unternehmen & trends DIGITAL 1/2021

Loss of trade due to the Covid 19 pan- demic, profit decl ines, looming bank- ruptcies and high unemployment rates have threatened both global and local economies during the coronavirus cri- sis and will continue to do so for some time to come. Particularly affected have been SMEs involved in international sup- ply chains. That said, Covid19 is not the only thing that has triggered some ma- jor challenges: Cloud, IoT, Industry 4.0, artificial intelligence, digitalisation and digital transformation have been domi- nating the IT scene for quite some time, leading to the need for new technologies and strategies. Businesses need to take advantage of this time to develop new business strategies and to modernise their IT, something that would be necessary at some point in Move2SaaS – The future By Volker Vorburg The current global economic situation is not the only factor driving the trend to move company IT to the Cloud. For significant business success modern technologies and strategies provide almost no alternative. Images: © Cosmo Consult the future, to be able to operate as effi- ciently as possible during the economic recovery and possibly even to achieve sustainable market share gains. Klaus Aschauer, Board Member and Chief Cus- tomer Officer of the COSMO CONSULT Group, and Tobias Fenster, Chief Tech- nical Officer, both agree: The future is in the Cloud. Modern IT needs the Cloud Aschauer is certain that: “The Cloud quite simply opens the doors to the future. It is my strong belief that all companies cur- rently using an on-premises installation and performing their own administration will have to find a strategy in the short or medium term for how to deal with the software solutions they have installed and how to use the Cloud as effectively as possible for their business. The future for businesses is in the Cloud, enabling them to invest in technologies such as Big Data, Data Link, Azure and Machine Learning. At some point, artificial intelli- gence issues will only be available in the Cloud, and that means that every com- pany will be required to engage with the Cloud in some form or another. Then, of course, at some point they will also have to move their ERP software and other systems into a cloud-capable environ- ment. This then leads inevitably to the is- sue of Software as a Service (SaaS) - the well-known pay-by-use. Our intelligent ERP systems (iERP), for example, are based in the Cloud. They enhance the classic ERP service spectrum and use intelligent assistants to actively support complex operational decisions. Data is moved from the ERP system to the Cloud, where it is collected in a data lake, structured and processed intelligently with artificial intelligence, i.e. data-sup- ported mathematical calculation models, and returned to the ERP system, where it can provide crucial support for complex decisions in areas such as materials management, production and sales”. Tobias Fenster adds: “We process relevant customer data, prepare it, optimise it if necessary and incorporate it into the algorithm, which is provided in the Cloud - the customer doesn‘t have to worry about a thing. The result is returned to the ERP and pro- vides well-founded recommendations for courses of action and decision-mak- ing support that were previously not achievable as precisely as this. Without the Cloud in the background, operating virtually parallel to the customer‘s ERP and providing almost unlimited comput- ing capacity, this would not be possible”. Fenster also describes further advantag- es for the users of cloud environments: “Updates, upgrades or migrations are almost non-existent, as they happen automatically. Using anonymised telem- etry data, we also aim to ensure optimal functioning. If, for example, users on new versions quickly leave certain sites, this S H A R E Board Member and CCO Klaus Aschauer Businesses should not even consider updating to a new version that is not SaaS; as that would only be a half-step into the future.