Top ERP Trends for 2023

ERP the most important software in the stack and are essential for your business. Here are the Top 10 ERP Trends for 2023.

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    ERPs belong to a rare class of “OG enterprise software.” They date back to the 1960s, (AKA: ancient history for tech), yet somehow, in 2023, they’re still the most important software in the stack.

    Like any industry veteran, the ERP stays relevant by continuously evolving alongside economic conditions, customer expectations, and the latest tech. 

    Post-COVID, we’re in the midst of a new ERP evolution. Inflation, non-stop supply chain disruptions, the fear of a looming recession (real or perceived), AI anxiety (yeah, we’re looking at you, ChatGPT), among other recent developments are pushing IT leaders to focus on new priorities. 

    In just a matter of months, new cliches have emerged as shorthand for moving forward amid all this chaos and uncertainty. Think — “do more with less,” “build resilience,” or “embrace an agile mindset.”

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    Next-gen ERPs aim to help orgs get more mileage from existing resources – simultaneously cutting costs and fueling growth. And, while they can’t predict the future, the right solution can help you navigate uncharted territory with confidence. And, more importantly, set the stage for lasting growth. 

    Here, we break down the latest ERP trends, what’s driving them, and what it all means for your business in 2023 and beyond.

    1. Cloud

    If you’re wondering why “cloud” is on our list of 2023 ERP trends, we totally get it. It’s the mid-2020s. No one thinks of “the cloud” as cutting-edge tech. It’s just the default. 

    But, cloud ERP is still  “trending” for a couple of reasons. 

    For one, IT leaders can’t keep dragging their feet on migration. Cloud ERP adoption is still on the rise because these systems offer more flexibility and they’re a prerequisite for tapping into more transformative ERP trends. 

    Two, cloud ERPs provide many strategic advantages. Those advantages include greater flexibility in terms of integration, customization, and composability. The cloud allows orgs to scale up, down, or sideways, as needed. Meaning, they can add more capacity, replace modules, or integrate new applications that align with their needs in the moment.

    Beyond those more general benefits, cloud ERPs are trending because they lay the foundation for a broader transformation strategy

    A few years ago, migration was transformative, in and of itself. Now, orgs are realizing they need to step things up. They’re embracing increasingly sophisticated cloud strategies focused on building full-on ecosystems aligned perfectly with their unique requirements and goals.

    2. Industry-Specific Platforms

    Industry ERPs are an extension of the big shift to the cloud we just mentioned. They strike a balance between generic platforms that don’t offer any real competitive advantage and expensive, often complex, custom builds.

    Essentially, these solutions provide all of the same basic capabilities you’ll find in a standard ERP system – accounting, finance, inventory, maybe a bit of CRM. But, they take things a step further — offering features tailored to the needs of specific industries or niche groups.

    Industry platforms aren’t necessarily out-of-the-box solutions. For example, we helped BGSF Staffing  build an all-in-one system, with Dynamics 365 Finance as the “base.”

    D365 Finance itself is industry-agnostic, but designed for enterprises or those with complex business models or financial needs. We used AXIO, an advanced framework that enhances D365’s built-in capabilities and accelerates the implementation process. This allowed us to immediately start focusing on high-impact areas — like redesigning back-end processes and adding in integrations that further enhanced reporting and automation capabilities.

    This particular client chose Solver, a budgeting tool that enabled them to manage all budgets in one place, automate financial forecasts, and create detailed visual reports that helped them understand and share information.

    The goal is building a stack that operates as a cohesive unit. It doesn’t matter how you get there or what “pieces” need to come together in order to make that happen. Instead, it’s about finding a core solution that checks most of your boxes, then looking for compatible solutions/software/services/whatever to fill critical gaps.

    3. Embedded AI & ML

    Historically, ERP systems focused primarily on collecting and managing transactional data. That meant data analysis and interpretation fell to human experts — who relied on past experiences, gut feelings, and personal preferences to make decisions.

    It also meant that employees spent hours of their day performing low-value manual tasks like tracking down documents, inputting data into spreadsheets, and re-doing work   due to errors or misunderstandings.

    Now, AI and ML are embedded into any “good” ERP straight from the box. Embedded intelligence works behind the scenes to streamline operations, guide decision-making, and surface opportunities for improvement.

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    What’s more, many come embedded with predictive analytics and forecasting capabilities — helping users make decisions in context with current conditions and future possibilities.

    Gartner’s 2023 Strategic Predictions report raises an important point: improvement is driven primarily by flexibility and openness to change. Technology is just one of many options’ worth exploring.

    The biggest issue re: orgs and their AI investments is poor planning. Jumping the gun on automation, choosing the wrong solution, or skipping key foundational steps are all recipes for disaster. 

