2019 ERP Trends

2019 ERP trends and digital transformation strategies can take many shapes. However, an ERP solution may exist as the most powerful tool to empower businesses. These systems unify people, processes, and resources within a single environment, more importantly, one that provides a single source of truth (read data). With a modern ERP system in place, you can inject renewed vigor and capability into once disparate, siloed systems and departments within your organization. The ERP landscape is changing constantly alongside new and emerging technologies. Businesses are increasingly leveraging these technologies as they become more attainable than they have been in the past. New deployment methods also enable smaller organizations to do more with less. You can download a free PDF guide of the most essential ERP selection strategies, here.

Here are just some of the 2019 ERP trends we expect to see take shape over the next year.

More System Audits And Disaster Preparedness

Cybersecurity has long been brushed aside as a buzzword but, with ransomware and bad actors abound, it is a topic taking up more and more meeting time among IT professionals and C-suite executives. Maintaining systems is another topic that often gets put on the back burner, as businesses find a system that works for them and effectively ride it until the wheels fall off in many cases. however, failing to maintain modern infrastructure for critical systems is setting oneself up for disaster in the long run.

Last week I spoke with a newly-hired IT professional whose company manufactures products for the railway industry. Their company had been operating on an AS/400 system for more than 15 years. In all that time, it had been working without a hitch and the company could get by conducting business as usual without a second thought. Until they couldn’t. The system began freezing intermittently a few weeks ago. It eventually required a hard reset as many as three times a week, taking 2-3 hours to become operational in each instance. Eventually, it stopped responding altogether. It was then revealed that there were no backups of any kind and no disaster recovery plan in place. A mad dash to get something, anything done and resume operations ensued. However, the company was left in the dark with an in-house system on antiquated hardware with that left no quick recovery in sight.

an image of an IT professional wishin he had paid more attention to the 2019 erp trends and digital transformation topics sooner

Fortunately, the company was able to locate an AS/400 and data recovery specialist in Florida that had an intimate knowledge of their systems. They are now on the road to recovery. What’s important to note about this situation is that the subsequent events brought their systems to the forefront of just about every internal conversation. Moving forward, there will be a disaster recovery system in place and you had better believe they’ll be backing up their data religiously.

While anecdotal, the account highlights the need to be hyper-vigilant at a time when technology is moving faster than most businesses can. You should always be evaluating your systems and disaster preparedness plans, regardless of what technology you use. There will always be companies that won’t budge on setting aside the budget for regular audits of internal systems and disaster recovery plans. However, more companies are getting on board with the idea of ensuring they are safe from infrastructure failure from the inside out. Tech will earn more focused discussion not just in the server room, but in the boardroom, as well.

Cloud Deployment Of ERP On The Rise

The above anecdote leads into our next item on the list of 2019 ERP trends, whereby traditional deployment models of ERP systems fall by the wayside, and cloud deployment is elevated to top preference. This deployment method not only saves companies high upfront costs associated with traditional deployment models but also provides a significantly more capable data protection strategy to be adopted.

cloud erp as part of 2019 erp trends

ERP vendors that offer cloud deployment are already pushing for this method over on-premise and hosted options. These entities often have substantial budgets for the storage and security of client data that surpass anything small and medium-sized businesses can alone dedicate to maintaining their internal systems. While cloud deployments will certainly be on the rise, we expect traditional deployments will be offered and implemented less frequently if not entirely phased out, as a result.

More Failed Implementations

That headline is one you probably don’t want to read, but it’s a result that manifests all too often. As many as 2/3 of all ERP implementations fail. It’s a scary statistic. When businesses without the experience and teams they need try to implement an ERP system on their own, a menagerie of things can go wrong. With this push for digital transformation and the adoption of technology to stay relevant and competitive, we expect many small, medium, and even large enterprises will be lulled into a false sense of capability. On the other end of the spectrum, we anticipate many independent contractors and other tech professionals making moves to break into this competitive market of ERP integrations and consultations. The results will be many new operators faking it until they make or learn on the company dime

If you are considering an ERP implementation as part of your company’s digital transformation strategy, at the very least you should consult with the vendor directly about best practices. Additionally, there are value-added resellers (VARs), independent consultants, and project managers with decades of experience in the field who can ensure these projects are successful. Do your research and align your organization with a proven partner that can deliver effective strategies to make your implementation a success.

