Business applications like ERP are undergoing many changes. The realities of cloud computing, the accessibility provided by mobile technologies and the impact of social media are all affecting the business application environment. Market research conducted by some of the most important companies in the field have shown which are the managers' expectations from ERP systems for 2012 and beyond. Here are some of the highly anticipated predictions for 2012:
ERP will become mobile. Bringing greater ERP mobility from the shop floor to the sales call will increasingly be seen as a means to lessen the time crunch. 2012 is the year where mobility gets real across the enterprise with solid performance numbers being generated as a result. Integration on mobile devices, including tablets, will emerge as the new enterprise bling. The expectations are very high for having real-time updates on a series of benchmarks that the management team uses to manage their many businesses on mobile platforms. As Gartner`s experts predicts, by 2016, at least 50% of enterprise email users will rely primarily on a browser, tablet or mobile client instead of a desktop client.
Rapid implementations become the new normal. Accuracy, speed and quickness with perfect implementations are what the new expectations are based on. ERP implementation timeframes will drastically shrink in 2012, with greater pressure on system integrators and professional services to meet or beat deadlines.
Less „do it yourself” ERP projects. CIOs and CFOs are becoming smart and risk adverse enough to know better than to try this approach when it comes to transforming their entire business with a new ERP system. They will try to reduce their pure technical skills and will try to get their groups to be business focussed. These companies will lean on outside consultants and experts more than they have in recent years.
Cloud-based ERP will continue to gain ground at the expense of traditional ERP. Software as a Service (SaaS) vendors have successfully gained smaller customers from the traditional ERP vendors over the last few years, but in 2012 they will start making broader in-roads among mid-size companies. Enterprises will continue to adopt SaaS-based applications to replace legacy, high-maintenance and often marginally effective systems in use today. Accordind to Gartner, by 2015, low-cost cloud services will cannibalize up to 15% of top outsourcing players’ revenue.
Convergence of CRM and social media. Industry analysts have been talking about it and software developers have been working on it for years, but next year is when we will finally start to see some meaningful integration between the “enterprise” side of CRM and the “social” side of Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, in order to allow organizations to better manage internal customer relationship functions in tandem with the external and less structured social media functions. To have ERP, CRM and Social Media as three separate systems makes no sense, particularly in industries where consumer interaction in key. A „stock-out” used to be a lost opportunity, with social media it can quickly become a big issue. A company needs to be agile to its customer demand, so that the ties between ERP and Social Media will be more tighten. In 2013, the investment bubble will burst for consumer social networks, and for enterprise social software companies in 2014, said Gartner.
Template-driven implementations will become more commonplace in the mid-market. Template-driven implementations will also become commonplace in cloud-based ERP systems and solution packages sold to vertical market industries. These templates will be especially useful in industries where compliance is critical to passing government audits, for example in the food industry.
As bottom line, in 2012 the enterprises will be in search of systems that will help reduce the time shortages that nearly every one of them is facing today.