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It is impressive to observe the evolution and transformation of ERP from a technologically complex and expensive platform to a system using next generation cloud technology. Looking towards the next 10 years, it would be interesting to make some predictions on the future of ERP.
SaaS and ERP
Traditional ERP applications are stored in business servers, which means that the business is responsible not only for the initial investment cost, but for the hardware maintenance and expansion as well. SaaS-based apps are stored in cloud servers, thus occupying less valuable space and, at the same time, offering cost reduction, faster upgrades and expandability. This difference can lead to significant savings in TCO terms.
In other industries, including CRM and HR, SaaS has become the default model for new implementations. When it comes to ERP systems, the transition to SaaS is expected to accelerate in the next 3 years, making it the preferred method for many industries or types of businesses, especially SMBs.
Consumerization of ERP
Considering that younger generations are entering the job market, ERP will have to move towards the consumer logic in order to meet this need (using social media and so on). Those businesses that haven’t managed to keep up with this trend, will feel significant pressure to move towards user-friendly intuitive solutions, which ultimately simulate consumer technologies.
Mobility is becoming mainstream
While many researches point out the increasing adoption of SaaS and Cloud systems, which are expected to dominate in the next years, it is mobility that will be the modern technological reality until 2020. A large portion of employees in a variety of positions will be using mobile devices – just as often as they’re using their desktop systems, or even more – to access enterprise data. Part of this trend is due to the fact that more and more employees are using mobile devices in their personal life and will continue to do so even in the case of ERP, if given the chance. Another important reason is the new trend for the modern workforce: As part-time is becoming the preferred type of employment, mobile employees will mandate the presence of mobile ERP solutions.
BI and data
This trend is already evolving, but BI specifically will continue its upward trajectory in the next years. Considering the huge volume of strategic data that flows in from ERP solutions, businesses will start focusing more and more on understanding this data and transforming it into a strategic advantage.
Then again, simple reporting is not enough. Businesses will demand even more effective ways to take advantage of this information. Already, providers are heavily investing in BI, so we can expect developments in the future.