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ERP Trends to Watch in 2018

2018 is likely to be a year of consolidation in Australia as businesses look for ways to continue improving speed, efficiency, and cost effectiveness across their operations. Digital transformation will become the new normal for businesses across many industries in line with local analyst reports from Gartner and IDC.

Business leaders are looking for more than just an accurate and overarching view of their organization, but the ability to see the right information at the right time and in the right place. That goes beyond traditional dashboards and business intelligence tools to include innovative devices that provide alerts and pre-emptive information to help individual operators make faster decisions.

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) tools play a key role in this quest for more and better insight. There has been a lot of discussion around the consumerization of enterprise IT, which is partly due to the high numbers of millennials in the workforce who expect their business systems to work as simply and seamlessly as the apps they use in their daily lives. As these millennials start moving into management and senior decision-making roles, this demand for app-like business systems will only increase. This will shape the ERP space over the next few years. The increased focus on privacy will affect all businesses, especially as we continue to move towards digital processes. Government regulations such as the upcoming mandatory data breach notification will put pressure on businesses, especially those that don't have up to date security systems. 

This will become even more complex as organizations choose cloud as a preferred delivery model for business applications. Consequently, we will see new ways of ERP systems being delivered with far greater efficiency.

Many ERP users are still locked into legacy solutions because of the vast amounts of customization that was required to make the system match the organization's workflows. Having customized systems make it difficult for you to move off those older systems and onto more modern platforms to take advantage of new technology and automation. However, there are significant advantages to making the leap to new systems because they can help your business realise cost-savings and massive efficiency gains. Furthermore, newer, purpose-built ERP systems overcome the need for excessive customization, so your business isn't locked into a solution.

Automation is a key efficiency driver in newer ERP systems. Leveraging the power of the Internet of Things (IoT), your business can eliminate manual processes and achieve more effective operations. Businesses can save thousands of dollars per interaction by automating processes.

Businesses should modernise their ERP systems now and choose providers that specialise in their industry to avoid the extra costs and complexity in having to heavily customise the solution.

In Australia, 2018 will be a year of consolidation and maturation as businesses begin to understand what digital transformation means for them and how they plan to achieve it. As your business continues to chase growth, technology can be a key enabler of that growth. Software systems that scale and are easy to use so people can get up and running fast, will be in hot demand.

Posted by Greg O’Loan, Regional Vice President, Epicor ANZ


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