The fastest and most dynamic innovations are happening today are happening in technology. Hardware and software are evolving at a rapid rate in every sector and every service. As we look ahead to 2021, it is important to keep up with these developing technologies and pinpoint the trends we expect to see this coming year.
ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software is designed to assist businesses in managing, organising, automating and digitising their day-to-day activities. From project management to supply chain operations and compliance to accounting, ERP solutions are helping managers operate more efficiently and run their daily business from a central system that provides real-time data and accessibility.
Technological innovations are a key part of any modern organisation and the process of digitalisation is becoming more frequent across industries. ERP software is one of those technologies that is being implemented and upgraded constantly and – for those who follow the trends – an opportunity to transform the way they do business.
What are the major trends in ERP software for 2021?
- Shifting to the cloud
There are many benefits to opting for cloud-based ERP solutions. For example, you have instant access to the latest updates and versions of software, you only pay for what you use and the software becomes easier to expand and to integrate with other applications. There are some concerns about the cost of these new cloud-based solutions, however ERP in the cloud optimises so many areas of business that it almost pays for itself, if this concern were valid. ERP solutions in the cloud have been performing brilliantly in the last few years. Data security is well organised and managed while digital integrations are becoming simpler and more comprehensive, and cloud-based systems are now comparable in price to on-premises systems. ERP developers, such as Microsoft, Sage and Oracle, are focusing most of their efforts on cloud-based solutions A huge trend in 2021 will be the growing movement of businesses shifting their ERP solutions onto the cloud.
- Better visualisation and interfacing
The way that we receive – and interact with – visual information can have a huge impact on how we absorb data. Visual information is easier and faster to interpret than text and numbers. Modern ERP systems have evolved over time into amazing user interfaces; clear and concise visuals, user-friendly menus and icons, graphics, readouts and overviews that make data so easy to take in. Improving the user experience and the usability of these software is a trend that will continue to enhance decision-making and operations this year and well into the future.
- Industry-specific ERP solutions
For many companies, a generic ERP solution can be suited to meet their needs and help them improve their operational efficiency. However, a trend in 2021 will be the growing demand for niche systems – ERP solutions are purpose-built for a specific industry. Industry-specific ERP will have added features and functionalities that are required for a range of companies in sectors with unique requirements. ERP developers will have considerable knowledge of that industry, as will the vendors who supply and implement the software. This means that businesses will receive expert assistance and support when attempting to optimise their day-to-day operations and realising their business potential. More and more niche ERP solutions are going to be built and offered by suppliers that will be hyper specialised and designed with specific industries in mind.
- Seamless Integration
One of the most important features of any information or communication technology is the ability to utilise those technologies with other ones. ERP solutions are designed to integrate perfectly with other systems and tools to help companies reach their goals. Previously, traditional ERP systems were offered as a stand-alone software, however we have seen an incredible transformation in recent years. All ERP software is trending towards applications that can be fully and seamlessly integrated with other tools that a business might utilise. From Microsoft Office applications and warehouse management tools to tracking and tracing deliveries, managers are integrating ERP systems into their larger production schemes, flawlessly. We will continue to see the trend of ERP software that is built for seamless additions into existing IT and digital infrastructures.
The biggest trend of all
It is fair to say that ERP software and tools are swiftly evolving into ones that are cloud-based, easier to use, purposefully designed and integrate seamlessly with other services and systems. Yet, the biggest trend in 2021 will be the evolution and growth of the software itself; more companies will make use of modern ERP, the software will become more specialised and, generally, much more popular. ERP software is trending in the right direction, businesses around the world are utilising and benefitting from the information, communication and management opportunities provided by ERP solutions.