Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems have done their fair share to evolve, adapt, and meet an ever-changing array of market demands. The technology has moved away from the perception of it being budget-hungry and clumsy. Today it is agile and modular, snapping into place within organisations to provide immediate relief and intelligent capabilities, meeting businesses at the crossroads between innovation and transformation.
So, with ERPs already fast-tracking their capabilities, what lies ahead for this technology, and how will organisations fully realise its potential?
These are our predictions for ERP solutions in 2024:
Honing and refining the customer experience
In 2023, customer perceptions dipped even further than in 2022. According to the Forrester US Customer Experience Index, only 6% of brands saw an increase in customer experience (CX) quality last year, while for most businesses it declined for the second year in a row. Even though companies cite CX as a priority, they’re somehow missing the mark. This means that 2024 is going to see more companies turn to emerging technologies, especially within existing ERP frameworks, that are capable of providing them with more CX support and innovation.
ERPs will continue to leverage intelligent real-time data and predictive analytics alongside highly agile gen AI support systems to provide organisations with comprehensive control over CX within a unified solution. This approach delivers measurable results and overcomes the CX barrier that’s currently impacting performance and customer engagement.
Operational efficiencies will be reimagined
Companies have spent the past three years navigating increasingly choppy seas while upgrading technology and systems to ensure they remain agile and competitive on a global scale. It has been challenging, to say the least, particularly as budgets continue to shrink.
Moving into 2024, the mantra of “do more with less” will remain very much in place. As the Everest group 2024 Key Issues Study found, companies are prioritising revenue growth and cost optimization as they face rising cost and margin pressures.
Companies will turn to ERPs that allow them to integrate essential capabilities seamlessly. This means that the market will be dominated by solutions that are modular, intelligent, and capable of slipping into organisations’ infrastructure without extensive effort spent on APIs, connections, and integration costs.
This year, companies want ERP modules that allow them to manage operational aspects on a single platform within tight budgets and timeframes.
Automation will become a key decision point
What do companies want from their technology? Problem resolution. It’s that simple.
In 2024, ERPs must support businesses in achieving performance and efficiency—all within an AI- and machine learning-driven infrastructure that supports automation. This automation can include individual customisation of workflows, the optimisation of supply chains, and the personalisation of customer and user experiences.
Automation will continue to gain traction as an invaluable asset within the ERP ecosystem. It will enable companies to improve their service offerings and streamline processes while allowing businesses to enjoy the simplicity introduced by gen AI.
Cloud-based ERPs will grow in popularity and scale
Cloud-based ERPs are fast, flexible, and modular. They allow organisations to integrate new features and capabilities at speed—helping them to keep up with the proverbial Joneses. This includes every iteration and innovation provided by AI and its emergent counterparts.
ERPs grow with the business, are secure and accessible, are easily updated and enhanced and can, if integrated correctly, measurably reduce costs. While many companies have been glued to on-premises ERP platforms in the past, 2024 will likely see this narrative shift as cloud-based ERP continues to prove its strategic value.
Looking towards the future of ERP technology
ERPs in 2024 will maintain most of the features that we would expect but will be resolutely aimed towards the future. Many of the technologies introduced over the past few years will continue to deliver on their promises (including cloud, AI, and automation), while others will spring up around the technology, bolstering its ability to go beyond a support function. Soon, ERPs will be key to CX, UX, and actionable digital transformation.