ERP is no stranger to change. Since its very existence in the 70’s, it has led a chameleon like existence by blending well in any environment. It has grown and evolved from Material Resource Planning, which provided only a limited amount of functionality, to a full fledged system, with a complete suite of functionalities like CRM, HRM, Inventory Management, Supply Chain Management and financials.
It has successfully ridden wave after wave of disruptive technologies – web, internet and now cloud- with confidence and remains unscathed till date. Every time, a new technology emerges to threaten its existence, it has gone back to the drawing board and coming out stronger than before. The latest iteration to hit the shores happens to be cloud Enterprise Resource Systems. What were the reasons for this change? Why cloud?
Reason for the change
For a long time, ERP technology followed a consistent pattern – onsite, premised based, single tenant, licensed software designed to support rigid, automated and highly standardized decision making. The forces of globalization revealed the limitation of existing systems. The next wave of disruptive technologies, i.e., web, forced businesses to re-look their commitment to popular ERP packages of the day.
The next big disruption came with the emergence of new technologies like the cloud, mobile and big data. Suddenly it was good to be small. Small companies were better placed to take advantage of the dynamic nature of the market because of their small size. Since they were small and nimble they could act faster than their bigger compatriots. The cloud had broken down barriers to entry. Even a small business could benefit from ERP.
With ERP available in the cloud, more and more businesses will try to take advantage from it and mover their ERP to the cloud. Adoption of Cloud ERP is going to rise. Startups and SMB’s are going to drive growth in this market.
The trend will be to move from CAPEX to OPEX and from onsite to offsite Enterprise Resource Systems (in the cloud).Since Cloud ERP provides managed services businesses will be able to concentrate on their core activities
Mobile technologies will lead to breaking down of information silos leading to real time data sharing. 24X7 and anytime and anywhere access of data will foster better decision making spanning all the departments of an organization.
ERP downtime will reduce considerably because data will be stored at multiple sites to prevent time lags.
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