Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is a business process management software that allows an organization to use a system of integrated applications to manage the business and automate multiple back office functions related to technology, service and human resource. ERP software integrates all facets of an operation — including product planning, development, manufacturing, sales and marketing — in a single database, application and user interface.
ERP software typically consists of multiple enterprise software modules that are individually purchased, based on what best meets the specific needs and technical capabilities of an organization. Each ERP module is focused on one area of business processes, such as product development or marketing.
As ERP has gained popularity, software applications have emerged to help business managers implement ERP into other business activities and design modules for CRM and business intelligence, presenting it as a single unified package.
The basic goal of using an enterprise resource planning system is to provide one central repository for all information that is shared by all ERP facets to improve the flow of data across the organization.
Enterprise ERP Trends
The ERP field has been slow to change, but the last couple of years has unleashed forces that are fundamentally changing the entire sector. Following are some new and continuing trends affecting enterprise ERP software:
1. Mobile ERP
Executives and employees want real-time access to information, regardless of where they are. It is expected that businesses embrace mobile ERP for reports, dashboards and to conduct key business activities.
2. Cloud ERP
The cloud has been advancing steadily into enterprises for some time, but many ERP users have been reluctant to place their data on the cloud. However, these reservations have been gradually evaporating as the advantages of the cloud have become apparent.
3. Social ERP
There has been much hype around social media and how important —or not — it is to link to ERP systems. Vendors have been quick to seize the initiative, adding social media packages to their ERP systems with much fanfare. But some wonder if there is really much to gain by integrating social media with ERP.
4. Two-Tier ERP
Enterprises once attempted to build an all-encompassing ERP system to take care of every system and function within an organization. But this has failed and proven to be every expensive thus gradually bringing about a change in strategy of adopting two tiers of ERP.