The pursuit of digital transformation has begun to elicit significant change in the enterprise resource planning (ERP) market—it has begun implementing new, innovative solutions to address the most pressing business needs. From cloud computing to mobile technology, several trends are influencing change in the ERP market.
Here are all the ERP trends that you should be following in 2020 and beyond:
1. Artificial intelligence (AI)
AI has been a major trend in ERP for several years, but it will only become more popular in 2020 and beyond. An increasing number of ERP users are shifting away from platforms that require them to install automation technology themselves and choosing systems that have AI capabilities built into them. As a result, most ERP solutions now include at least some AI functionalities.
The move toward AI in ERP comes at a crucial time for many organizations. In recent years, companies have begun to collect data in greater volumes than ever before. As both the volume and complexity of this data grows, these organizations must leverage new technologies to analyze the data and then use it to make critical business decisions. In 2020 AI-driven ERP will reach a new level by incorporating additional capabilities. This will minimize errors made when analyzing data and allow companies to boost their efficiency in crucial business areas.
2. Internet of things (IoT)
IoT—also known as direct machine integration—allows for the seamless connection of data across devices that typically do not have a connection to the Internet. By creating a network of physical devices, software, and other technologies, organizations can facilitate a better exchange of data. Combining IoT with their ERP platforms gives companies even more opportunities to completely transform their networks.
With IoT, organizations can unlock useful insights into their ERP systems. This technology can collect data about machine performance in real time, allowing businesses to keep a closer eye on their most valuable resources. IoT thus reduces the need for manual oversight of resources, mitigating the risk of unforeseen downtime and freeing up maintenance teams to focus on other tasks.
3. Increased personalization from ERP vendors
In 2019 ERP users began seeking out solutions that were more personalized to their industries. Traditional ERP systems take a one-size-fits-all approach that left many organizations scrambling to make modifications to their platforms. Starting in 2020, these standard ERP solutions will become less popular as more companies pursue specialized options that don’t require them to make coding changes on their own. Not only will this help them save time, but it will also reduce the amount of maintenance needed to keep their ERP systems up to date. Most importantly, they will have all the features they need to facilitate efficient ERP, no matter the requirements of their sector.
4. ERP goes mobile
In an increasingly mobile-centric world, ERP is starting to capitalize on the benefits of mobile technology. Fewer organizations require their employees to work in a traditional office environment, instead allowing them to connect to company resources using mobile devices. ERP solutions are evolving to provide on-the-go access to this data, thereby allowing workers to conduct both back-end and front-end business operations no matter where they may be. Mobile ERP also keeps disparate members of the workforce connected, further enhancing their productivity. ERP providers are already implementing mobile functionalities into their solutions—and these features will only become more commonplace moving forward.
5. Connection with social media
ERP and social media may seem like an unlikely pair, but 2020 will see new connections between these two platforms. Leveraging social media alongside ERP will allow companies to improve their digital marketing strategies. Many ERP platforms already feature marketing tools that allow companies to gather analytics about their consumers from social media platforms. As ERP vendors continue to improve their products, it will become easier for businesses to use these platforms to manage their digital marketing campaigns and even connect them to all of the most popular social media sites.
6. ERP in the cloud
Traditionally, companies have been reluctant to move their ERP systems into the cloud due to concerns about data storage. As cloud technology has matured, organizations have begun to abandon their legacy solutions and adopt cloud ERP strategies. Cloud-based ERP has become even more essential to small-to-medium businesses (SMBs), which typically can’t afford expensive in-house solutions of their own.
Increased interest in the cloud has led to the emergence of software as a service (SaaS) ERP. These solutions are rectifying many of the problems surrounding onsite ERP (e.g., little room for innovation, high cost, and lack of flexibility) and influencing even more companies to pursue cloud adoption. The upcoming months will see cloud-based ERP offerings evolve even further as organizations seek diversified ERP features.
7. Layered ERP systems
In the early days of ERP, organizations leveraged only one ERP system to maintain their back-of-house operations at all of their locations. Unfortunately, these systems often proved insufficient for these companies’ needs—a costly mistake that caused many of them to go under.
Today’s ERP platforms are looking to rectify these mistakes by utilizing a two-tier system. Companies with subsidiaries or multiple locations are using this layered approach to streamline ERP across the entire organization. The first tier in this setup consists of the “legacy application,” which integrates with systems at the corporate level. The second tier caters to the needs of subsidiaries by allowing them to customize their ERP solutions to their unique needs. The second tier remains connected to the tier one platform, which keeps the entire system integrated.