The future of ERP in a connected world

What is the future of ERP? The expansion of digital transformation means that it’s no surprise that ERP remains one of the most important technologies manufacturers have at their disposal. Here are the developments to pay close attention to in the next 12 to 18 months.

Making cloud work: The manufacturing industry typically prefers an on-premise ERP. This is because the scope and complexity of activity in manufacturing often calls for a highly customised ERP that’s pretty much built for your specific processes. With cloud being so dependent on connectivity too, business continuity could be put at risk from a simple internet drop out.

However, as cloud ERP technology becomes more reliable, customisable and resilient, it is certainly gaining traction. Even if it’s not the right fit today, keep your eye on manufacturing-specific cloud ERP developments to not miss an opportunity that could really transform customer journeys, operational efficiency and productivity.

Digital transformation: Integrated ERP implementations will become a key aspect of digital transformation strategies and therefore essential to continued performance and favourable profit margins. Manufacturers will consider ERP configuration and implementation as being just as important as other technology upgrades but this doesn’t mean we’ll be ripping things out and starting again every year.

Aligning ERP more closely with digital transformation is more about continually reviewing how it’s helping to support your company in meeting its business objectives. This could mean more regular audits and more holistic analysis.


Maslow's Hierarchy of ERP Procurement


Moving on up to the cloud?

Even if your ERP is on-premise, the likelihood is that your business is moving in some way toward the cloud. Therefore, you need to consider the future of ERP and how yours will integrate with cloud services and apps, and how this will seamlessly connect.

Integration is essential for efficient IT systems and in turn, an efficient business. But it also creates more doors. So, make sure that your cybersecurity is audited and accounted for at every stage of ERP planning. A provider like Sentis can even manage this on your behalf!

Machine integration: Rapid reactions and adaption are key to a manufacturer’s success in a landscape that today, is changing more quickly, frequently and radically than ever in its history. To harness the opportunities that stem from technological and operational advancement, it’s predicted that manufacturers will consider connecting Internet of Things (IoT) devices directly to operational machinery.

Taking IoT integration in this direction means that data can be collected, tracked and stored in an ERP in real time. This means faster and more precise reactions, more accurate and frequent insights, fewer human technicians and less manual input. Machine integration has the potential to enhance everything from reducing overheads to driving profitability and streamlining maintenance.

Do you need advice about how to futureproof your ERP? Speak to Sentis Managed Solutions on 0345 862 2930 or click here, or for more about IT in manufacturing, download our free IT Guide for Manufacturers.

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Manufacturing IT Guide