Our Top 6 ERP Predictions for 2013

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Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software solutions have had their fair share of innovation over the years.  Although the year has already begun, Green Beacon Solutions believes that more changes are coming in 2013.  However, many businesses still struggle with calculating the return on investment (ROI) for their ERP solutions and are wary about changes in technology that could make their legacy ERP solutions obsolete.  What is next in the world of ERP?  Should businesses prepare or can they wait?

The following are the top six ERP predictions that we see for 2013:

1. Mobility – the revolution in mobile device use continues to escalate.  Businesses enjoy the flexibility of using mobile applications as a marketing tool and also for employees to become more productive and accessible.  ERP providers will be a part of this mobile revolution by enabling their software with mobile access capabilities.  This can be a challenge for businesses that have customized their ERP because additional customization may be required to adapt to mobile apps.

2. Agility – customer demands have only increased as code development lifecycles compress.  ERP customers have even higher expectations that bug fixes, enhancement requests and overall development timelines are accelerated in order to keep up with the ERP market demands.  ERP providers must look at their current research and development processes, and then find ways to compress their development and release cycles without sacrificing quality.

3. Quality – metrics and quantitative analysis will refine and further pressure ERP providers to improve their quality ratings.  Not only will these software providers need to accelerate their deliveries but they will also be expected to deliver high quality bug-free releases of their products.  This means an insurgence of new quality assurance and testing tools to keep development code clean and functioning as planned.

4. Interoperability – ERP systems can no longer be a silo of information that is cumbersome to share or exchange.  Collaboration is needed with many tertiary applications such as customer relationship management (CRM) software, logistics, retail point of sale, and a plethora of third party applications that can either feed information to the ERP to enhance analytics capabilities or receive information from the ERP to improve productivity and efficiency.  Look for many interoperability improvements in upcoming ERP releases.

5. SimplicityIT leaders are seeking simpler and more efficient ways to manage their applications and infrastructure.  With the growth in cloud solutions and virtualization, ERP providers will accelerate their delivery of cloud based applications and enable their solutions to be virtualized.  This gives added flexibility and a new level of overall efficiency for IT groups without sacrificing security or disaster recovery practices.  As a matter of fact, virtualization and cloud services enhance many aspects of backup and recovery process without the investment in mountains of hardware.

6. Sociability – though we questioned back in 2011 about whether "We Are Ready for ERP Software to Integrate with Social Media", it appears that it is happening now. Look for links and enhancements that will capitalize on social media applications such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook that can be incorporated into specific business processes or functional areas, such as the supply chain.  ERPs can and are utilizing some of the metrics from social media tools while also using these channels as a means to communicate with employees or customers.

As we dive into 2013, be prepared for additional exciting changes in ERP solutions that your business can use and which will create additional value. If you are already beginning to leverage some of these changes mentioned above, or you have "real life" examples about how you're using these or other updates, please let us know!

by Green Beacon Solutions

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