As ERP becomes one of the older software applications in the business landscape, ERP vendors are constantly evolving to meet the needs of customers and stay competitive in an ever-changing industry. Here are 3 of the biggest changes to ERP in the last 5 years.

1. ERP Software Customization

More companies are choosing to customize their ERP software options than ever before. ERP customization has long been a risk that companies have shied away from. But this is certainly changing. In fact, according to the 2005 ERP Business Report, a whopping 93% of companies chose to customize their ERP to varying degrees.

It seems more and more companies are coming to terms with the fact that ERP systems need some kind of customization in order to meet unique business needs. In response to this recognized need, ERP companies are working to create an environment where customization is less risky and more accepted. It’s important to note that this increase in customization might also contribute to a rise in the failure rate of ERP implantation as well.

2. ERP and SaaS

SaaS applications stored on cloud-based servers have seen a major rise in popularity in the last 5 years. ERP companies are finally starting to recognize the need to shift to SaaS applications to some degree. On-premises ERP tools require storage on company servers, which can make up-front hardware costs and continued maintenance a pricey endeavor.

Many ERP companies are launching SaaS products for new customers looking to implement, as well as migration paths for current customers to move to cloud-based ERP. Some ERP companies even offer mixed models that allow for SaaS-based modules to be added to already existing ERP systems.  This can be a major cost saver and is allowing more small-to-mid-size businesses the ability to implement ERP systems of their own. It seems cloud-based ERP is here to stay for the foreseeable future. 

These SaaS options also mean a greater need for technical expertise in implementing and maintaining ERP systems. This is great news for IT professionals. Still, it’s important for companies to consider their ERP implementation as a full-scale business transformation, not just an IT decision.

3. Internet Connectivity

ERP systems are also having to adapt to an increase of data availability due to more devices and products becoming connected to the internet. This is great news for businesses looking to have more oversight into things like supply chain, appliance performance, and shipping partners. While there may not be a great deal of accessibility in this area yet, it’s certainly on the horizon. 

The last 5 years in the ERP industry have been exciting and full of changes. The industry is in a constant state of flux as new technologies collide and understanding this is essential to a successful ERP implementation. One thing that remains unchanged, however, is the importance of hiring the most qualified ERP consultant you can find.

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