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  • The Future of ERP System for Businesses: Expert Predictions for 2019

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    ERP System Expert Predictions for 2019

     

    It has been an established fact nowadays that an ERP system is an integral part of manufacturing businesses. Going for an ERP implementation is a major financial decision, with the company shelling out a huge amount from its pocket. However, time and again ERP software has proved that the amount spent on their implementation is an investment, and they are worth every single penny of it. And why not, after all an ERP software integrates the different areas of a process manufacturing business such as manufacturing, supply chain, inventory, procurement, accounting, R&D, traceability, planning, formulation, Quality Control (QC), regulatory compliance, warehousing etc., into a single system, and facilitates flow of real-time information across them. This eventually helps businesses make data-driven, proactive, and accurate business decisions.

     

    Over the years, ERP software has evolved to adapt to the ever-changing needs of the businesses, markets, and the end consumers. Keeping pace with the times, ERP systems have incorporated latest technological innovations & trends such as Cloud computing, Mobility, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning, Big Data, and Blockchain. This has completely changed the face of ERP solutions. Talking about the current times, the ERP systems continue to evolve with new features, functionality, and technologies, and force the companies to revisit their ERP strategies. With the brand new year 2019 ahead of us, let us take a look at some of the top expert predictions and ERP trends that are likely to dominate the ERP landscape through the year and beyond.

     

    1) Demand for traditional ERP systems to go down:

    Cloud ERP software adoption has gained prominence in recent years, and that has had an impact on the status of on-premise systems. The experts have even made bold predictions, saying the highly-customized on-premise ERP systems will stop meeting the needs of businesses and consequently be relegated to legacy status soon. However, on-premise ERP systems will not go out-of-fashion in the near future, as there are still enough businesses who want to have absolute control of their IT infrastructure in their own hands rather than having it in the cloud. But just like last few years, the demand for traditional ERP systems will continue to slide downhill in 2019.

     

     2) Cloud ERP to become mainstream:

    We had earlier predicted that the Cloud ERP software will reach a tipping point of adoption in 2018, with more and more vendors and the entire ERP ecosystem focusing largely on Cloud technology. Now, in 2019, Cloud ERP solutions will become mainstream by gaining wider acceptance across industries. A host of financial as well as other advantages such as little or no up-front software licensing fees, no need to buy, install and support hardware, faster implementation, and ease-of-use with outsourced IT support have made Cloud-based ERP solutions an attractive and preferred choice in recent years. 2019 is going to be no different.

     

    3) Vendors to offer more personalized solutions:

    In the past few years, more and more businesses have shown an inclination towards ERP solutions that are tailored specifically to their industry. This approach of going for micro-verticalized solutions has helped the businesses avoid customization. Following this ERP trend, the vendors too have focused on offering personalized solutions of late. This is likely to continue in 2019, with more number of vendors offering customized solutions that need little or no modifications, and support needs without altering code.

     

     4) More companies to adopt digital transformation initiatives:

    In the past couple of years, more and more businesses have adopted digital transformation initiatives, and this hasn’t just been about going for intelligent ERP systems loaded with capabilities like IoT, machine learning, AI, and advanced analytics, among others. But it has been about the organizations in general, with businesses involving all their aspects including people and processes in the digital transformation initiatives, and with the ERP system at the core of it. This has resulted in enhanced business processes and more efficient use of resources. In 2019 too the ERP systems will be looked upon as the foundation for digital transformation, as equipped with new technologies, these systems will continue to support new processes, business models and ways of doing work.

     

     5) Mobile ERPs will be the in-thing:

    ERP vendors and manufacturers are increasingly accepting the fact that the future of businesses won’t be restricted to the confines of the office cubicles, and thus opening up to the idea of letting their employees operate from remote places that offer comfort and convenience, using mobile ERP solutions. Hence, in 2019, we will witness vendors focusing on making their ERP offerings more mobile compatible and having more mobile-friendly features. The focus will also be on ensuring the ERP solutions are specifically designed to address complexities that come with mobilizing data, so that the employees have access to critical data in real-time from anywhere, thus facilitating accurate decision making.

     

     6) Enhanced security:

    With the businesses increasingly having large data at their disposal, and the cybersecurity threats being at an all-time high, there has been a strong need to address the security concerns surrounding the business data and ERP implementations. In 2019, we will see the ERP vendors make greater efforts to ease these security concerns by having tighter access restrictions, advanced encryption systems, and other functionalities in their offerings to ensure full data protection. Businesses too shall get more aware of the perils of the data security breaches, and thus on their part, will indulge in adopting security audits and security management procedures to ensure data security.

     

    7) ERP at the manufacturing shop floor:

    With the competition getting intense, the manufacturing businesses need the ability to connect their shop floor with the top floor. In 2019, more and more process manufacturing businesses will look to have this ability by their side, by integrating their ERP software with the overall manufacturing process. This will give their managers at the shop floor real-time access to the production data, and allow them to conduct inspections, manage the machine and equipment, handle scheduling process more efficiently, and consequently pass on the critical business data to the management at the top floor.

     

     8) More flexibility in ERP solutions:

    Businesses are changing rapidly with the changing times. They are venturing into the new markets, seeking new opportunities of growth, launching new products, diversifying their business interests, et al. This often requires adopting a new business model, which in turn needs innovative and out-of-the-box approaches to manage all its aspects. This is where the need for a flexible ERP solution - which enables rapid configuration of new business processes to support innovation - is felt, as the rigid & inflexible legacy systems often fail to do the job. The flexible ERP systems also handle different languages, currencies and accounting standards, and also manage multi-location businesses. In 2019, more and more businesses will be looking to adopt flexible ERP systems.

     

    9) Two-tier ERP approach to gain popularity:

    Many large businesses are already opening up to the idea of having a two-tier ERP approach, wherein the tier 1 of ERP is used to manage the financials as well as other core processes at the corporate level, while the tier 2 ERP is largely used for business’ other divisions, and subsidiaries operating at smaller locations away from the headquarters, to address their specific business needs. This approach helps businesses save money, as the tier 2 ERP systems are usually less expensive. Also, another advantage of this approach is that the subdivisions of the business enjoy greater control, autonomy, flexibility, and agility in meeting the unique, local needs.  2019 is going to be no different in this regard, with the two-tier ERP approach gaining more acceptance across industries.

     

    10) Focus on data and Business Intelligence:

    We spoke earlier about the large data businesses have at their disposal these days. Bulk of this data is being captured through the ERP software, and businesses are increasingly looking for ways to convert it into usable form so that they can use it. This has put the spotlight on intelligent tools within the ERP set-up, such as Business Intelligence (BI), which allow the manufacturers to make wise use of the available data. Leading ERP vendors around the world are investing in BI to allow the businesses make use of the data in a judicious manner so as to increase profits. This is going to be one of the hottest ERP trends in 2019.

     

    What do these ERP predictions mean to your business?

    The expert predictions regarding the top ERP trends for 2019 suggest that your business will have a mix of both- the options and opportunities, as well as the challenges and complexities, with respect to your ERP system this year. In order to explore and make the best use of these opportunities, and to deal with these challenges, you need the expertise of extremely skilled consultants who have rich experience in the field of ERP solutions.

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