Every single company out there needs data for improved decision making. This actually means that organizations must handle increasing volumes of information if they want to boost their business results. The massive volumes of data most enterprises need to collect in order to achieve their goals have lead to a phenomenon known as Big Data.
Big Data affects all of us. How? Well, considering that we’re producing more than 48 hours of new videos, 100,000 new tweets, and 200 million new email messages every minute, we’ve already exceeded our data storage and processing capacities. In a nutshell, storing and processing every piece of information is impossible, no matter how much computing power an organization has. An enterprise trying to handle too much data will encounter a series of issues, ranging from meaningless to misleading connections between different data points, which will lead to inaccuracies and poor business decisions.
How Will Big Data Impact the Future of ERP?
The main issues with Big Data isn’t only that the volume of structured data collected via ERP systems continues to grow, but also that more and more organizations must manage an onslaught of unstructured information from various sources, including machine-to-machine communication systems and social media sites.
Some factors affecting Big Data phenomenon and the future of ERP, implicitly, are social media, mobility, and sensor networks. Today, many companies are using social media websites to engage with their customers directly. While this allows organizations understand what their customers really want, most of them are unable to handle data effectively. As a result, tailoring products and services to exact customer preferences isn’t going to happen too soon.
On the other side, people are increasingly using their mobile devices for a series of activities, ranging from chatting with friends and shopping online to completing work tasks. But even the most insignificant things we do online turn into critical information for the companies that collect data to better understand online customer behavior, eventually exceeding their ERP systems’ data storage and processing capacities.
Another point that needs to be addressed is that most enterprises are currently using sensor networks to get semi-structured data, which provides insight into specific business processes, such as production, inventory, and supply chain management, allowing leaders make better business decisions.
Considering the aforementioned aspects, you can easily understand that Big Data is actually about developing new technologies to allow companies to effectively collect, process, and analyze massive volumes of structured and unstructured information.
Although the Big Data phenomenon hasn’t modified the way companies use their ERP systems yet, that’s going to change if the demand for tapping into large amounts of information will continue to grow. Traditionally, data collection and processing activities have been defined around ERP systems. Now, companies must find new ways to process the information they get. This will definitely impact the future of ERP, requiring IT specialists to transform the ERP systems they’ve developed from some basic business tools into business intelligence (BI) software solutions. One company that has already done that is Microsoft. Dynamics NAV, one of the best ERP solutions available nowadays, has recently been complemented with BI technologies to enhance its data processing capabilities.
It’s very important for your organization to view its Big Data project as a complex business endeavor, and not as a simple IT task. This will allow you to get all business and IT leaders involved in your project, which could help you accurately outline key business-specific metrics and performance indicators, make the best possible decisions regarding your Big Data project, and choose the right ERP system for your organization.
If the best Big Data decisions are made and the most appropriate ERP system is selected, your company will be able to focus on specific data points that impact its business processes directly. This will lead to better outcomes.
Big Data is going to change the future of ERP, affecting the way companies will shape their future. Fortunately, most business leaders are already aware of the fact that getting the right information instead of any type of data is a critical success factor in business. This can only be done by choosing the most appropriate Big Data technologies for your organization.