It’s the end of what has been a difficult year for a lot of businesses, with many proactively seeking how their ERP systems can help them be more efficient in the next 12 months ahead.

Sadly we’re not able to predict the future, but we do have some thoughts on what are going to be the big trends for next year.

 

Artificial intelligence

The term AI was first coined in the mid 1950s with MIT and IBM having input into the early research, so it’s not exactly new. In the last few years, however, AI has become more and more prevalent in the offerings of companies such as Microsoft and IBM, to name just two.

People have long been suspicious of this sort of technology, often feeling that it would end up replacing humans in the workforce, but that is not the case. Artificial intelligence and Machine Learning are now being used more widely to help with decision making or productivity, whilst limiting errors within that particular process.

In ERP terms, finance functions, such as accounts payable may be the ideal place to integrate AI.

Internet of Things integration

By now most of us have at least one smart device in our home and offices. But how can this help improve our business data? When a business invests in an ERP, they are looking to get data which is useful, actionable but also correct. By integrating IoT devices to an ERP, you’re going to get a lot more data.

Think about businesses that ship out machines to industry, but then also have a service contract too. At the moment, there is a reliance on someone contacting someone else to tell them that they need a service visit. With machines that are part of the Internet of Things, there is no need for this, as the machine can request its own service.

It sounds like a thing of fantasy, but actually, this is great news for both businesses in this example. The supplier gets more information back about the lifecycle of their machine, the owner gets their machines serviced without a headache.

 

Cloud Computing

This year we’re predicting more businesses are going to move towards ERP systems which are running on the cloud, where appropriate.

Cloud based ERP systems are not for everyone, however, they do have some great benefits, particularly for smaller businesses who have not got a dedicated IT function. We also see, given the events of 2020, that this cost saving could come into its own for other larger businesses too. With heads of companies looking to streamline costs in order to protect businesses, this makes perfect sense.

 

The biggest bonus of these three trends is that they are all able to work together to provide an even greater benefit to the business who embrace them. All in all, we think these trends have the potential to be a great catalyst for change. Enabling businesses to be leaner and more efficient, but also have the flexibility to react to whatever 2021 throws at them.

If you’re looking at transforming your business in 2021, why not get in touch to see how we can help you?