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The Top 10 Trends in ERP: Page 2

By Drew Robb     Feedback
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ERP Trends

6. Y2K Redux

It seems that Y2K is rearing its head again. Fortunately, though, there is no bogus scaremongering about doomsday bugs inside old computers. Prior to the end of the millennium, large numbers of organizations updated their software and hardware holdings. And that led to a boom in ERP sales. May of those applications, though, are a bit rickety. This is leading to what Weismantel sees as a realization that it is time for an applications overhaul.

"Many companies that have not updated their ERP solutions since Y2K have been making do for the past two to three years [during the economic downturn] with antiquated, outdated and increasingly unsupported versions of their software," he said.


7. Vertical Specialties

The nineties saw dozens of firms offering ERP-type products geared toward niche markets. Then came the era of one-size-fits-all ERP, though lucrative customization packages were often a part of the deal. The pendulum appears to be swinging back to addressing key market verticals.

"We are again seeing ERP implementations geared to specific industries, as well as companies having a central administrative ERP solution at headquarters that is fed by individual ERP implementations in its divisions, subsidiaries, factories, branches or departments," said Weismantel.


8. Web ERP

Software as a Service (SaaS) has long been used for secondary functions such as backup. But executives have been reluctant to entrust the corporate crown jewels to SaaS — and ERP falls in that category. Despite that, ERP is beginning to show its head as a service delivered over the Web, thanks in part to online CRM's strong acceptance.

"On-demand and SaaS offerings have increased the choices for ERP software purchasers and deployment options," said Himmelberger.


9. ROI Matters

ERP has often been held in a kind of religious zeal by its champions. Despite massive costs to rip out mainframe systems, convert data to a new format and implement ERP across the enterprise, some projects were allowed to run way over budget without complaint. It was the way forward, after all. Those days are gone. Organizations specifying ERP are focusing much more on clearly defining a business case and demanding return on investment (ROI).

"Purchases tend to be smaller and more frequent, as rapid ROI becomes more and more essential to buyers," said Himmelberger.


10. Mobile ERP

The mobile device market keeps shifting and changing. iPads, iPhones, smartphones and more are now everyday business tools. Thus ERP suites have to keep pace.

"Mobile applications will continue to proliferate, driving functionality out towards employees," said Himmelberger. "Mobile and other self-service options lower costs and increase transaction quality while improving timeliness."


This article was originally published on December 13, 2010
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