With the ever-changing pace of innovation across the tech ecosystem, 2016 brought some expected as well as some unanticipated developments. We saw cloud reach its tipping point, consolidation in the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) space, and artificial intelligence enter into mainstream tech conversations.
Over the past few years, ERP has changed dramatically from the on-premises, legacy behemoth it was a few years ago.
The upcoming year and years beyond are poised to see some additional changes in ERP functionality and integrations. Here are the top five trends that we think you should watch during 2017.
1. Predictive Analytics Will Increase Competition
Toward the end of 2016, the buzz around predictive analytics grew in intensity, and with good reason. Predictive analytics allows organisations to tap into collected data and make educated decisions about how customers will behave to improve offerings and reduce waste.
2. Machine Learning and Cognitive Ability Integrations in ERP Will Continue to Grow
Machine learning has already proven to be an effective technology for organisations in all verticals. More and more organisations are demanding these capabilities. Also, as the Internet of Things continues to grow and expand other cognitive technologies such as artificial intelligence and natural language capabilities will continue to grow and become more important elements of ERP.
3. Security Will Continue to Be a Concern
Hacking and cyber crime is at the forefront of everyone’s mind during the beginning of this year because of national news coverage. But hacking and corporate espionage aren’t new trends, and they’re not going to disappear.
The number of threats is increasing, but more concerning is the sophistication with which those threats are executed. Cloud vendors will continue to fight cyber security, and some legislation may be introduced to address the issue, as well, but even with more tools and legislation, the problem will continue as long as criminals exist. Organisations need to invest in preventive, detective, and responsive controls, focusing more intently on detective controls that can find and mitigate the root of an attack.
4. Expanded public cloud tool sets
The emergence of cloud-based computing will continue to grow with pace. Various public network providers including AWS, Microsoft and HP are beefing up their internal tool sets to accommodate more complex, data-driven systems such as ERP platforms.
5. Rising ERP adoption among Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs)
In the past, small business access to ERP tenets and processes has been largely unobtainable due to various cost and operational complexities. Going forward, however more cloud-based systems providers are offering small business-specific ERPs as the global market continues to mature.
In all, 2017 should be an exciting year for seeing additional ERP capabilities brought on by ever-expanding cognitive capabilities.
Organisations will tap into these capabilities as the cost of base ERP prices fall, but those organisations will need to do some research before selecting an ERP application when upgrading or purchasing a new installation because additional costs accrued in add-on modules and customisations could negate those price reductions.
One thing is certain: 2017 will be an interesting year.