Just as companies must transform to meet today’s challenges, the software vendors they rely on must also mutate their products to become a better fit for the next generation of organizations. And that’s happening with ERP. From my perspective, here are the seven ways ERP is evolving, along with my tip for selecting an ERP vendor.
Last year in this space, we predicted that “the humanity of the enterprise will be at center stage.” The pandemic certainly brought people front and center in ways nobody could have foreseen. COVID-19 also accelerated digital transformation, and that will have implications for core enterprise systems in 2021.
Both IDC and Gartner say that enterprise resource planning (ERP) is going to change dramatically in the coming years. IDC suggests that modular, intelligent task apps will be integral to how applications are delivered. They will be loosely coupled, opening up a whole new range of opportunities to use robotic process automation (RPA), artificial intelligence (AI) or automation.
This year, the pandemic taught us the truth of old proverb “necessity is the mother of invention.” When companies had to close offices on short notice to control the spread of the virus, IT teams innovated like never before. In a remarkably short time, they put the assets in place to make all-remote work possible. Almost overnight, they stood up infrastructures to enable businesses to operate virtually.
For decades now, users of enterprise resource planning software have been trained to believe that all the action must take place within the core of the system. ERP is coded to be the journal of record, the beating heart of the organisation, the inner circle of work and the user’s role is to browse and input.
But I’m here to tell you this approach will soon be ancient history. Why? Because the maturing of a potpourri of technologies including cloud, microservices, smarter user experiences, AI, machine learning and open APIs mean that we’re entering a new period where users will no longer be asked to slog through roundabout processes, complex user interfaces, or logging in and out of systems, none of which work the same ways as the others.
At the end of every year, I take a few minutes to think back on the most disruptive technologies of the previous year and consider what tomorrow might have in store. This past year will undoubtedly be remembered as the year of Artificial Intelligence and chatbots. However, when it comes to developing technologies that truly change the way organizations operate, the hype of the simplistic call-and-response chatbots we saw this year will likely be just a small blip on a much longer journey towards true AI. As we approach 2019, I believe that technologies that will truly impact business operations and ROI may not garner as much hype but will bring greater change. This includes trends such as digital transformation, Deep Learning, and low-code/no-applications.
In the 1980s, the television program Knight Rider gave a glimpse into a world where artificial intelligence could learn, communicate, and make independent decisions. The star of the show, a self-aware computer, was housed in a 1982 Pontiac Trans Am, and it intrigued viewers. They imagined how the technology could change lives, handling dull or dangerous tasks with a simple spoken command. At the time, such software sounded like a creation of science fiction. Now, less than four decades later, artificial intelligence and machine learning technology are our reality, communicating with users through natural language interfaces.
When the average person thinks of bots entering the workforce, scenes from X-Men: Days of Future Pastleap to mind, but actually, bots are not the future, they are already adopted and deployed among us. The reality of bots in day-to-day life is less “dominating Sentinel” and more “helpful and productive assistant.”
A bot is a piece of software that is designed and created to automate the kinds of tasks we would usually do on our own. Powered by a set of simple rules and varying degrees of artificial intelligence (AI), we can now create bots that can hold natural-sounding conversations with human beings with the aim of accomplishing tasks, such as answering questions or enabling product purchases.
In the 1980s, the television program Knight Ridergave a glimpse into a world where artificial intelligence could learn, communicate and make independent decisions. The star of the show, a self-aware computer called KITT (Knight Industries Two Thousand), was housed in a 1982 Pontiac Trans Am, and it intrigued viewers. They imagined how the technology could change lives, handling dull or dangerous tasks with a simple spoken command. At the time, such software sounded like a creation of science fiction. Now, less than four decades later, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technology is a reality, communicating with users through natural language interfaces. Everyday jobs will soon be transformed as this technology advances.
The first week on any college campus is hectic, but what if there was a digital assistant available 24/7 to help new students and their families navigate the college process?
With chatbots rapidly infiltrating every aspect of our personal lives, it’s no surprise that student technology is an area ripe for bot intervention. As both students and faculty embrace bots in their personal lives for things like checking the weather, ordering pizza, or finding a cab, it’s about time that campus tech caught up.
Four major enterprise management trends are maturing simultaneously, and their imminent fusion has only begun to transform the way we conduct business. They are big data, mobile access, user experience, and computer intelligence.
Individually, each of these breakthroughs is game changers. Together they will combine into a new, vast and complex enterprise software. Mastering it will require a new type of software capable of autonomously emulating how people perform tasks and make decisions. By operating in the background on a massive scale, it will free employees from mundane tasks and empower them to spend their time on high-level decision-making and oversight. It is called self-driving software.