For decades, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) has helped people do their jobs more efficiently, by breaking down the barriers between business units, giving all departments access to the same, accurate information, which in turn speeds up processes and saves a company money. ERP is effectively essential for businesses of a certain size.
Despite being one of the oldest software applications in the business arena, ERP vendors, such as Oracle or SAP, are constantly evolving year on year to become more powerful, meet customer requirements and remain competitive. The industry is in an almost constant state of flux with the frequent releases of new technologies, which can be a double-edged sword, either requiring specialist knowledge for advice and implementation or investment to upgrade. Some of the impressive recent and upcoming changes and trends with ERP include:
- The Internet of Things (IoT)
As more devices and products connect online, there is an inevitable increase in the amount of data sources available. ERP systems are evolving to harness data from supply chain, appliance performance, and shipping partners to give businesses further insight and competitive edge. As more devices go online, ERP will embrace start to embrace IoT.
Traditionally, businesses would store ERP on their own servers and be responsible for maintenance or data recovery costs. Moving to the Cloud makes ERP software more affordable, as well as easier to implement and manage. It also allows real-time reporting and becomes a genuine business intelligence tool.
Remote access and mobile is changing how we work, replacing desktop or centralised information. ERP is changing to incorporate mobile platforms, giving remote employees full access to information, as well as engagement with HR and other departments.
One of the downsides of an evolving technology is the upgrade. Legacy systems or out of support systems often need to be replaced at cost, but cloud-based solutions are cheaper. As legislation changes in the majority of sectors, such as the recent GDPR ruling, more businesses are upgrading older systems to remain compliant and ensure security. This is often where expert consultants come in, and also where the case for hybrid ERP systems is strong. Companies can move to the cloud gradually, integrating new SaaS elements into their existing product, allowing them to address risk and compliance without fully migrating at vast expense.
If you are considering upgrading ERP solutions or need to hire an expert, talk to our Business Change & Transformation expert Nick Butler.