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5 Trends Shaping the Future of ERP

If you're looking to upgrade your ERP or haven't yet adopted one, here are five trends influencing the future of ERP that you should pay attention to.

June 27, 2023

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Do you have the right technology and tools to support your organization’s growth? As you scale your operations, customer base, and revenue, do you have a way to track everything going on in your company all at once? Do you have a resource that can give you important data-driven insights that can help improve your operations all-around? 

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems have come a long way from hardware-based systems of record keeping. Today’s ERPs have the ability to collect and analyze data from across your organization, provide opportunities for collaboration among workers, and deliver insights into operations from easy-to-navigate dashboards. As cloud-based systems with the flexibility to be used from anywhere, ERPs can help businesses scale in an increasingly remote work environment as well.  

If you’re looking to upgrade your ERP or haven’t yet adopted one, here are five trends influencing the future of ERP that you should pay attention to. 

Five Trends Influencing the Future of ERP 

ERP systems need to evolve to respond to the changing landscape of business, and to provide the tools, flexibility, and scale that can help businesses become more organized, efficient, and productive. These following industry trends will influence how ERP systems evolve to meet business needs in the future. 

1: Increase in cloud adoption 

Considering that 90% of organizations today use cloud capabilities for more flexibility, scalability, and security, cloud adoption is nothing new. For years, on-premise hardware limited organizations to finite storage space and physical assets that needed to be maintained. But today, cloud environments can be accessed from anywhere, and can scale at the rate of business. 

ERP solutions are leaving behind on-premise assets and limited hardware to expand into the cloud, too. By having a cloud-based ERP, organizations have the benefit of a system that can scale and that has the space to store massive amounts of organizational data your ERP can use to extract insights to improve operations. Having a cloud-based ERP also means that workers can access an ERP’s information and insights anywhere they happen to be, allowing for more flexibility on remote and global work. 

2: Increase in use of IoT devices

The rise in Internet of Things (IoT) usage is another trend that ERP systems can help businesses with, from data tracking to automation implementation. IoT devices are smart gauges, sensors, and other data trackers that can be deployed throughout plants, factories, and distribution fleets, and the number of IoT devices is expected to triple in the next ten years to more than 29 billion devices in 2030. These devices can collect massive amounts of data across physical assets that can help give insight into your operations and efficiency, from how much energy an asset uses, assembly speeds, downtime, and shipping information. 

Of course, all of this data is beneficial to better understand your operational efficiency and productivity. ERP systems already collect, synthesize, and analyze data from other sources across your business, and by integrating IoT devices as well, you’ll get a much more comprehensive picture of how your operations function. Take those insights generated by your IoT devices to better forecast maintenance schedules, improve downtime, and increase productivity. 

3: The need for greater data insights

Businesses generate a lot of data, but leaders who want to better understand their operations and how they work need to do something with that collected data. The rising use of business analytics and the benefits of data-driven decision-making show that data can tell the story of a business’s current operations. From those insights, leaders can see where they’re succeeding and where change is needed, and make improvements to machine efficiency, throughput, delivery time, materials usage, and more. 

Since ERP systems already collect a massive amount of data anyhow, in order to help organizations with gathering these insights, ERP systems have business intelligence and analytics tools built in. Analytics dashboards can visually represent the story data is telling about your business, and give you insights to help make more informed decisions about your operations. For example, in our recent report on the “Voice of the Essential Manufacturing Worker,” the biggest challenge facing factory workers today is the increasing cost of raw materials. By utilizing the operational insights an ERP can provide, you can find ways to reduce those costs, become more efficient with those raw materials, or find ways to reduce costs elsewhere and shift your budget. 

4: A focus on a better user experience

In today’s tech-forward world, we’ve all become adept at using screens as we navigate smartphones, smart TVs, self-service kiosks, and other user interfaces. In order to increase adoption and useability, modern ERP systems implement the type of design and functionality that its users — workers who already interact with smartphones, laptops, and other digital technology — are familiar with. An ERP that works like familiar mobile apps or social media sites will be easy to use, and will be something workers want to use. Higher and quicker adoption means faster time to value and better productivity because everyone is literally on the same page. ERPs can also provide methods for workers to build their own business applications that suit their needs, whether it be customizing an analytics dashboard or modeling out a workflow. 

5: The need for a more connected workforce

Finally, one of the biggest trends in industry today is how and where people work. Even small companies today may have their teams working remotely, and scaling may include operating multiple sites around the world. Organizations therefore need tools that can tie everyone together, and provide a place where teams can collaborate with one another. 

Because ERP systems house operational data and insights, they’re a great source for teams to use to learn more about their operations. But social tools built in to ERP systems can allow teams who may not be in the same location to interact with one another and collaboratively push business efforts forward. Organizations can even invite business partners and suppliers to be part of the interactions, creating a well-connected ecosystem. 

Helping Your Business Trend Upwards

Do you have the right technology and tools to support your organization’s growth? As you scale your operations, customer base, and revenue, turn to a modern ERP to help transform your organization, increase interconnectivity and collaboration across your business units, and make your operations as efficient as they can be.