    Deploy the algorithms prematurely and, well, bad things will happen. When machine learning models are trained on inaccurate or incomplete data, they produce poor outcomes and bad advice. When inefficient processes are automated, they generate tons of bad data, amplify errors, and create a massive amount of waste.

    Sure, sometimes, AI, ML, and automation are the right solution, though, in many cases, tech creates new problems. AI might help lower carbon emissions or eliminate waste centers, but they also generate a ton of data and, therefore, consume a ton of energy. That, in turn, creates a wrinkle for corporate sustainability plans (and IT budgets) moving forward. 

    The point is, sometimes “doing more with less” just means “doing less.”

    4. Mobile ERP

    As with cloud-based ERP systems, mobile support has been around for quite some time. So, while mobility itself isn’t exactly “trending,” we are seeing some major strides in mobile ERP. 

    Today’s mobile apps are much more than a clunky add-on to the main system. All users — whether they’re working from home, the warehouse, or visiting clients in the field — benefit from always-on, remote access to real-time data and capabilities optimized for the reality of “on-the-go” work.

    For example, a fully integrated cloud-based ERP allows employees to access critical apps and real-time insights from any location or device. 

    Remote workers, external partners, field service teams, etc., can collaborate and contribute without running into connectivity issues. And – business leaders can set them up for success by designing dashboards, reporting tools, and role-specific digital workstations, customized around individual needs. 

    5. Personalization

    As individualized customer experiences become the default, organizations need to invest in ERP solutions that make it easier for employees to meet those expectations — without wasting valuable resources, jeopardizing relationships, or completely burning out as they try to keep up with near-impossible demands.

    Industry ERPs, AI-driven insights, and low-code/no-code platforms are making it easier for all employees to meet new demands — as well as solve problems and develop innovative solutions that bring real value to consumers.

    Microsoft Dynamics 365, for example, runs on the same common data model as the low-code development tools in its Power Platform suite.

    6. Sustainability

    According to HBR, 2021 was the year sustainable business went “mainstream.” In 2023, that declaration rings even more true. 

     We’ve reached a point where organizations in every sector — whether “green” is part of their corporate identity or not — have come around to the idea that sustainability pays. 

     In part, that’s because consumers are more likely to demand accountability from brands and support climate-conscious companies — even if it means paying more.

    But — sustainability is getting cheaper. The Atlantic’s Emma Marris writes that the once-costly transition to green energy is now considered lucrative by business and political leaders both in the US and abroad.

    All of this is relevant to ERP investments because these platforms play a significant role in helping companies not just save time and money, but also take proactive steps toward reducing energy consumption and environmental waste.

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    Even the initial migration to the cloud can help orgs slash energy consumption — they’re no longer running on-prem servers, nor are they relying on physical equipment that needs to be replaced — and, eventually, disposed of.

    Digitizing documents and processes allow orgs to go paperless, while end-to-end visibility and real-time reporting enables teams to ID and eliminate waste in production processes.

    7. Hyper-Integration

    We’ll end with one last “non-trend” trend — “ERP integration.” Integration is a familiar concept to anyone with a bare minimum understanding of the modern ERP systems and how they work.

    Already, providers like SAP, NetSuite, Sage, Microsoft, and others offer modular ERP solutions designed with integration in mind. But, what we’re seeing now goes beyond our traditional understanding of integration. It’s not just cobbling together a bunch of apps that cover all the right bases. 

    In 2023, ERPs are integrating with other technologies to further enhance reporting and automation capabilities, improve customer & employee experiences, and enable simplified customization, and accelerate time to value. IoT, social media, BI, low-code dev tools, accelerators, and proprietary solutions are now embedded with core ERP apps.

    What’s more, we’re also seeing more blending of services and software. Meaning, solution providers are shifting away from an implementation & support model and toward something more akin to SaaS.

    Final Thoughts

    Given that the tech landscape is on the brink of major disruption, we can expect to see a new wave of ERP trends in the coming months.

    Consider how much has changed since ChatGPT launched in November 2022. Now, AI chat is about to revolutionize search — and how information is generated, distributed, and consumed. And that’s just the best-known example of the moment. AI, ML, etc. are completely redefining every industry – boring, over-hyped, and everything in between. 

    The point is, trends come and go, but, the ERP should remain a constant – facilitating change through unity, flexibility, and adaptability. But beyond the ERP Trends –  it’s on you to do the heavy lifting. 

    Velosio offers a wide range of modern ERP solutions and services – tailored to fit industry and individual client needs. Our experts have years of hands-on experience and industry expertise – with both Microsoft Dynamics and NetSuite ERP solutions. We also work with a network of ISV partners, allowing us to help clients fill niche requirements – without the added time and expense. 

    Contact us today to learn more.

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