It’s that time of year again where businesses re-evaluate their processes on a longer time frame to find ways to save and improve. In 2023, inflation, looming recessions, and mass layoffs are putting extra stress on businesses.
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software is no exception. As a result, you can expect ERP vendors to include a lot of focus on the basics to improve efficiencies and save on costs. There are also a lot of changes thanks to new and improving technology.
Here are top trends to watch in ERP:
Budget bloat can happen slowly, increasing project costs over time until they’re unmanageable. Businesses looking to fight inflation can use ERP software to highlight their current spending patterns to find areas of waste. Financial reporting modules provide real-time data and insight on recent expenditures, past revenue, and estimated budgets so you can clearly understand all your spending.
Modern ERP can streamline many business tasks to reduce costs. As a result, businesses can go into 2023 with reduced workloads for employees, allowing for more time to be spent on more critical tasks with higher ROI. And automated reporting and forecasting modules allow for more informed decision-making at every level of the company.
Trend Summary: Streamline your business tasks with an ERP to reduce unnecessary spending.
Inflation and the COVID-19 pandemic have led to a lot of cost-cutting at companies of all sizes. While the total cost of ownership of an ERP system depends on a variety of factors, it can quickly reach hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars. To save money, some companies are looking for ways to save on their ERP systems.
Businesses can save in 2023 by selecting the right deployment method: on-premise or cloud-based ERP systems. At first glance, cloud solutions offer more savings since they charge monthly or annual subscriptions. However, on-premise ERP applications can lead to long-term savings, while cloud-based solutions offer short-term ones.
Trend Summary: Review how your ERP deployment method can reveal cost-saving opportunities.
While plenty of businesses still use entirely on-premise ERP, there has been a steady rise in cloud-based solutions. This isn’t just because of potential cost savings: Cloud technology allows companies to manage real-time business functions from anywhere with Internet access. As such, demand has increased over the years, especially as cloud platforms have become more secure and dependable. In fact, cloud-based ERP has become so common it is almost considered the default option.
There are a few holdouts to this digital transformation, with potential buyers citing fear of data loss or security breaches after ERP implementation. Yet the cloud ERP trend is undeniable. In fact, Statista estimates the global cloud ERP market will reach $40.5 billion by 2025, if not sooner, based on continuous improvements and growing demand. Hybrid setups are also gaining popularity as ERP vendors offer companies a way to blend on-premise systems with cloud-based applications.
Trend Summary: If you haven’t embraced cloud-based ERP, 2023 is the time to switch - or at least go hybrid! Discover all the cloud-based ERP products available.
Just as the Cloud has expanded ERP access online, mobile apps allow users to perform remote work on devices like smartphones and tablets. And as more businesses adopt hybrid work-from-home schedules, employees can remain in touch with work in a multitude of ways.
Even if a workplace requires in-person work, mobile apps allow for greater connectivity between companies and their partners, vendors, and suppliers. Going out to a business lunch? Bring along a tablet with the latest figures. Catching a flight to a conference? Keep working while in the air. Have an important meeting with a client in a completely different timezone? Set it up from the comfort of your own home instead of staying at the office.
While all businesses can use apps for remote work, certain industries which heavily rely on mobile ERP to perform field services include:
Trend Summary: See if there’s an industry-specific ERP or prepare to get a fully customized solution.
In today’s digital age, important business decisions wait for no one. Fortunately, a rise in artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and other automation techniques made it easier than ever for businesses to keep up. As a result, ERP has become more intelligent than ever by incorporating these new technologies into business workflows. The AI trend is such a prevalent trend that 65% of CIOs predict AI integration into ERP by 2022 (Acumatica).
Machine learning is also on the rise. Constantly evolving algorithms create ways to predict business outcomes faster than ever before, allowing for better decision-making based on better analysis. Many ERP solutions now offer machine learning capabilities, sometimes directly paired with AI, as part of a fully comprehensive predictive analytics module.
Similarly, ERP is now better at utilizing the Internet of Things (IoT) and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)) to communicate between interconnected technologies on shared computer networks. For instance, the IIoT can directly collect data from manufacturing sensors to identify ways to improve production processes. Both IoT types are designed to improve decision-making through in-depth data analysis, further tying into how ERP can provide cost-savings.
Trend Summary: Improve your business decision-making with AI, machine learning, and more ERP tools.
When ERP software was first introduced, it used to work for everyone, from small businesses to global enterprises. Today, the one-size-fits-all approach no longer works. While several vital modules are included in basic ERP packages, more buyers than ever are requesting some degree of customization. In fact, only 3% of companies use out-of-the-box ERP without any personalization. Instead, everyone else requests customization, from add-on modules to user interface changes. Future trends reflect even more customization as more and more new technologies become available.
In 2023, improved collaboration functionality will be a priority for ERP. Integrations between an ERP and other business software are becoming the norm, streamlining operations from one single location.
An alternative to pricey customization is to seek options made for specific industries, like:
Finally, the field of manufacturing has specific needs when it comes to ERP. In upcoming years, the industry will continue to see significant advances in 3D Printing and additive manufacturing (AM). Manufacturing ERP solutions are now focusing on providing modules for addressing these methods.
Trend Summary: Customize your ERP (or select an industry-specific version) to maximize your software performance.
Compatibility with services like Zoom or Slack is also on the rise to improve workplace communications. With more workers going remote, there’s an urgent need for employees to stay in touch with management in real-time.
Microservices are independent add-ons which can deploy separately from a larger platform. While they increase complexity, they can streamline communication and remote operations.
Trend Summary: Stay in touch by building microservices architecture.
Two-tier ERP is another trend aimed at increasing workplace collaboration. Originally named due to mixing a Tier 1 and Tier 2 ERP, today, two-tier ERP refers to any level ERP solutions being used together by a single business. Generally, this is popular among enterprise-level corporations with vastly different needs between corporate offices and subsidiary branches. In these customized systems, one ERP acts as a centralized hub for data analytics while the other allows for more focus on specific business tasks.
Trend Summary: Enterprise-level corporations should explore if multiple ERP systems are more efficient than one.
With inflation hitting consumer wallets hard, the customer experience is more important than ever. Both traditional and eCommerce stores need loyal customers in order to survive the changing market in 2023. Fortunately, customer relationship management (CRM) software makes it possible to introduce new loyalty initiatives to reward returning customers, provide discount plans to consumers, or automatically send out follow-up communications to prospective clients.
Any customer-facing business can benefit from using a CRM to establish new relationships to encourage business growth. In addition, CRM solutions can operate as standalone software or an add-on module to an existing ERP for businesses looking to save on multiple software options.
Trend Summary: Use ERP and CRM to grow customer loyalty.