According to Gartner, ERP acquisitions will continue to rise in 2015. In fact, it seems that enterprise software, especially cloud deployment models, will become an engine of growth for the Information Technology sector.
The ERP market is more dynamic than ever before, with an increasing number of Tier 2 solution providers competing for supremacy. Additionally, the need for simpler interfaces, complex functionality, and more ERP options for SMBs will further employ a series of new concepts, such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, BYOD, BYOC, and BYOA, along with exciting advancements in SaaS, mobility, and Business Intelligence (BI). Needless to say, all these will ineluctably affect the future of ERP.
Top Seven ERP Predictions to Watch for in 2015
Below are the top seven ERP predictions for 2015, based on what experts are seeing right now.
- SaaS versus on-premise solutions: Although ERP trends have swung back and forth between SaaS and on-premise deployment models for years, both will continue to exist and affect the future of ERP to some extent. That’s because many organizations are still adopting both solutions, some preferring on-premise ERP to SaaS and cloud computing options, especially due to security concerns.
- ERP module versatility: Businesspeople are aware of the fact that modern ERP software goes far beyond enterprise resource planning. While there has been a dramatic increase in applications designed to extend core ERP functionality, industry watchers are seeing a new trend toward standalone inventory, financial, and customer relationship management modules, which companies can use separately or include in complex ERP solutions. Developers are now expected to extend the functionality of these modules to focus even more on inventory, finance, and customer relationship.
- Best-of-breed (BoB) versus Best-of-Suite (BoS): Not too long ago, we witnessed the decline of BoB ERP solutions; but now, they’re returning to the “scene.” As BoB solutions support a higher level of integration with existing infrastructure, they can offer specialized functions in areas where BoS applications, provided as standalone ERP suites, fall short. As a result, organizations will have a lot more options to choose from, which is tremendously useful when a complex set of capabilities is needed. Increased BoB adoption will require better integration between new software solutions and existing functionality, which will turn software architecture into an important prerequisite to ERP success.
- Mobile and BI product development: Whether catering to small or large enterprises, developers will add more mobile and BI features to their products. Though mobile and BI functionality won’t necessarily help companies achieve superior results, developers and vendors must keep up with market demands. Because specific ERP features, such as reporting tools and dashboards, work well ported to mobile devices, developers will probably focus on these two areas, which will divert once again the course of ERP.
- Social integration: Recent trends, such as IoT, BYOD, and BYOC, have predicted the “big ERP shift” we’re witnessing today. Conceptually, this means that developers are considering the integration of ERP software with social networking for better collaboration and utilization of resources. With more millennials entering the workforce, ERP systems will have to deliver a more user-friendly look and feel, which will irreversibly impact the future of ERP. But it will also solve most of our concerns regarding user adoption of ERP software, eliminating some of the obstacles that hinder progress, such as resistance to change.
- Workflow management automation: ERP systems can be configured to automate a series of processes. Since this allows companies to use information more intelligently, with less human input, workflow management automation will become one of the ERP “motivators” in 2015.
- ERP implementation failure: ERP products broaden and evolve continuously, which creates new issues with the implementation of ERP projects. Each year brings about new reported failures, especially due to the excessive complexity of new system versions. Unfortunately, implementation failure, considered a “characteristic” of ERP, has turned ERP implementation success into a rare, sequential event.
Given how quickly ERP software is maturing, more context-rich ERP solutions combined with advanced analytics being developed each year, 2015 will probably be a good year for the enterprise sector. This will favorably impact the future of ERP.
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