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The year ahead in ERP – what does 2021 hold?

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With the first (and arguably longest-feeling!) month of the new year heading to a close, the team here at BOSS Consulting has been busy re-connecting with our clients, business contacts, systems integrators and software vendors as we put together our forecasts for 2021. With that in mind, here is what we expect to see happening within the ERP space this year.

Niche solutions will become more popular

We are confident that one-size-fits-all ERP solutions will decrease in popularity throughout 2021.There is a growing appetite in the market for ‘niche’ solutions, customised for a specific industry sectors, and organisations, although blanket ERP solutions do deliver value for larger businesses, the current landscape points to a requirement for sector-specific solutions and delivery.

2021 could see the replacement of one-size-fits-all ERP and business applications by personalised, niche ERP platforms and business application solutions. These will contain specific features and functionalities that can be optimised for a particular industry, or part of a business with potential for a better and more extensive user-friendly interface and seamless integration of cutting-edge technology embracing the digital world, and need to react quickly to changing landscapes within businesses.

Data-on-the-go will be key

In recent years, software vendors have offered mobility as an add-on feature, but we believe that in 2021 it will become the focus. Having your ERP and business applications available on a mobile app will be the norm, as ERP and business applications solutions have evolved to include access to critical business data-on-the-go, and far improved usability.

Enabling employees to get a snapshot of accurately captured data, view the status of workflows, complete key tasks at home and collaborate with colleagues across the world, mobile ERP and business applications tools will provide a massive boost to agility and productivity of end users.

Cloud adoption will be mainstream

Companies are increasingly opting for cloud ERP solutions – primarily because you’ll always have the latest version of the software, you pay for what you need, it’s easy to expand and it is easy to integrate with other applications.

Essentially, cloud adoption takes away a lot of worries, and the performance of cloud solutions is excellent, data security is well organised and it’s not necessarily more expensive than an on-premise solution. We expect smaller to mid-tier companies to move their ERP solution in the cloud throughout 2021, especially given that SAP and Microsoft are focusing heavily on the cloud. And those staying with on-premise solutions at least hosting them on cloud services.

Independent ERP partners will grow in popularity

Often, choosing to work with a larger a partner has been the norm. But this has the potential to become overwhelming and expensive very quickly. That’s why we believe it’s more beneficial to work with a boutique partner, where businesses benefit from an experienced team that puts the project first, offers bespoke teams of resources to aligned to the roles, and creates a long-lasting relationship throughout the full project life-cycle.

With this in mind, we believe that 2021 will be the rise of boutique implementation partners. Working with an independent partner who will stay loyal to the business’s goals while also being able to offer sector-specific solutions is likely to become more popular throughout 2021.

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