The Internet of Things and BYOD - What Does the Digital Revolution Mean for Business and Finance?

Posted by Mark Woodhams, NetSuite EMEA Managing Director

Today the Internet of Things (IoT) and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) are poised to transform the world of business -- whether the workplace and the business processes that sit behind it are ready or not. As more businesses adopt BYOD policies and evaluate the benefits of the IoT, IT and finance decision makers need to be aware of the pitfalls and practicalities that each trend presents. Moreover, they also have to understand what implications these trends will have on their ERP systems and on the way finance is run in general.

BYOD
Flexibility and growth are among the benefits of moving data and information onto mobile devices. Nearly everyone in the modern day business environment owns a smart device, regardless of whether their company has provided one or not. The familiarity of working on their own device can help to empower employees and increase productivity, as users will always be more comfortable with their own technology.

It’s no different for the financial teams within an organisation. There, BYOD can improve employee satisfaction. But unlike other departments, finance has to be more controlled and follow strict compliance measures. Controlling company financials on the go via true cloud-based ERP systems allow end-users to access data from every step of a multi-channel, multi-location business, from any smart device via an advanced web application - making it perfect for financial team members on the move. It gives decision makers a 360-degree real-time view of what’s happening within the organisation, no matter where employees are.

IoT
The Internet of Things is another trend that continues to gain ground in the enterprise. In fact, a prime example of how the IoT can help with business process is with supply chain automation.

With transactions that are purely machine-to-machine now emerging, customers expect a rapid, automated, but still personalised service throughout all stages of the supply chain. Numerous touchpoints have historically slowed down order fulfillment processes, but the rapid rise of connected devices alleviates this problem. Orders are fulfilled, shipped and tracked directly from warehouse devices - removing any chance of human error.

But in order for this seamless process to take place front and backend systems have to be connected. Business processes and the way traditionally disparate supply chain systems communicate with one another have to be carefully thought through.

As noted by Frost & Sullivan’s ‘Disrupt, Collapse, Transform: Cloud's Role in Industry Transformation’ report, the average lifespan of a company has gone from 61 years in 1958 to 18 years today, and is forecast to decline to 10 years by 2018. To ensure that companies survive and continue to grow in today's market, adaptability and flexibility is critical. To keep up with these market changes, all business operations are evolving. The rise of BYOD and IoT creates an incredible opportunity for businesses to completely streamline their supply chains and more. Complete financial visibility from anywhere, entirely automated order fulfillment, offsite CRM management -- 10 years ago this sort of business flexibility wouldn’t have been attainable. But this is just the start of a completely new technical and digital revolution, so having the right software platform is imperative to give you and your customer the best possible service.


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