Accountability For Integrators

As ERP systems become more affordable and prevalent in small and medium business environments, we fully expect more failed implementations to result as more businesses adopt the technology without proper preparation. However, not enough can be said about the increased scrutiny that will be heaped on independent consultants and integrators. It’s understandable for a business to want to go it alone if they’re already paying the in-house staff carrying out the project. Bringing in external help can be costly. This is doubly so when the hired help doesn’t deliver on their contractual obligations.

increased accountability as part of 2019 erp trends

Unfortunately, there are a lot of less-seasoned professionals in the implementation space. With so many ways to conduct research, read unbiased reviews, and consult with former customers of integrators, businesses have plenty of resources at their disposal to find the right partners. They also have the right tools to let the world know when one hasn’t lived up to their promises in the past.

No More “Old Way” Of Doing Things

As with all new processes, integration needs to be approached with caution and a considerable amount of planning. Let’s say a business, not unlike the one mentioned earlier, decides to implement a new enterprise-wide system. Continuing to operate with the same processes that are decades old just doesn’t make sense. Businesses will have to adopt change not just at the technology level, but at structural and operational levels, as well.

new methods of achieving results as part of 2019 erp trends

With new technology, new ideologies need to emerge within an organization so that it may rise to operate on the same level as its innovative tools. Internal processes, organizational cultures, and business models will all need to be reevaluated. If change is deemed necessary, that change needs to be managed appropriately. This way, operations are not disrupted while these new approaches to how things get done take root.

Start On Your Path To Digital Transformation

If these 2019 ERP trends have piqued your interest in taking your organization to the next level of operation, we can help you get there with a few essential strategies to adopt in your ERP evaluation process.

About Encompass Solutions

Encompass Solutions is a business and software consulting firm that specializes in ERP systems, EDI, and Managed Services support for Manufacturers and Distributors. Serving small and medium-sized businesses since 2001, Encompass modernizes operations and automates processes for hundreds of customers across the globe. Whether undertaking full-scale implementation, integration, or renovation of existing systems, Encompass provides a specialized approach to every client’s needs. By identifying customer requirements and addressing them with the right solutions, we ensure our clients are equipped to match the pace of the Industry.

Whether you’re new to the world of IT or a bastion of knowledge for your organization in all things tech, there are exciting technologies poised to disrupt Industry in the very near future. the top 5 technology trends in 2019 are full of Innovation and advancements. These rapidly maturing and increasingly adopted technologies are some of the most exciting concepts you may or may not have heard of. Each example is poised to change the way we approach fortifying our systems and advancing our workforces to tackle the challenges of corporate and operational growth.

Here are what we think will be the top 5 technology trends in 2019 that will likely have a significant impact on businesses:

1.) Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (HCI)

Hyper-converged infrastructure, or simply hyper-convergence, is a software-defined IT infrastructure. Counter to traditionally constructed systems that involve several components of on-premise hardware that may not speak to each other, HCI seeks to virtualize and combine systems that have traditionally been “hardware-defined”, like storage systems, servers, and networking switches. HCI seeks to modernize organizations through the virtualization of computing, SAN, and networking components of infrastructure into one unified appliance set. That means one source for all resources. The methodology comes in a few forms, including a standalone appliance, a reference architecture, and a software-only model.

a grpahic displaying the benefits of hyper-converged infrastructure as one of the top 5 technology trends in 2019 according to encompass solutions

What Does It Mean For Businesses?

By doing away with siloed physical hardware systems, HCI seeks to establish a business’ IT infrastructure in a purely software-defined environment that eliminates traditional data-center inefficiencies and reduces the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). It is a trend that seeks to marry the agility and versatility of cloud infrastructure without requiring companies to give up their on-premise systems.

When companies no longer have a need to rely on disparate computing and storage systems, management becomes simplified and resource utilization becomes much more efficient. To that end, operations become far less complex and scalability becomes easier to achieve, making HCI one of our first picks for the top 5 technology trends in 2019.

2.) Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD WAN)

To better understand that SD WAN is, it helps to understand standard Wide Area Network (WAN). A WAN is a telecommunications or computer network that extends across a large distance and is capable of transferring data across that distance. This distance can be between regions, countries, or reach across the globe. These networks are generally created with leased telecommunications circuits.

In the case of SD WAN, what you might also refer to as Link Load Balancing, organizations can expand their Wide Area Network to scale alongside requirements, such as increased bandwidth, media streaming, video conferencing, and VOIP calls, much more affordably and with improved performance. SD WAN is designed to address and avoid the pitfalls of networking maintenance and troubleshooting, such as network congestion, packet delay variation, packet loss, and service outages.

