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Ken Jacobsen, The TM Group Inc.

2015 ERP Trends that Panned Out


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As ERP solutions become more popular, industry experts rush to predict how the technology will continue to transform the business landscape. Reports published at the end of 2014 made projections that came to fruition over the following months. Here are a few predictions about ERP trends in 2015 that performed as expected:

The rise of IoT
At the 2014 Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, Gartner shared its predictions for the top trends of ERP solutions in 2015, according to Cloud Computing Tools. The major themes revolved around the idea that information would soon be everywhere and everything could connect to the Internet. ERP technology has to collect data streaming in from the Internet of Things, which includes wearable technology and intelligent production processes.

Wearable technology keeps cropping up in the recent news. Enterprise Apps Today reported enterprise software is available on smartwatches. Business professionals can access ERP services using a wearable device, and companies are exploring how convenient ERP utilization will change their practices.

Manufacturing plants install sensors and other connected devices to monitor processes and ensure product quality. Production lines are more intelligent than ever before, which means they need vast amounts of data to operate.

3-D Printing changes manufacturing
Intelligent manufacturing machines can create products using very detailed schematics and new scientific achievements. Gartner also predicted more companies would utilize 3-D printing in their production practices. The process of 3-D printing - also known as layered manufacturing - creates exact replicas of items based on data loaded into the equipment. Companies can scan objects and produce precise physical copies or create their own designs.

Layered manufacturing is not as fast as traditional assembly lines, and it costs a bit more. Industry experts, however, predict more industries will adopt 3-D printing technology as the science improves. In August 2015, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first 3-D-printed pharmaceutical product. The product's designer said layered manufacturing helped create a better performing pill. Many medical fields use 3-D printing to create items for optimal functionality and to improve outcomes with individual patients.

More businesses turn to better data solutions as manufacturing becomes smarter and the need for specialized products increases. An ERP software solution helps companies integrate the details behind product creation with customer demands. Managers need complete visibility of modern production lines to ensure every product meets the standards consumers expect from informed processes.

Everybody's moving to the cloud
The need to connect manufacturing equipment and wearable technology to a singular customer system encourages businesses to explore cloud computing options. A 2014 Pricewaterhousecooper report suggested ERP cloud-deployed investments will steadily rise, while on-site software service should become less popular.

New licenses favor software-as-a-service options over traditional ERP solutions. One of the recent trends fueling cloud adoption is a hybrid implementation strategy. Companies don't want to throw out old systems and start over with a cloud-deployed service. Instead, modern businesses seem to favor hybrid cloud solutions. Organizations prefer to search for an ERP consultant that can provide cloud-deployed functionality that integrates with legacy systems.

Some companies use hybrid cloud solutions to test a change in process. They move select datasets to the cloud to see if the service offers the flexibility and convenience they predicted. Hybrid cloud options allow companies to explore functionality without making huge investments. As cloud-deployed ERP solutions prove easier to adopt, more businesses should become interested.

Small-business adoption
Enterprise software is not just a tool for major industries. ERP solutions have a wide range of applications, so more organizations adopt the services to streamline their business operations and improve their data processes. Most industry experts believe a growing number of small businesses will turn to ERP implementation in the coming years.

Early in 2015, ERP providers focused on small businesses as a target market. V3, a technology information site, detailed how Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2015 is a perfect solution for companies with limited resources that want to incorporate ERP services into daily procedures. Many of the new features and capabilities were created using feedback from small-business users.

Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2015 offers a simple to use interface, mobile functionality and integration with the cloud-deployed Office 365 productivity suite. Business owners can design the software to display critical data associated with manufacturing, the supply chain and accounting. It provides the data performance companies need to stay competitive in the modern market.

by The TM Group

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