5 Benefits of Centralising Business Data
Tags: ERP   UI  
14/10/2011 12:12 AM

Many small businesses are still stuck in the past, utilising inefficient, paper-based filing systems that make locating data at any given time an annoying and cumbersome process. Even those businesses that have attempted to make the switch to an electronic means of data storage may have done so incorrectly. In many cases these businesses have done so with multiple software systems, applications and processes, creating pockets or 'silos' of information with no overarching interface or centralised means of access. In this article, we'll take a look at the paradigm of centralising business data with ERP software (Enterprise Resource Planning software), discussing its various benefits for businesses both small, medium and large.

1. Access
By centralising your business data, you'll increase overall efficiency in accessing information which will translate to less wasted motion in your business practices. Information is all stored in the one location and can be accessed through a user-friendly interface, meaning all employees need to do is type in the information they're looking for to instantly receive the data required to perform their work. This stands in contrast to paper filing systems, or systems with multiple software packages, where accessing information at any given time can be a cumbersome process.

2. Security
In contrast to distributed data management systems – otherwise known as software as a service (SaaS) or 'the cloud' – centralised business data is far more secure. Because all information is hosted locally on a centralised server, there are no risks associated with trusting the SaaS provider, while there is also a significantly decreased risk of interference by hackers. Of course, centralising data does put the information at risk in the case of an unexpected disaster such as fire or flood, but these admittedly unlikely concerns can be allayed with a backup solution.

3. Single user interface
Because all centralised data will be accessed with a single user interface as provided by your business software, even technologically unskilled staff will have little trouble understanding how to use the system. Additionally, because data input is all streamlined, there is no risk of competing systems building up within the office which can confuse matters in the long-term and make data retrieval a cumbersome and difficult process.

4. Integration
In the modern business environment various departments must work closely with each other in order to achieve overall organisational goals. This means accounting, human resources, administrative, operational, warehousing and dozens of other departments and processes must have access to an integrated data solution. By centralising data with enterprise-wide software this works to alleviate confusion and inefficiencies between departments.

5. Eliminates redundant data
One of the biggest problems with non-centralised data management systems is that redundant data can build up as similar information is entered repeatedly. Because a centralised system allows all data to be maintained in a central store, any redundancies are quickly recognised and subsequently eliminated by the software. Furthermore, the software will be designed and operate in a way that eliminates the problem of incorrect data entry, which can be rectified with the appropriate checks and balances.

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