Enterprise resource planning (ERP) has become part of the standard business tech lexicon. The system consolidates an organization’s essential functions, from accounting to project management.
Furthermore, ERP systems encourage a smooth flow of data, reducing duplication, and ensuring data integrity by integrating these processes into a single system.
But the winds have changed since ERP’s creation. Technology has ushered in a new era, one that we call the hybrid age. Let’s look at the evolution of ERP and what lies ahead.
Where ERP Began
The first ERP software traces its roots to the 1960s. It was known as the inventory control (IC) system, a tool that large manufacturing companies used for inventory and quality control management.
Manufacturing businesses developed IC systems in-house, and automating inventory was their sole function.
Since then, different industries and job roles have adopted ERP because it offers unparalleled, seamless integration with different departments. This functionality defines the ERP software we know today.
Digging Deeper into ERP’s Functions
An ERP system automates business processes and gives users insights and internal controls. It uses a central database with compiled information from a company’s various departments, including HR. This way, managers and employees gain cross-departmental visibility while streamlining processes that rely on varying data sources.
Over time, many ERP software vendors updated their systems with additional functionalities. These add-ons facilitated the rise of extended ERPs that address organizational challenges, such as repetitive manual tasks, communication challenges, and financial disorder.
For example, a business can integrate a customer relationship management (CRM) system with its ERP system to obtain data on consumer interactions. An extended ERP’s supplementary functions helped increase the software’s predictive power so users could accommodate changes in demand or adapt to new industry trends. With the advent of ERP II, businesses had an advantage in the ever-changing working landscape.
Is ERP Still Relevant in Today’s Hybrid World?
The new world of work is diverse, demanding, and complex. While ERP connects and integrates different facets of a business, it lacks the seamless integration and cloud-first capabilities required by the modern, hybrid world. After all, data requirements have evolved since the dawn of the first ERP systems.
ERPs are also less scalable, flexible, and adaptable than modern, cloud-based software. Scaling these systems to meet evolving business needs is challenging and time-consuming, hindering a company’s growth. Moreover, ERP software entails using multiple tech resources, like physical computers or data server units. With a cloud-first system, businesses only utilize the necessary resources for critical tasks.
Stepping into the Post-ERP Landscape
Companies looking to streamline business operations to keep up with today’s hybrid world should invest in solutions that offer:
Data privacy has become a more pressing issue, increasing expectations for data transparency. As software vendors develop and improve cloud-based solutions, those expectations will only continue to skyrocket.
This calls for the need to embrace openness and transparency. For example, highlighting the importance of user data protection will help companies build credibility and user confidence.
There’s been a greater demand for digitized document management and customer journeys, especially during COVID-19.
As a result, more people rely on email platforms, online document portals, workflow solutions, and other digital tools today. These solutions have changed the way everyone works. The business’ tech stack should help simplify and automate organizations ‘critical processes to drive it toward success.
Easy Access to Important Documents
The rise of hybrid working environments, which skyrocketed the number of remote workers, has made document automation and accessibility an anticipated trend.
Companies today need tools to create and store documents accessible to employees wherever they may be working, which some cloud-based solutions offer.
Cloud-based solutions provide companies with fast, affordable, and accessible storage. Teams can leverage these to prevent data loss, streamline remote working processes, and protect sensitive data through encryption.
Beyond these advantages, cloud-based tools also:
- Decrease possible IT expenses
- Help companies scale their resources
- Ensure business continuity
- Enable efficient collaboration
- Offer automatic updates
Finally, an organization’s preferred cloud computing solution must offer seamless integration. For cloud software vendors, this means ensuring optimal functionality and less time spent on testing and improving integration. Cloud-based software should work well with any tool that businesses use.
Achieve Business Goals With Cloud-first Solutions
The world has transitioned from ERP systems to cloud-first solutions that help ensure hybrid success.
As we continue to progress in the post-ERP era, Sprout Solutions has provided an avenue where SaaS (Software as a Service) startups can pitch their game-changing solutions. We’ve partnered with Kaya Founders for IMPACT ‘23, a startup accelerator challenge.
One of the themes of IMPACT ‘23 is The Post-ERP Era is Here. For more details, check out Post-ERP Implementation: What to Do Now.
For more insights on HR tech, check out the Sprout blog today.