For the past several years, we’ve seen a shift in the way traditional companies use enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications to break down department silos and barriers. Companies are now using ERP to remove barriers between the company and its customers to better understand customer trends, product requirements and to provide tools to help customers innovate. Following are the top trends in the ERP industry in 2017.
Big Data is helping companies adapt
Big Data enables companies to analyze extremely large data sets to reveal patterns, trends, and associations. Previously, executives would rely on financial analysts or sales operations to generate reports at the macro level. Big Data provides these same executives with greater visibility into smaller and more subtle changes in their business. Small changes in data sets help companies to find new market opportunities, revenue trends, or customer requirements for new product applications. ERP vendors understand that to remain competitive, they need to provide Big Data to help their customers adapt.
Artificial Intelligence performs human tasks
Artificial Intelligence enables enterprise resource applications to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence to solve intensely complex problems. Imagine a use case where a sales representative speaks into a mobile phone requesting an ERP to generate an invoice for recently purchased products. The system sends an invoice, but also sends a purchase order to procurement for approval to replenish low stock levels. Artificial intelligence in this scenario would reduce the effort and expenses associated with manually processing invoices and purchase orders, and ensure that the appropriate levels of stock are on hand at any point in time. Artificial intelligence may prove to be the most disruptive technology in human history.
Greater Contextual Meaning
Contextual Meaning is the process of providing clarity to a situation and visibility into appropriate information at the appropriate time. When contextual meaning is provided and delivered on demand on any device, it enables the end user to make better decisions. Greater contextual meaning supplements the work of artificial intelligence. Imagine a use case where a sales representative automatically receives all past invoices, inventory transactions, payment terms, and prior customer history on a mobile device as soon as s/he receives a quote request from a customer. This information, when used together, will allow this sales representative to better serve customer requirements and drive more revenue for the company.
Monetizing the Internet of Things
The Internet of Things is a transformation in which everyday objects have network connectivity, allowing them to send and receive data. With an estimated 50 billion IoT Sensors by 2020 and more than 200 billion “things” by 2030, companies specializing in the Internet of Things will soon become one of the largest sectors in our economy. Not only will we face challenges integrating and analyzing all this data into our lives, but monetizing the sensors and applications will be a struggle for many of these companies. ERP vendors that have flexible inventory management will enable their customers to develop and monetize new revenue streams.
The faster a company can go from ideation to market adoption, the better it can disrupt markets and business models. For ERP vendors, this translates to simple and clean applications that support end users and quick and easy implementations. End users want an interface that provides for fast and accurate data entry either in the office or via mobile applications. These companies also want quick ERP product configurations that result in inexpensive setup fees as opposed to lengthy, costly implementations.