The ERP Software Trends that made a debut this year or gathered momentum during the year are likely to emerge even stronger through 2015. As the year draws to an end, it’s been an eventful year for ERP Software with some key ERP solutions launching newer versions, a number of them offering cloud based or Saas alternatives, improved user experiences and more features to keep with the changes unfolding in the enterprise world. Join us as we round up some of the top emerging ERP software trends we have seen take shape this year that we feel will carry through 2015.
- Mobile ERP solutions to remain a high priority
This year was a very significant one in terms of hardware and will be remembered as the year when the number of mobile devices in use crossed the number of PC’s and laptops ushering in a new mobile dawn. Even within enterprise business environments, the way professionals access information, reports, input data and collaborate has changed with the mobile device taking center stage and playing a more prominent role. Through this shift, we’ve seen more vendors launch more mobile apps as a component of their ERP solutions, more mobile friendly UI’s as well as more features and functionality driven around the smaller screen sizes clearly acknowledging the need to cater to the mobile professional as well as customer. Read more on this trend we covered in an earlier blog post here. – Mobile ERP for Enterprises – Top Priority in 2015
- Greater emphasis on UI and UX (User interfaces & User experience)
User interfaces and experience across the technology space has seen some major movement as the design language is more in sync with keeping them simple, intuitive and built around the way web users interact with the software. With ERP software, user expectations have been the same and more ERP vendors have upgraded their UI and improved their UX to match the market expectations. Smaller screen sizes, multiple device types, touch screens and other hardware trends have had a significant impact on software design and vendors that have cleaned up and updates their UIs are more likely to see better response through 2015 too.
- Saas & Cloud ERP will remain relevant options
Upfront investment and high implementation costs of ERP has always been a major factor while selecting ERP software for most organizations and especially so with smaller businesses and startups. The emergence of Saas based models and cloud ERP has made a very strong case for themselves in the earlier years and with a number of prominent ERP leaders now offering, cloud ERP, has made these more accessible and reduced the entry barrier. Clearly, on-site ERP / self hosted ERP is not likely to lose its significance and will remain the right choice for a number of organizations, however, hybrids of on-site as well as cloud ERP will emerge and organizations who need to be cost conscious will be able to consider the cloud versions at an earlier stage than they usually would making cloud ERP another key area through the year.
- Specialization and integration to gather momentum
Although vendors like SAP, Oracle & Microsoft Dynamics offering a strong complete ERP software suite which can offer virtually any module or cater to any organization, we’re likely to continue seeing a strong demand for more specialized solutions that have a strong capability within a certain niche. For example, Infor with its strengths in accounting and financial management systems or Infor LN which is specialized towards complex manufacturing organizations is likely to move ahead in those spaces. Similarly a number of organizations may prefer to continue using Salesforce and it’s ecosystem for their CRM requirements and another vendor for supply chain. With these different modules in use to address a specific part of the organization, integration is also likely to be in strong demand to make the IT infrastructure seamless.
- Globalization features, increased customization & security
Last but not least, there has been some emphasis on offering more globalized ERP capabilities like Unicode, support, increased language support, more customizable rules to configure different currencies, tax laws and data points that differ from one country to the next. The year also came with a lot business headlines related to major security breaches of CRM data, customer email ids, financial information and caused a lot of damage to many prominent and trusted companies. With this highly connected web based world where a lot of commerce is shifting and increased risks of data theft, loss and risk, we’re expecting to see even more security features and changes to ERP software platforms too and more organizations doing security audits and ensuring their implementation is done securely to mitigate these risks.