These days, technology is growing at an astounding rate. Less than a decade ago, cellphones became widely popular – and now cellphones are thinner and lighter than ever and do much more than just make phone calls. ERP is no exception to the technology boom. In fact, ERP software is a complex application that grows with a company and continues to evolve as computer systems and business processes become more and more advanced.
We don’t own an ERP crystal ball, but the experts agree that ERP will continue to change as the companies that use it change. So what can we expect to see from ERP next year? Here are a few thoughts from Eric Kimberling at the ERP 360 blog.
1. More focus on diagnostics, analytics and business intelligence. During the recession, companies had to be extra careful to avoid any missteps or errors that could lead to costly ERP failure. Even as the economy recovers – however slowly – companies will likely continue to rely on their ERP systems to help provide operational data and make better and more informed decisions. Some of the applications of this data – diagnostics and analytics, for example – will only become more popular as businesses struggle to stay as lean as they were in the recession years.
2. CRM software will continue to grow in popularity. Any good business owner already knows that good customer relationship management is the key to finding and maintaining an edge on the competition. CRM inspires customer loyalty, positive recommendations and a good reputation associated with your brand name – all of which go into creating a successful corporation. Since slim margins in the wake of the recession prohibit many companies from hiring tons of new customer service staff, CRM is the simplest and most cost effective way to improve customer service without breaking the bank.
3. Cautious adoption and careful risk management. Companies are still wary, even more than two years after the financial crisis, and they aren’t going to invest a lot of money in an ERP system that they haven’t researched. In 2011, companies will go to great lengths to make sure that their ERP, CRM and BI investments will pay off by speaking with vendors, exchanging information with fellow businesses and carefully researching the ways to better their chances of ERP success.
4. Dedication to change management. Just a few years ago, many business executives thought of organizational change management as an optional add-on to ERP implementation. However, more and more are coming around to realize that change management is actually crucial if companies expect to have a workforce that’s ready to work with the system at the go-live. Since businesses don’t feel like taking many risks after the economic crisis, change management will be a major part of ERP implementation in the coming year.
There are many other ways that ERP may continue to evolve in the near future, but the data indicates that cautious businesses, fearful of being burned again by another economic collapse, won’t be investing in any major software until they can be sure of the benefits they’ll realize. Luckily, the benefits of ERP software are well-documented: increased efficiency, higher profits, better workflow, improved communication and happier employees, to name just a few.
What other trends do you see in store for ERP software? Share in the comments below!