To stay ahead of the game in the coming year, you should take the time to educate yourself on trends that are emerging in the ERP industry. Some of these trends listed below have already been buzz topics for many years however they are becoming more important than ever and continue to be developed in ways we haven’t seen before which means they are worth a mention. Whether your business is moving from that start-up phase or is already established, the ERP industry is rapidly evolving and is critical to your business success. ERP covers such a vast range of functionality it’s no wonder it changes so often. Specific areas such as CRM have become more important over the last few years as customer service becomes the key to retaining customers and improving profits.
ERP is one of the older segments of the business software landscape; every year vendors develop their software to become more affordable, less complex and with more powerful functionality than ever. Vendors such as Oracle and SAP have the majority hold on the ERP arena currently, however over the last few years newer emerging companies are offering less complex installations allowing them to nudge themselves into the market. The game is changing; the next few years will be an interesting time for Priority as it starts getting the recognition it deserves for the flexibility and functionality it offers.
ERP traditionally has been an application stored on your in-house servers, which means you’re responsible for upfront hardware costs, long-term hardware maintenance, backup and recovery. Saas based ERP systems have not only freed up the cost of the hardware they are also more flexible to companies who can’t cope with the outright costs for ERP but can manage monthly payments. It boasts a lot of benefits such as quicker to update and scale whilst not taking up valuable office space and IT resource.
More products than ever are connected to the internet making it possible to funnel more data automatically into your ERP system. Utilising the power of this data funnel could be invaluable for businesses across all industries. The ERP system can start to provide you a clear view of processes like shipping details, supply chains, machine performance etc. Connecting all devices to the internet is a costly endeavour and most establishments cannot afford to invest that much money in a project this ambitious. Looking at how large enterprises are starting to create their own IoT ecosystems, it won’t be surprising if ERP solutions join the internet of things and the vendors use data from this connection.
The world is already mobile and most ERP systems have apps for their software already. However, I think 2017 saw a huge step forward in the capabilities these providers could offer. This trend will not stop here, however, with a world gone mobile, ERP needs to keep up with the pace. Priority Software in 2017 released their App Generator, which allows the customer to be in control of the apps they create, no more waiting for a third party developer to create you an app at ridiculous prices. 3 steps on the easy to use interface and you can deploy your app to your phone and start working. This has been one of the biggest advancements in mobile ERP solutions, I’m sure we will see more of this functionality in the future.
Another common aspect of our lives is social media, so it’s understandable that after social collaborations were introduced to ERP, we will see the rise of social media outlets being integrated with ERP systems. For your marketing & sales departments, this could mean one central platform for all data, yes ALL. Currently, marketing and sales teams have to work with lots of different software platforms, if all of this was controlled with one platform, this could save valuable time, which, you guessed it, could be put towards creating more content or spent with more sales prospects! Now, this isn’t as of yet a trend, however, within a few years we definitely think this will become something sales and marketing teams will be are after.
With all the new capabilities within the industry, Saas, IoT etc. we are likely to see the rise in the small/mid-size businesses looking for ERP systems. With the enhancements to cloud ERP, it has now got to an affordable level for all business sizes. Now of course, they have always had computer systems, but they have had to suffer with out of the box functionality and couldn’t pay for more developments. Now we are entering the time where these companies are no longer settling for less, as there becomes more options in the market for software vendors. Could this push out the ERP giants who currently have the market cornered? We don’t know, let’s see what the future holds.
To sum up, these are just 5 of the emerging trends of 2018. We haven’t spoken about how AI is likely to have an impact in 2018, another blog post on that topic coming soon. Some of these trends may be just experiments, but other trends may just become staples of the workplace and standard parts of ERP software in the future.