Exciting technology trends continue to emerge every year at an accelerating pace, completely transforming the way we work, learn, and develop. Business leaders who stay up to speed on IT trends can gain real competitive advantages. Greater efficiencies, enhanced customer service, increased profitability and even the ability to completely disrupt a given market.
At JAMIS, we keep an eye on trends and adjust accordingly to best serve our customers and the market in general. So, today we’ll talk about some of the major things going on in business tech. What trends in ERP should you be aware of going into 2020? What are technology providers and software vendors doing that can help drive your business forward?
The Cloud: In a recent survey by Forbes, they found that 74% of Chief Financial Officers say that cloud computing will have the most measurable impact on their business this year (Link to Article). But we hear the term “cloud” so much now. Enough of the marketing… what does it really mean to me? Well, the cloud has essentially connected people with data in real-time, allowing them to be more informed, and make faster and smarter decisions. Now every employee, whether they’re a CEO or an employee out in the field or on the shop floor, can access key information from anywhere using any device.
Integration: Another key differentiator for technology solutions is the ability to connect with other business critical applications. We live in a day and age with amazing innovation in technology, services, and solutions. Moving to a connected cloud services world is happening as we speak. Customers can move between their third-party applications without feeling the seams between the products and the services. The search for the ultimate solution must rest on the idea that no one-size-fits-all option exists. There are different application requirements based on each unique business’ needs, which means the cloud ERP solution that a business chooses may need to be able to integrate seamlessly with multiple third-party applications.
Internet of Things (IoT): – Some call it the Intelligence of Things or the Internet of Everything. In a 2015 report from the World Economic Forum on the topic of IoT (Link to Article), it was said: “We are in the earliest phases of a technological transformation whose impact will be at least as great as every previous cultural and industrial revolution in human history. Every object, system and technology in our present reality – from office equipment to our physical organs, from defense and security systems to the local grocery store – will be connected, and those connections, thanks to AI-driven data analytics, will make once mute objects into autonomous actors, even co-creators of the future.”
An interesting example of creative and effective use of IoT in the business world is employed by Swedish communications company Ericsson. Ericsson Maritime ICT provides infrastructure for ships, ports, and terminals. Via this maritime ICT cloud system, the company uses sensors on its ships to monitor vessel location, speed, and the temperature for heat sensitive cargo all in real-time. The data can then be shared with companies that are shipping goods from production and warehouse distribution, to final delivery (Link to Article).
Artificial Intelligence (AI): There are so many misconceptions about artificial intelligence, from evil movie robots to computers plotting to take our jobs. While in some cases, this is partially a concern. For the most part, there are very practical uses for this very complex technology. Whether we realize it or not, artificial intelligence is all around us and playing an active role in our daily lives. Anytime we do a Google search, listen to music on Spotify, watch a show on Netflix, shop on Amazon, or book a trip online, AI is there tracking your every move and learning from it. Digital voice assistants like Siri and Alexa, algorithms that predict human behavior, and autonomously-powered self-driving vehicles are several examples and applications of artificial intelligence in use today. In the world of ERP, this might mean things such as voice-enabled chat, search, and personal assistance. Or machine learning-powered pattern matching for buying behaviors in specific target markets, forecasting capabilities, process improvements, and much more. In a recent survey by Oracle (Link to Article), 80% of respondents said they already used or planned to use chatbots by 2020. Chatbots are interactive software platforms that are built into apps, email, and SMS and can mimic human-like manner. Business leaders and decision makers are turning to the broader umbrella of automation technologies, which includes chatbots, for things like sales, marketing, and customer service. Forty-two percent of participants believe automation technologies in these areas will most improve the customer experience.
There was a recent survey conducted by Aberdeen Research on B2B buyers in 2019 (Link to Article). One of the key data points the research showed is that 62% of those surveyed said showing the buyer a new way to solve an established problem can shorten the buying process. And this is what thousands of technology companies are thinking about every day. How can we take common issues that businesses consistently face, and find new ways to solve these challenges utilizing the new tools and concepts available in today’s environment?
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