As the rate of technology continues to advance, we can expect even more change in 2014 across the ERP landscape. So what will the New Year bring? Will ERP in the cloud continue to gain ground? Will 2014 be the year that social ERP catches on? What about mobile ERP? Here’s our take on what we at
1. Cloud ERP Continues to Gain Ground
With executives satisfied that they can get a return on investment for low-level apps in the cloud, 2014 is going to be the year when enterprise mission-critical apps will take charge including ERP. The cloud has been advancing steadily into the enterprise for some time and those companies that were once reluctant to move to the cloud have gradually been shifting as the advantages of it are becoming more and more apparent.
According to a recent report called “ERP – The Cuckoo in the Cloud Land”, more businesses are moving to the cloud for a number of reasons including lower cost of ownership, increased agility, improved productivity and less dependence on internal IT staff. The report also states that 2014 will be the year of the ERP cloud. According to survey respondents, 14% have fully migrated an ERP system to the cloud, with the majority (31%) saying they will migrate to the cloud in the next 12 months. And 27% said they’d be in the cloud by the end of 2015.
2. Mobile ERP
Mobility continues to be a big trend as everyone wants real-time access regardless of where they are. Gone are the days of accessing ERP systems from a single computer – now employees use phones and tablets just as much if not more. ERP vendors like Microsoft are providing secure ways for employees to access business information and decision-making tools no matter where they are. In 2014 we see that more and more businesses will quickly embrace mobile ERP, not just for reports and dashboards, but for conducting key business activities. The ability to access ERP systems remotely boosts productivity, enables instant data input, and improves communication.
3. Social ERP
Social media will also have an effect on ERP systems over the coming year and we are seeing many companies integrate their ERP applications with their internal social networking sites or other intranet sites. Thanks to the increasing pervasiveness of social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, we’ll see more and more ERP systems include a social element in how employees interact within the overall system. Social ERP would allow you to share customer data throughout the supply chain, and have real-time access and communication with your customers and suppliers. The main objective is to collaborate and having the ability to link ERP systems to social media can give employees a much richer understanding of the end-customer, making customer interaction more personal. The use of social tools within ERP also increases the degree of collaboration internally, which in turn can help improve the quality of information captured about customers.
4. Integration and Customization
Among all these upcoming trends will be the continued need for integration and even more so – customization. Extending solutions and providing more custom enhancement to the way that companies do business, track customers, interact with data and manage their systems, will be vital. Gone are the days of siloed information. All credible cloud solutions have a rich API based on web services that allow rapid development of solid integrations with any and all possible related applications. Better integration and more/better APIs will help avoid a new generation of silos under the cloud.
ERP will continue to be highly relevant in 2014 but as the space evolves, it may be difficult to keep up with current trends and the right opportunities for your business.
Where do you think ERP is heading? Share your own predictions on ERP trends with us below.
By Roger Borek, Borek Business Solutions, an Oregon-based Microsoft Dynamics GP Partner