Enterprise Resource Planning systems allow companies to realize their maximum potential. They help with all business functions from finance and sales to marketing and customer support. They destroy information silos that enable companies to function as a cohesive force. But the problem with legacy ERP systems is that they rely on spreadsheets, store business-critical information in silos, and have various security issues. But the current market trends show that ERP systems are undergoing rapid transformation, and 2021 will see the emergence of new upgrades and integrations.
1. Cloud-enabled ERP systems
Cloud-enabled ERP systems are not new in the market. They have been there for quite some time. But businesses, especially small scale ones, are implementing it rapidly. Earlier, companies implemented on-premise ERP solutions that were expensive and required a highly skilled IT staff to operate. But with the emergence of cloud-enabled ERP systems, the implementation cost has come down, and anyone can conveniently use the ERP system. Also, new ERP upgrades can be installed 24/7. Companies are now opting for a hybrid model — a combination of on-cloud and on-premise ERP systems — that cover each other’s weaknesses. Accenture reports that 51% of CIOs use cloud ERP, 35% prefer on-premise ERP, and 10% use hybrid models.
2. AI and other hi-tech integrations
With the surge of data, it has become essential to have tools that gather, analyze, and provide actionable insights. The digital world is full of unstructured data, and companies need a tool/technique to extract useful data. This is where AI-integrated ERP systems come into play. They auto-populate information, observe changing market trends, keep an eye on the competitors, and reduce information loading time. It helps your employees as it provides them more time to focus on issues that require human ingenuity.
Intelligent ERP systems combine historical information with current data that helps the senior management to frame better strategies. Overall, when ERP systems are integrated with advanced technologies, it improves business productivity, maximizes revenues, cuts expenditures, and makes processes efficient. Reports suggest that new technologies such as Robotic Process Automation (RPA) will grow about 12.7 times by 2021.
3. ERP systems will become more mobile
A few years back, salespeople could add or update customer-centric information only after reaching their offices. But when ERP systems became mobile, they could do so from the customer’s place itself. There was no need to jot down notes and carry bulky diaries. Today, salespeople can work from outside their offices and during non-office hours because of mobile ERPs. Mobile ERP applications can be accessed from mobile phones, tabs, or any other electronic device.
Mobile ERPs also help employees to communicate with their team leaders and managers easily. They can ask for essential resources at any time and from any place. Another advantage of mobile ERP is in the inventory department. Whenever the quantity of raw materials goes below a certain threshold, the information can be shared with the concerned authorities in real-time, and appropriate measures can be taken to lessen the negative impact. Research by the Aberdeen group tells us that companies that implemented mobile ERP systems saw a 40% increase in their operational efficiency.
4. ERP systems will have a robust data analytics feature.
ERP systems are excellent in collecting unstructured data, but they aren’t outstanding when analyzing and extracting business insights from market trends. As powerful analytics becomes an essential part of ERP systems, companies will gain the ability to draw actionable insights. The data visualization capabilities and access to business-centric information in real-time will allow organizations to make decisions related to finance, manufacturing, and marketing without much effort. It will also enable them to draw useful insights from customer feedback and make necessary product changes. Data analytics will allow managers to understand the market swings and devise an effective strategy. According to The Hackett Group, companies that use automated reporting require 49% fewer reports and save 20%-40% of their closing time.
The Enterprise Resource Planning software has made it easy to do business. It has broken information silos so all departments can work as a united force. Authorized personnel can add, update, and access business-critical information from anywhere and at any time. Frontline executives can contact their managers from any place and demand the required data. The CRM (Customer Relationship Management ) module of the ERP system allows companies to interact with customers in real-time, solve their queries instantly, and understand their needs, wants, and aspirations. In 2021 and beyond, ERP adoption will only rise. Companies prefer on-Cloud solutions that are mobile, agile, have powerful data-analytics features, and can be integrated with other hi-tech solutions.
What are the ERP trends to look out for in 2021?
ERP systems have never been more critical than they are now. And the massive adoption rate signifies that the trend is only going to increase in 2021 and beyond. Some of the essential things to look out for will be:
a. Cloud-enabled ERP systems
b. IoT-enabled ERP systems
c. Personalized ERP solutions
d. Digital marketing solutions for ERP systems
e. 3D printing support