Spreadsheets have ruled Earth for too long—business must embrace the cloud | Tech Industry

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The one certainty in business software and services is that there will always be more acronyms. At the moment, though, there’s more to the sector than just another jargon explosion: we’re moving towards a new way of looking at IT, one that applies best-practice business processes to any company—however small it may be, and however fast it may grow.

This sounds good, but wading through websites full of perky lists of generic benefits can leave many IT managers still wondering exactly what they’re being sold.

For this feature we spoke to a bunch of major vendors—SAP, Sage, Microsoft, and IBM—about the new breed of business services they offer. We’ll look at benefits of buying IT as a service, what working in the cloud really means, and how to move towards fully integrated business management, now more commonly known as enterprise resource planning, or ERP. We will mostly focus on SMEs (small and medium sized enterprises or businesses), but much of what’s discussed here is also easily applicable to larger organisations that haven’t yet moved to modern business software.

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