The ERP landscape is fast changing with our growing needs. Our intense desire to refine automation practices have led to the recent spurt in AI and IoT, both of which will continue to rock our life, in the next ten years, according to Gartner’s Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2017 published in October, 2017.
Today, we have technology solutions for storing massive amount of datasecurely without requiring any manual supervision, smart apps at play for recognizing your needs and finding relevant answers, automated appliances that can communicate with each other for better resource utilization and lesser energy consumption. What we need is the right time and the right state of mind to put them into use. Here, we discuss some of the emerging trends in ERP.
See it in the Internet of Things
The Internet of Things or IoT, as it is more commonly known as these days, is the hottest trend in ERP. According to a recent study by IDC, by 2020, 40% of all data will be machine-generated, with 20 to 50 billion devices driving that growth. A lot these machine-driven activities will make life easier and better for us.
IoT represents seamless convergence of data collection and objects. Objects are embedded with microchips to report vital data such as their location, stock status, performance, delivery status, and error messages. The Internet of Things goes a long way in helping product engineers track performance and solve bugs of products once they are in market. The systematic bug identification and performance management, one of the primary features of Internet of Things, is very much in use in the manufacturing industry. It is also largely used in several ERP applications, for getting sales projections, to gain insight into operations, and to assess productivity.
Some of the other successful implementation of IoT in ERP are Smartphone-based check-ins at airports or hotel rooms, phone apps enabled with photo printing options through Social Media, and Wi-Fi and internet-enabled vehicles, etc.
Getting the Big Data
Big Data is the next big thing in ERP. Gone are the days when companies had to spend a huge sum of money on their own dedicated data centers for storing large volumes of data. Needless to say, only industry big shots could afford the costly traditional database warehousing. The smaller companies were always at a risk of losing their data or overspending on data storage.
Now, even smaller or mid-size companies can afford to harness the power of Big Data through cloud ERP solutions. It allows you to connect multiple computers or devices to cloud solutions, and thus, amplifying the power and speed of processing. All you need is high speed data connection from a good service provider.
Data which flows into the organizational database from various sources, comes from various sources, in structured and unstructured form. While structured data, in the form of numerical data coming from known sources may be stored with appropriate labels, metatags, and authorization or rules assigned, unstructured data (which might comprise of text documents, email, video, audio, stock ticker data or financial transactions) requires additional processing for summarization, lineage, auditability, and privacy.Big Data which operates through cloud-based solutions, takes care of these complexities. It reduces cost and saves your time for new product development and smart decision making.
It’s all in the Cloud
Cloud has opened up endless opportunities for companies to optimize productivity, improve performance, and reduce operational cost. Prior to the cloud era, companies have spent humongous amount of money, for buying on premise productivity software. In addition, they had to bear the onus of purchasing, housing, and software maintenance. Cloud-based ERP software solutions, on the other hand, operate on a much lower upfront costs, because now computing resources are leased on a need-basis, contracts renewed or revised, if required, unlike one-time investments for on premise data center operations. Cloud-based ERP solutions have proved to be a boon for small and medium enterprises. They now have access to full-function applications at a reasonable price.
How often have you dreamt of counting every step you walk towards your fitness goal? Or taking a conference call on the go, hands free? Or having the freedom to watch a movie every time in 3D? Well, wearable technology has not only made your dreams come true, but made it even better. Today you can wear fitness bands on your wrist that monitor heart rate and steps, every time you are stepping on the treadmill or going for a squash match with your buddy. You have wristband watches that synchronize with smartphones to receive email and text messages. Bluetooth devices carefully perched on your ear allows seamless conversations. Wear Google Glasses or virtual reality goggles to discover a whole new world of entertainment.
It is believed that our needs drive us to strive for solutions. ERP, which operates through cloud, AI, Big Data, and several other means delivers what we want as solution to our day-to-requirements. Instead of mere feeding the machine with a set of pre-defined instructions to work, isn’t it wonderful, to make it think and act accordingly? Guess what, that’s where we are all moving. We want the machine to observe our actions, and come up with suggestions or solutions we might be looking for; perform activities on our behalf, which we wish to complete, might have overlooked or forgotten about.
Watch out for more updates on ERP in this space.