution of more than 2,200 hospitality companies worldwide. The system is designed to transform the way you collect, analyse, manage, and report financial information. More important, it can help your hotel business drive the bottom line and improve guest experience through timely and actionable insights.

The latest version, Infor SunSystems 6.4, is viewed to be the most revolutionised product yet. Powered by Infor OS, the next-generation cloud operating service platform, Infor SunSystems 6.4 is guaranteed to transform your hotel business digitally.

Infor d/EPM

Infor Dynamic Enterprise Performance Management (Infor d/EPM) is a cloud-based budgeting and financial forecasting system, thereby eliminating the use of spreadsheets.

The solution enables you to manage your employee's performance, predict trends and risks, and make impactful business decisions at any point instantly and accurately.

This product suite unites Infor's two next-generation platforms - Infor Business Intelligence and Infor Enterprise Performance Management, to address the "hottest" concerns in businesses today, mainly collaboration, mobility, cloud, and big data.

Infor d/EPM delivers information and dashboard explicitly tailored for each industry.

Kempinski Hotels, Europe’s oldest luxury hotel group, decided to adopt Infor d/EPM to embrace robust functionalities and user-friendly tools that the solution has to offer.

Over a period of 5 years since implementation, Infor d/EPM has helped Kempinski improve its financial forecast accuracy by 88%. The number of months not in line with the forecast has dropped by 60%.

Infor CloudSuite Industrial

Many organisations may have already deployed an on-premises ERP system that every employee, as well as top managers, have been familiar with for years. And then Cloud ERP was announced by ERP providers with a bunch of added benefits, making it the next essential step for organisations to take.

Transitioning from on-premises to Cloud ERP can fuel growth and innovation for your business. Yet, before you decide to deploy a cloud ERP system, there are several essential questions to which you need to know the answers to, such as:

Infor CloudSuite Industrial (SyteLine) is widely known for being a highly secure and reliable ERP solution. The system can be easily adapted to suit the daily demands of manufacturers. The latest release (version 9.01) has brought even more advanced and user-friendly functionalities, which in turns can greatly improve productivity and customer experience. Plus, the solution can be deployed either on-premises or in the cloud.

Birst Cloud BI

Birst is a cloud-based BI platform that provides analysing, exploring, and visualising Big Data tools for businesses. Founded in 2004, Birst is a global leader in Cloud BI and analytics.

Birst is named the overall leader by Vetana Research in its 2019 Mobile Analytics and Business Intelligence Value Index.

In 2015, Birst was placed among the top vendors for Centralised BI Provisioning and OEM/Embedded BI in Gartner’s Critical Capabilities for BI and Analytics Platforms Report.

Birst is also a partner of many technology giants like Amazon, SAP, Microsoft, etc. Birst technology provides many services with the specialities of Self-service BI, Data warehouse Automation, Agile Business Analytics, Dashboards, Reports, In-memory Analytics, Ad Hoc Reporting, Sales Analytics, Finance, Wealth Management, Insurance and Cloud Business Intelligence.

Take action today

 

 

From data warehousing to deployment tools, directories to content delivery, over 50 services are available in just a few mouse clicks with TRG's Cloud Services.

With TRG's Cloud Services, you will get on-demand resources when you need it and only pay for what you use with our cloud services.

Simply fill out the form on your right hand side to request a demo today!

 

Security is a major concern in our industry. Using Infor solutions was instrumental in ensuring we were delivering features with a high level of security and data privacy.

frasers-hospitality

Howard Phung Fraser Hospitality Australia

TRG provides us with high-level support and industry knowledge and experience. There are challenges and roadblocks but it's certainly a collaboration and partnership that will see us be successful at the end.
Aman Resorts

Archie Natividad Aman Resorts