Future tech where will erp be in 2 years

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  1. 1. Future Tech: Where Will ERP Be in 2 Years? Enterprise resource planning, or ERP, systems are critical to the business operations of many companies, despite their notorious reputation for failed deployments and expensive maintenance plans. ERP is used to track important data usually related in some way to an organizations financial performance across the enterprise. It links departments and gives employees a more insightful view of the companys operations, ultimately allowing them to make better and faster business decisions. Many ERP systems are deeply entrenched in organizations, and their core technologies are mature yet, ERP is in a state of flux. The ERP of the future promises to be simplified, more accessible and easier to use, shaped by trends that began taking hold this year. Michael Krigsman, CEO of Asuret, Inc., a consulting company that specializes in analyzing and preventing technology implementation failures, describes whats next for ERP. What youre seeing now is the beginnings of major trends cloud computing, mobility and analytics that will get fleshed out in the years beyond. First, ERP must become more simplified, both in terms of the deployment of the system and aligning it with an organizations business processes. Cloud computing, which enables companies to access ERP software over the Internet, has already shown vendors that companies value ERP that can be more easily installed and rapidly consumed. Vendors of installed ERP solutions must respond by making their systems easier to get up and running as well. Simplified ERP implementations are going to become an essential factor because the market is becoming less tolerant of these big, expensive, monolithic implementations of traditional ERP, Krigsman says. He also predicts that the user experience will quickly change, too, to both simplify ERP and make it easier to use. User Interfaces (UIs)are likely to also become more finely grained and tailored to user roles and user groups, from the workers on the factory floor to front-line employees to executives in the C-suite. Krigsman expects UIs to evolve rapidly to improve the ways users input, process and retrieve data. Data input, in particular, will become simplified through the use of sensors placed throughout the enterprise that automatically collect different kinds of data. Another way the user experience may improve is through voice recognition for search features. Cloud-based ERP services will also evolve in the future to become more integrated both with other clouds and with installed ERP systems. Krigsman expects to see more vendors that offer pieces of ERP, which will necessarily lead to cloud-to-cloud integrations. This will allow customers to weave together their own highly tailored system inside-erp.com Page 1 of 3 brief
  2. 2. from different vendors that best suits their organization and business processes. This type of interoperability between cloud services will also eliminate the need for companies to install middleware and execute complicated programming to make third-party modules work with an existing ERP system. In a recent interview with Computerworld magazine, SAPs president for North America, Robert Courteau, expects that more companies will consume ERP services through the cloud on an as-needed basis because users like to implement single-process applications without the overhead of a long ERP project. Vendors will continue to produce more advanced analytics tools that will help companies have better, faster access to the increasingly vast amounts of data that ERP systems collect. These advancements are made possible in part because of faster processors, which allow vast amounts of data to be crunched much faster than has ever been possible. ERP vendors have begun using in-memory databases to store data in memory rather than on hard drives, which creates huge increases in speed when analyzing the data. Analytics will be further influenced by big data, which are data sets that have grown too large for commonly used software tools to capture, manage and process expediently. For instance, SAP recently released a big data engine called HANA, which combines in-memory analytics with high-performance processing. Krigsman believes that predictive analytics, such as recommendation engines, will also be important to the future of ERP, enabled by faster analytics. Advancements like this in analytics will, ultimately, make ERP more valuable because they allow companies to analyze data more quickly to better inform business decisions, which can be made faster. Reports that now take more than a day to process will be completed in a matter of minutes; likewise, data sets that would have choked older ERP systems will be analyzed in an acceptable, useful amount of time. Advanced analytics can lead to more accurate decisions based on near real-time information, such as how many units need to be manufactured or how much inventory needs to be replenished. Another global trend will also impact the evolution of ERP: sustainability. The greening of ERP can happen in two ways. Companies can use their ERP system to track data relating to its ecological impact, and they can use virtualization techniques to make ERP a greener technology to run. An ERP module designed to track and measure an organizations total carbon footprint can replace a dedicated sustainability system; it can perform the same functions, such as tracking energy usage and energy efficiency in different plants and different types of machines. With virtualization, a company can consolidate ERP applications on fewer servers, which makes for a more energy efficient ERP system. Of course, moving ERP to the cloud makes for greener ERP for the same reason. inside-erp.com Page 2 of 3 inside-ERP | brief | Future Tech: Top Trends in ERP for 2011 and Beyond
  3. 3. inside-erp.com | Inside-ERP 2011 | v071311 Page 3 of 3 inside-ERP | brief | Top Trends in ERP for 2011 and Beyond About Inside-ERP Inside-ERP is an industry leader in research and education for finance, sales, IT and operation professionals. The site provides indepth resource tools ERP decision makers have come to rely on to get the right information on ERP products and services for their business. By being an independent third-party analyst community, Inside-ERP is a trusted source for SMB and Enterprise companies, buyers and influencers, alike. Eventually, all of these trends boil down to the same goal making ERP data easier to use and more valuable to the company. In the end, ERP is all about measuring data and using that data to make better, faster decisions. According to Krigsman, You can measure anything that you can input data about. ERP is all about how to get data in, how to calculate data, and how to get it out. All these areas will be improved.