Forrester Report: The Future of ERP

With the first Microsoft release coming in 1998, ERP is not a new concept. However, the enhanced functionality and capability that the technology can bring to users is.

ERP vendors are beginning to have a serious re-think about what ERP solutions can do, and the role that technology can play in business operations.

Renowned research body Forrester’s report into the future for ERP, entitled ‘Global, Industry and Technology Forces Shape the ERP Landscape’, identified the following key trends for the technology as part of its research:

Moving from Cost Saving to Profit Making with ERP

Traditionally, ERP has stayed true to its name and been used as a tool to plan operations, in terms of process management and cost retrenchment. However, this functionality is developing significantly. Vendors are taking a more creative approach to ERP, by incorporating up-to-the-minute capabilities that enable businesses to develop new services and sales channels. For example, ERP is helping retail companies to establish greater channel connectivity in order to offer fresh shopping experiences such as click and collect, effectively transforming the business model and adding a new revenue stream. ERP Vendors are really beginning to embrace the possibilities of modern technology.

Finding ERP with a Functional Fit

When it comes to ERP, it’s not a case of ‘one size fits all’. With the varying challenges facing businesses due to their respective target verticals, solutions need to be tailored to the specific needs of users. Microsoft has moved towards industry-aligned solutions, by building upon its flagship ERP solution to create Microsoft Dynamics AX for Retail, Manufacturing and Distribution. HSO has continued this requirement to find highly functional solutions with the development of Dynamics Fashion for AX, providing enhanced inventory management, point of sale and trend analysis capability to retailers.

Going Hybrid for Real Time ERP

Your customers don’t stop, so why should you? For industries that are open to fluctuating demand, such as Retail and Distribution, success can be defined by the ability to make the right business critical decisions, fast. By utilising a hosted ERP system such as Microsoft Dynamics AX, business users can view data and analytics anytime, anywhere, supporting a rapid response to changing market conditions. Gartner has recognised a trend for ERP users to leverage a hybrid model, allowing businesses to integrate their solutions with on-premise applications.

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