Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems remain a vital component of business operations for a host of different firms. These software solutions have enabled companies to streamline their processes, improve their productivity, and (always helpful in an age of rising inflationary pressures) reduce operational costs. However, the world of business is evolving at a rapid pace, and so too are the demands placed on these systems. Noting this, I thought the time was opportune to take a closer look at the future of ERP and how things were trending in the space.

As you might imagine, it’s likely best to start by thinking about the growing move towards cloud-based systems. Cloud-based ERP solutions offer several benefits, including greater flexibility, improved scalability, and easier accessibility. Using these solutions, businesses can access their data and applications from any location with an internet connection, allowing for greater collaboration and remote work capabilities. Furthermore, such tools are typically more affordable, as they require less investment in hardware and software.

AI and deep learning technologies have already begun to make their way into ERP systems to boot, with features like predictive analytics and automated data analysis becoming increasingly common as well. Going forward, natural language processing (NLP) and computer vision will also be integrated into such solutions. These technologies will enable businesses to automate more complex tasks, such as demand forecasting and inventory management, allowing them to operate more efficiently and effectively.

The future of ERP will also see a greater emphasis on user experience and ease of use. Let’s face it, after all – these types of systems have traditionally been complex and difficult to use, requiring extensive training and specialized knowledge to operate effectively. However, as the workforce becomes increasingly pressed for time and under duress, ERP systems will need to become more intuitive and user-friendly. This will likely lead the use of more graphical interfaces and streamlined workflows, as well as increasing focus on mobile access and integration with other business applications.

Otherwise, as I frequently point out, the future of ERP will likely see greater integration with other emerging technologies, such as blockchain and the Internet of Things (IoT). Blockchain technology, in particular, holds significant promise for ERP systems, as it can enable secure, decentralized data storage and management. This could be particularly useful in industries such as supply chain management, where transparency and accountability are essential. Similarly, IoT tech can provide ERP systems with real-time data on everything from inventory levels to machine performance, allowing businesses to make more informed decisions and operate more efficiently.

Social responsibility is becoming a big watchword in the space too. As businesses become more aware of their impact on the environment and society, they will need to ensure that their ERP systems are aligned with their values and goals. This may lead to greater integration of sustainability metrics into ERP systems, such as carbon footprint tracking and supply chain transparency. On top of this, ERP systems may need to be designed to support socially responsible practices, such as fair labor standards and ethical sourcing.