Like every year, some interesting statements in Panorama’s top-10 predictions for the ERP industry in 2016. But I don’t agree with all of them.
Cloud drives increasing adoption of ERP in the SMB market
Panorama Consulting correctly states that cloud-based ERP is easier to deploy and to maintain than on-premise software, thus making ERP accessible for small and mid-sized companies.
And also… the end of the cloud hype
Once a new technology becomes common, it stops being a hype. That’s what’s happening to cloud ERP: especially Microsoft has made a big step forward in converting the (hybrid) cloud into the core of its Microsoft Dynamics-offering, in close combination with Office 365. In other words: in 2016, the cloud will not be ‘interesting’ anymore to talk about it from a marketing perspective. It would be like shouting your car has 4 wheels.
Success vs failure
According to Panorama, business process reengineering and organizational change management are the key drivers for successful ERP implementation. I think there is still a lot of work to do on this subject: I’m afraid that too many SMB decision makers still consider an ERP project as the implementation of a product, rather than an organizational change project.
Best of breed or all-in-one ?
I don’t agree with Panorama’s statement about the comeback of ‘best of breed’ solutions that may challenge ‘all-in-one’ ERP. I think that suppliers like Microsoft are delivering so much development efforts in delivering feature-rich ‘all-in-one’ solutions (look at what Microsoft Dynamics NAV is today vs. 10 years ago), that current best of breed solutions will be forced to remain small niche players or extend their functionalities to become all-in-one solutions themselves.
I think Salesforce, for example, is extending the definition of ‘CRM’ way beyond what it used to be. The overlap with ‘ERP’ will become bigger and bigger: just look at what their Appexchange already has to offer.