According to Gartner, a research firm, SD WAN carries with it four main qualities:

  • The ability to support multiple connection types, such as MPLSframe relay and higher speed LTE wireless communications
  • The ability to do dynamic path selection, for load sharing and resiliency purposes
  • A simple interface that is easy to configure and manage
  • The ability to support VPNs, and third-party services such as WAN optimization controllers, firewalls and web gateways

What Does It Mean For Businesses?

Because SD WAN is a virtualized WAN, businesses reap the benefit of being able to utilize any transport protocol needed. Uptime is further ensured thanks to the utilization of multiple providers for failsafe and bandwidth allocation as necessary. This virtualization also lends the added security benefit of covering security protocols, like malware defenses and botnet intervention, for multiple branches and remote devices. Provisioning on the fly is another substantial benefit of SD WAN. You can send an un-configured device to a site and have all the required network certificates, keys, and policies applied upon installation, immediately implementing the necessary permissions, documentation of traffic patterns, and access of network users. The tech may not be as new as some of the others to make our list of top 5 technology trends in 2019, but it will no doubt become more prevalent.

3.) Internet of Things (IoT) and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) Connectivity

The Internet of Things (IoT) exists as a network of interconnected devices that communicates data to a central system that makes sense of it all.

an image of statistics on IoT devices suggesting the Internet of Things will becomes stronger as one of the top 5 technology trends in 2019 according to encompass solutions.

* Source: CSGI, Intel, Vison Critical

This network consists of all edge devices connected to the many interchanges of an enterprise. From the deli counter to eCommerce platforms, the data gleaned from this network provides invaluable insight into what is successful and what is not in terms of the products and processes that form the inner workings of a business.

an image of statistics on IIoT devices suggesting the Industrial Internet of Things will becomes stronger as one of the top 5 technology trends in 2019 according to encompass solutions.

* Source: Accenture

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) brings this interconnectivity and data-focused paradigm to the terminals, sensors, and other systems on the factory floor.

What Does It Mean For Businesses?

These data-fueled factories become “intelligent” environments, capable of informing enterprises from the top down of the efficiency and shortcomings of their factory processes and performance both in real-time and over time.  In short, the IoT and IIoT data enables manufacturers further to refine and improve operations with relevant and up to date data for smarter, faster decision making. There is no doubt continued invetment in IoT and IIoT technologies and connectivity secure this concept as top 5 technology trends in 2019.

4.) AI-Enabled Security

As more and more data flows through digital devices and connections, the need for improved security protocol and tools increases in tandem. AI-enabled security is one way enterprise security teams and individuals can protect critical data and infrastructure, even when in-house resources are relatively scarce.

an image reprenting AI-enabled security as a top 5 technology trends in 2019 according to encompass solutions

Did you know that malicious actors will typically spend 200+ days in a system before extracting critical and valuable data? Learning who the players are and who holds the keys to the most protected data takes time and malicious actors have the patience that pays off in the long run. However, AI has the potential to be infinitely more patient, resourceful, and vigilant.

What Does It Mean For Industry Businesses?

AI-enabled security makes the list as one of the top 5 technology trends in 2019 because by establishing baselines for normal behavior, traffic patterns, bandwidth allocation, permissions, and user access, system anomalies can be detected within seconds. Intelligent security systems can then act according to the parameters designed by security professionals.

5.) Augmented Reality (AR) And Virtual Reality (VR)

There are numerous applications for AR and VR. Take for instance training of new employees. If a business operates in a single location, managers can give hands-on training and face-to-face feedback with relative ease. What happens when a business operates in multiple locations and needs to onboard multiple resources in a finite amount of time. With the capabilities AR and VR present, managers can work and train remotely with staff. By using vision systems to see what they see, audio to hear what they hear and communicate clearly, and even present schematics, diagrams, and drawing in real-time, managers can to direct training programs from anywhere and at any time.

an image of applications of augmented and virtual reality as top 5 technology trends in 2019 according to encompass solutions

What Does It Mean For Industry Businesses?

Interactive walkthroughs, first-hand product demos, disaster preparedness, and a multitude of training simulations are only a handful of examples where AR and VR will be one of the top 5 technology trends in 2019 and a major game changer for businesses big and small.

About Encompass Solutions

Encompass Solutions, Inc. is an ERP consulting firm, NetSuite Solution Provider and Epicor Gold Partner that offers professional services in business consulting, project management, and software implementation. Whether undertaking full-scale implementation, integration, and renovation of existing systems or addressing the emerging challenges in corporate and operational growth, Encompass provides a specialized approach to every client’s needs. As experts in identifying customer requirements and addressing them with the right solutions, we ensure our clients are equipped to match the pace of Industry.