Cloud migration, compliance issues, and customization are the driving changes in enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions in 2019.
Businesses are looking at new ERP systems that can incorporate disruptive and transformative technologies. At the same time, they seek solutions that will drive efficiency and lead to better business outcomes. Here’s a closer look at some of the key ERP trends in 2019.
Artificial intelligence, automation, data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) continue to be disruptive influences on many industries. ERP software is an ideal way for businesses to establish a technological backbone onto which new technologies can be incorporated. Here are a few of the technologies to look for when considering an ERP in 2019:
- Automated Workflows: AI and data analytics programs can be deployed to look at data stored in your ERP and identify process changes that would drive efficiency and positive impact.
- Chatbots: Companies have discovered the value of chatbots to answer basic inquiries, route customers to the right employee and reduce reliance on human customer service. When integrated with your ERP, chatbots can help track and store inquiries, which responses are effective and outcomes.
- Augmented reality: Virtual reality tools tied to your ERP allow for a clearer understanding of technical issues at remote sites, faster alerts as to needed repairs or maintenance and better customer presentations and training. These tools can use ERP data and store results and patterns can be stored in the ERP.
- Analytics: IoT, apps and customer feedback create massive amounts of data that are available to sales, marketing, finance, and C-suite staff. In 2019, your ERP should continue to enhance its reporting, dashboards, and displays to provide real-time insights into business productivity, market and competitor trends and employee performance.
More Cloud Migration
Cloud migration has grown in recent years and 2019 will be no exception. While HR and CRM system migrations have moved faster than ERP, the latter technology is catching up, especially among small- and medium-sized businesses. Cloud migration has become easier and has become an established way to: keep data safe, automate backups, provide continual monitoring, and ensure business continuity in the face of a man-made or natural disaster.
Cloud migrations allow companies to take advantage of new features, rely less on internal IT staff for maintenance and upgrades, saves companies on operational costs (not to mention power and cooling expenses from on-premises data centers), and, most importantly, leverage newer technology faster.
As cloud ERPs become more common, companies will have to invest in training for staff who may not be fully aware of the functionality. In all cases – migration, monitoring, maintenance, and training – companies are increasingly turning to IT partners to handle project management, ongoing help-desk support, security, and maintenance.
Increasingly, companies need ERP solutions that have a robust mobile component. Mobile ERP solutions are needed not only for decision-makers, sales professionals and managers who may be traveling and need instant access to information and insights. They are also a valuable complement for companies wanting more collaboration with supply-chain partners and collaborators or freelancers working in locations around the world.
More ERP providers are offering mobile apps that provide full functionality on multiple devices and operating systems.
Compliance Complexity Increasing
Compliance requirements are growing regardless of industry vertical. In 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was put in motion, requiring companies that serve European Union citizens to provide strict controls and protocols for data protection and security. California also passed sweeping data privacy legislation, and will likely not be the last state to do so. Key components of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) also went into practice.
The myriad compliance mandates that ERPs in 2019 will need to do more to incorporate governance, risk, and compliance (GCR) solutions that allow for the tracking, storing and reporting of compliance information that can be accessed on the fly and pass audits and inquiries.
Generic ERPs Face Industry-Specific Challengers
Companies are realizing that generic ERP solutions that do not meet industry-specific needs are far less desirable. Instead, companies are looking – and vendors are providing – industry-targeted ERPs.
With industry-focused ERPs, companies no longer have to pay for customizations and Rube Goldberg-esque contortions to deliver what’s necessary. For example, food and beverage companies today need a solution that can track recipes, manage quantity conversions, provide for quality control checks and meet the FDA’s new food safety mandates.
Industry-centric ERPs will bloom in 2019.
Never-Ending Focus on Security
As more data is stored in the cloud, the spotlight will continue to shine brightest on ERP security. As more ERPs migrate, that means more users, more devices connected to networks and more people accessing information. That means cloud-based ERPs will be increasingly attractive to cyber-criminals.
Cloud-based, managed IT solutions are known for their comprehensive, layered approach to security. Those measures – next-generation firewalls, continual monitoring, automated alerts and automated updates to end-user anti-virus, anti-spam, anti-phishing, and anti-malware applications – will continue to apply. For boards, executives, customers, employees, and other stakeholders, an ERP migration recommendation will need to address the security features in place.
Better User Experiences
The ERP industry has not been known in the past for putting a clear focus on user-friendliness, but that trend is starting to change and will likely grow in 2019. That’s because employees are demanding better functionality and intuitive use of their ERP tools.
ERP makers are showing more emphasis on the user experience and making sure that their solutions are easy to use not only for IT-trained staff but end users across the enterprise.
At CNBS software, we have always taken a customer-first approach. Our teams help customers get the most out of their ERP solution.
Our expertise in SAP and other ERP solutions gives your company a competitive advantage. Our skilled technical and business consultants work with our customers to analyze, design, implement and configure ERP software to get the most out of their technology investment.
To learn more about how CNBS can help your company get the most out of your ERP solution in 2019, schedule a free initial consultation or demo today.