Disruption becomes a dominating aspect of our reality when factors like inflation, recession, and rising demand put strain on the world supply chain and reveal new limitations. As organizations continuously adapt to new business management standards, they are depending more and more on ERP systems to handle their operations to remain relevant and competitive in a world that is adjusting to disruption all the time.
ERP technology will see a significant shift in 2024, with a focus on cloud-based systems and integrated AI capabilities. These days, companies are searching for customizable, cloud-based systems with mobile capabilities, AI with real-time data analytics, and easy interaction with other digital tools, all in a secure environment.
Here are five trends to watch out for in 2024
Integration using standard APIs coincides with the rise in cloud ERP adoption. An ERP that gives you the flexibility to integrate with other programs is essential. Access to APIs and the capacity to integrate specialized third-party solutions are provided by customizable ERP solutions, giving businesses more control over the creation and implementation of their ERP solutions as well as the ease with which features may be added or removed.
Cloud-First Approach To ERP
Though not a new trend, cloud-based ERP continues to be considered one of the most revolutionary. The advent of cloud computing has opened new possibilities for ERP, allowing for cloud solutions that promote more productive work practices, save time, lower the total cost of ownership, and assist organizations in transforming their operations. Cloud ERP systems now control most of the industry thanks to open, adaptable, and scalable cloud apps. Many of the firms that continue to utilize ERP that is hosted on-premise are beginning to realize how and why they are falling behind. Operational constraints, which ranged from rigidity and expensive scalability to a dearth of creativity and only partial cooperation, were brought to light by the pandemic and pushed many companies to operate remotely, rendering on-premise solutions outdated.
With today's workforce becoming more mobile and adaptable, ERP on the move is a trend that is only going to get bigger. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that a major trend in ERP for 2024 is a greater emphasis on mobile management solutions.
IoT devices and other mobile tools will be important in 2024 for order scanning and picking in warehouses. RF guns have long been the workhorses of distribution companies, and they maintain some advantages over mobile technology – including speed. But modern devices are getting better, and they’re more familiar to new workers as they are already accustomed to the user interface of mobile devices. It’s easier to train new employees to use mobile devices such as smartphones because they’re intuitive and familiar. With features including mobile CRM, proof of delivery, warehousing, point-of-sale (POS), signature capture, and order entry, mobile ERP systems are made to support operations "on the go."
Machine Learning and AI
ERP will undergo a further transition to automation in 2024, integrating AI and machine intelligence.
Many companies will analyze what AI can contribute to business value and some will take a wait-and-see approach to its adoption. They’ll utilize AI when it contributes directly to business value, such as in predictive analytics and purchasing forecasting.
All ERP functionalities, including solutions tailored to certain industries like manufacturing and distribution, will be impacted by the expanding AI trend. Machine learning and other artificial intelligence technologies are assisting businesses in deriving more value from the ever-increasing amounts of data that are being gathered. AI keeps helping businesses make the most of their mountains of corporate data, improve their operational procedures, and obtain fresh, actionable insights.
Security Continues to be a Priority
The top threats expected to face businesses in 2024 are Ransomware and the denial of operations and reputational damage, and natural disasters and business continuity.
Ransomware attackers extorted at least $449.1 million in the first half of 2023 alone according to the Department of Homeland Security (and some say there are non-reported monies making it an even greater amount). As mid-market companies continue to adopt new technologies, they’ll find themselves with expanding digital footprints, and a larger attack surface, and they may not have the cybersecurity talent to manage it. They’ll seek shelter in cloud solutions and managed services.
The need to get the world-class infrastructure in place will continue to be essential for mid-market companies to better identify and remediate evolving threats (e.g. ransomware) that can significantly disrupt business continuity.
The ERP industry's push to boost productivity and transform how companies run their operations is what's driving the ERP transformation. The main characteristics and implementation strategies of ERP solutions will continue to undergo substantial change in 2024. ERP will keep developing new technology and operational workflows, which companies must adapt to be competitive.