istock_000040383088large-300x196A man by the name of Dennis Gabor once said, “We cannot predict the future, but we can invent it.” In the ERP industry we have the ability to look at data collected over the last several years to see where trends are shaping the future of enterprise resource planning. Late last year we published a white paper titled 20/20 Panoramic View of the ERP Industry: Nine Business and Technology Trends to Watch. Seeing how much attention it drew, we thought it would be helpful to take a deeper look at some of the emerging business and technology trends that will impact industries, geographies and enterprises of all sizes between now and the year 2020.

  1. Even more heated competition. There is no shortage of business competition in today’s economy, but those forces will continue to intensify over the next several years. Barriers to entry will become lower, private equity and other sources of capital will become more ubiquitous and technological changes will drive shifts in the competitive landscape. Companies that can effectively capture market intelligence will have the ability to morph operations to better meet changing customer needs while effectively collecting customer insights through CRM software, business intelligence and other methods of enterprise software.
  1. Business will reach the mainstream tipping point. As entrepreneurial as our global economy is today compared to years past, the rate of new business formation has not reached the tipping point of mainstream adoption. As technology becomes more accessible, demographics continue to shift to support more business creation (think millennials and immigrants), and popular culture continues to glorify business (think shows such as Undercover Boss and the movie The Social Network). People will start understanding and embracing business more than they do now. Not only will this result in more competition as described above, but it will also create opportunities for those that sell in the B2B space.
  1. Small and mid-size businesses will become more technologically sophisticated. Up until recently, larger enterprises had a big technological advantage over their small and mid-size rivals. However, with the new SaaS ERP software and mobile technologies becoming more cost-effective and easier to deploy, small to mid-markets will be able to catch up to their Fortune 500 counterparts. Gone are the days of companies needing millions of dollars to deploy new enterprise technologies. ERP systems, CRM software and other business technologies will be accessible to most.
  1. There will be tectonic shifts in the ERP and enterprise software industry. Given the fact that ERP vendors and other enterprise software upstarts are opening up smaller and mid-size markets, changes in the business technology landscape will accelerate as more organizations continue to adopt these solutions. More specifically, enterprise software solutions providing flexibility, analytical reporting, mobile access and ease-of-use will dominate the market at the expense of the traditional ERP systems.
  1. Widening gap between “have” and “have-nots.” The increasing adoption of enterprise technologies, mounting competition among businesses in general and changes in the business software space will all converge to create a widening chasm between successful organizations and those that fail. To be successful in this increasingly volatile and competitive environment, successful organizations will need to excel at business strategy, efficient and flexible operations, effective use of enterprise technologies and everything in between. Those that neglect to do so will ultimately fail.

While we cannot speak in absolutes about the future of this industry, these are some of the key trends to keep in mind as you plan your organization’s strategic, operational and technological future.

Learn more by registering for our upcoming webinar, How to Define the Best IT and ERP Strategy Roadmap for Your Organization.

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