Five Important ERP Trends that will Lead in 2016
As the fall rolls in, the time for reflecting on trends for the year following is here. 2015 was an eventful year for ERP with a few key players launching new versions and 2016 looks like it will be just as action-packed with several predictions coming to pass. Here is a quick look at the things we think will lead the way for ERP in 2016.
1. Mobile for president!
With mobile use outstripping PC use in 2014 and predictions of a smartphone being the only kind of computing device you need by 2016, it’s inevitable that ERP extend its usefulness to mobile. More professionals today, in small and large enterprises, get and enter information for work through a mobile device. This has led more ERP players to jump on the mobile bandwagon, launching apps, making things small screen appropriate and creating mobile friendly UIs. Since so many of ERP’s core features, like dashboards and reporting, do well on mobile, enterprises want to make them easily available to people. ERP providers have mobile-friendliness as the rule rather than the exception.
2. We’re up in the cloud
A recent Garter study says that by 2018, at least 30 percent of service-centric companies will move the majority of their ERP applications to the cloud. With the high upfront costs of ERP being a deterrent for many, SaaS and cloud-based models that can achieve similar goals came to the fore. Even the big players have been made to sit up and take notice, crafting variations of their product that is suitable. While on-site ERP is unlikely to go anywhere for a while (especially given the figure above, large as it is, is still a minority) hybrids and more cloud options are emerging. This prediction has been floating around for a year or more, but 2016 will see ERP solutions offering more sophisticated deconstructed suites that largely run on the cloud to keep pace with market demand.
3. IoT, data, security and other wisdom
2015 brought with it headline-making security breaches of data for some businesses, raising many questions. More organizations will put into place security audits and risk management plans for ERP, as the world becomes more connected. Further, as the Internet of Things proceeds to become a reality, more data is becoming available from things like electronics, vehicles, and wearables, which is where ERP comes in. Analysis and actionable insights that can be gleaned from all this big data need tools that an ERP solution can provide.
4. UI/UX + Social + ease of use = ERP wins
ERP design of user interfaces and experience has come a long way. Today it’s heading towards minimal, intuitive design that is built around the user’s approach to the software, and that is the path it will stay on. With the coming of mobile, the user experience will need to be catered to multiple devices, smaller screen sizes, and touch screens. Vendors are also cleaning up their products, making them easier to implement upfront, reducing costs and time. Easily customized or ‘verticalized solutions’, which are available out-of-box, help the cost-cutting cause.
Further, there is an ‘ERP goes social’ trend on the rise. While the jury is out on its true benefits, there is no denying that in theory there is a lot to be gained from the customer engagement that will come from integration with social media. Social media data on customers will facilitate understanding of behaviours and preferences that will lead to product improvement and development.
5. Not just for the big guys anymore
With vendors offering greater customization than ever before, ERP is no longer just for the large enterprise. More cloud-based options suggest the cost conscious can consider ERP at an earlier stage than has ever been possible. This means even small start-ups can consider options other than spreadsheets for their operations, allowing them to take into account future business growth. With the promise of mobility with so many of the features, more small enterprises are hopping on board.
Do you agree, disagree or have any predictions to add to this list? We’d love to hear from you.