We continue our series on trends to watch out for in 2018 in the software development and testing spaces. In this blog, the second part of the series, we focus on the top 7 ERP software trends in 2018. You can read the first of the series here.
The ERP software industry has seen tremendous changes with the advent of mobile and other newer technologies over the last few years. We expect these changes to accelerate as these technologies become more robust and thus reliable for enterprise-wide use.
The Move Towards Cloud Will Continue
The exodus towards Cloud-based ERP will continue in 2018. Companies that have not used Cloud before will realise its anytime-anywhere benefit to get more work done in lesser time. Though the costlier on-premise model will still continue to be used by some larger firms, the small and medium businesses will start using Cloud platforms from the larger players such as Microsoft and Oracle to run their solutions. With businesses getting more global and teams working around the world across different time zones, the anytime-anywhere-available rationale is likely to become the de-facto reason for migrating.
Big ERP Solutions Will Move Out
ERP software solutions are becoming modular and leaner, and the big ERP software of the early days will be replaced with newer ones in 2018. Organisations will choose to have separate solutions for each department or process. This means people in unrelated departments or roles will not be required to carry unnecessary bloatware anymore. The upsides are a decrease in system requirements, lesser strain on existing systems, faster completion of work and more optimal use of money in other areas.
Speed, Access, Customisation and Security Will Become Key Selling Points
Speed of the system, 24*7 access, customisation options in off-the-shelf products and security will become the key points that will make companies decide to go with ERP solutions.
•How fast does the data reach the right person has always been one of the prime USPs that software companies used to sell their software. The speed of leaner systems and their easier access will keep these as two of the top USPs to make sales.
•In addition, the ability to customise the output and reports, if any, will be appreciated. This will also make it easier for firms to cross-sell software for similar kind of markets. For example, an ERP software for a grocery retail chain will work just as well for an FMCG goods chain with a little bit of tweak here and there.
•Security concerns will remain at the top and a software development company that can show that its ERP solution is safe from hacking, malware or data theft will find more takers for its solutions.
ERP Will Become Cheaper
As frameworks make it easier to write codes, the development lifecycle will reduce drastically which will help in lowering ERP costs. Also, leaner solutions that only provide what is required unlike the big systems of before will be more cost effective to make for companies. They will pass on this benefit to their customers. A third factor that will drive down costs is the license model gaining currency that will see ERP firms provide custom software at very convenient per-user price points. Most software firms are also moving towards managing databases for their customers. This may increase the price-per-user somewhat but reduces costs considerably as businesses do not have to invest in own databases anymore.
Legacy Systems Will Be Slowly Replaced
Companies that had invested heavily in legacy ERP systems are realising that the technology behind those solutions are now quite outdated. Yes, they may still function but the loss in terms of time and resources needed to manage them make them untenable. Some other factors such as lack of support, decrease in number of people who know how they work, and lack of even the very basic features that current systems have, will make organisations look at newer robust solutions. These legacy systems are likely to take off the grid in stages and newer, modular ERP software will take over slowly after they prove themselves.
Machine Learning Will Bring in a Fresh Perspective
AI will enter the ERP space also as intelligent solutions will learn from the data to produce results faster and help take more prompt and effective decisions. Machine learning, advanced analytics and improved business processes are things that will happen and will ease how people do business. ERP software will soon be able to point out better ways to input information and process the data.
The Future is Still Mobile
Mobile ERP apps will become the norm rather than desktop-based solutions. Though any main ERP programme that oversees all the different apps within the ERP suite are likely to still need some intensive system resources to crunch numbers and process the data, the rest of the apps will be able to run on mobile phones and tablets. People will be able to enter data on the go and even via voice as apps become more intelligent in processing vocal commands.
These then are what we see happening in the ERP space in 2018. In the next blog, we look at trends in software testing services.