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13 ERP Predictions for 2017

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Posted February 2, 2017 By Drew Robb     Feedback

Experts say the cloud and IoT will be very important this year.

ERP has changed markedly over the past two decades. So where is it heading in 2017? Some see the end of old ways that have lingered too long and now need to head off into the sunset. Others predict market shakeups and whole new vistas of possibilities.

1. Green Screens and Spreadsheets Be Gone

Eric Kimberling, principal at Panorama Consulting Solutions, said the end is nigh with regard to aged ERP approaches that are tied to mainframes or that can only provide data in Excel.

“This is the year to say goodbye to that old legacy, the green screen or the Excel spreadsheets,” he said. “Technology has come too far and become too cost effective for your organization to be limping along on an outdated system that undermines your business objectives.”

2. Tier I, No More

“ERP has been split up into tiers for a long time,” said KImberling.

Tier one has largely consisted of the "big three": SAP, Oracle and Microsoft Dynamics. But those days are ending as cloud ERP has made it possible for new entrants to gain market share and blur the lines between the various tiers. As a result, even the biggest and most complex organizations have a multitude of options at their disposal.

“Classification of tier one ERP systems will become obsolete,” said Kimberling. “There are simply too many options and sophisticated technologies in the market to think that the big three incumbents are the only packages capable of addressing the needs of large, upper mid-market and high-growth organizations.”

3. Consumerized ERP

Josh Fischer, product manager for xTupleCommerce, said that the biggest thing to expect in 2017 is demand for the equivalent of a consumer ecommerce experience in B2B transactions. Uber, eBay and Airbnb have revolutionized their respective fields. Now it’s time for enterprise apps to get in on the act.

“It's kind of astonishing that it hasn't happened on a broader scale already, but it's definitely happening now,” said Fischer.

4. New Norm

Cloud ERP has grown significantly in recent years. 2017 could well be the year where it can be regarded as the norm.

“Having your CRM and ERP in the cloud is the new norm, and changing subscription billing models and coming regulatory changes in 2017 will drive the next wave of cloud ERP migrations,” said Kevin Roberts, director of platform technology at FinancialForce.

Steve Cox, vice president of ERP and EPM cloud go-to-market at Oracle, concurs. He said cloud ERP will become the default choice for most customers as it reaches the top of the innovation adoption curve.

“Those organizations that have existing investments in modern on-premises software will adopt a cloud-first policy for all future purchases to ensure they benefit from the latest capabilities and innovations available on a regular basis,” said Cox.

5. Revenue Recognition

New revenue recognition regulations in 2017 could be a big driver for ERP adoption and migration. This will lead to businesses seeking ERP systems that automate and streamline their back-end processes, while complying with new ASC 606 and IFRS 15 revenue-recognition reporting guidelines.

“These impending changes will push businesses to go all-in on cloud ERP at a faster rate as they seek the convenience of continually compliant cloud applications over on-premise solutions,” said Roberts.

<h2<6. Intelligent ERP

Not that ERP was dumb before — we are talking here about baked-in analytics. The only way to ensure companies can more easily meet regulatory requirements and aggressive growth metrics is to enable real-time, actionable insights within cloud ERP platforms that will give previously unachievable visibility into every dollar recognized and dollar planned.

“New systems will meet user demand for detailed business optics, billing forecasting, and revenue tracking and meet customer demands for software that automates cumbersome workflows,” said Roberts. “In 2017, expectations for software intelligence will increase, and vendors will be expected to move past perfunctory, process-orientated tasks and do more than just log data.”

6. Intelligent ERP

Not that ERP was dumb before — we are talking here about baked-in analytics. The only way to ensure companies can more easily meet regulatory requirements and aggressive growth metrics is to enable real-time, actionable insights within cloud ERP platforms that will give previously unachievable visibility into every dollar recognized and dollar planned.

“New systems will meet user demand for detailed business optics, billing forecasting, and revenue tracking and meet customer demands for software that automates cumbersome workflows,” said Roberts. “In 2017, expectations for software intelligence will increase, and vendors will be expected to move past perfunctory, process-orientated tasks and do more than just log data.”

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