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Dave’s top 10 ERP predictions for 2011

by Dave Hannon

November 23, 2010

By Dave Hannon

I read with interest the recent Top Ten ERP Predictions for 2011 from Panorama Consulting. In fact, like a good blog post should, it got me thinking which of these predictions I agreed with and what I thought was left off their list. So I decided to go out on a limb, put my butt on the line and develop my own list of ERP predictions for 2011.

Prediction #1: ERP goes mobile. As Cloud lightens the back end, mobile lightens the front end of ERP and the software with the reputation for being big and clunky, goes light and fast.

Prediction #2: Dashboards reach lightning speed. I’ve seen a couple demos that have me convinced. Dashboards are the vehicle for turning those mountains of data into actionable information for every end user. But it has to be on-demand and fast. New systems strategies and out-of-the-box designs will make this happen.

Prediction #3: ERP goes SMB. Historically, ERP was synonymous with “Fortune 500” but today, there are a host of models and providers aiming at the small and mid-size user. And with other trends (cloud, mobile, etc.) coming to maturity, ERPs are going to make their way into organizations that would have had you scratching your head a few years ago. New geographies – think Asia – will open up in a big way for ERP vendors in 2011, as well.

Prediction #4: Scope creep takes a fatal blow. ERP customers are getting more vocal and public about what went wrong with their ERP implementation, filing lawsuits and releasing the results of audits that others can le arn from. And that will finally force ERP vendors and consultants to clearly define project scope prior to implementation and provide what was asked for – no more no less.

Prediction #5: The ERP market will see even stranger bedfellows. Between acquisitions, executives changing teams and expanding product lines, the ERP market is getting somewhat tawdry. And we can expect more of the unexpected next year as vendors have more cash to throw at acquisitions and ax-grinding/marketing. (My darkhorse prediction: A very unexpected IT hardware firm buys a top-10 ERP player in 2011. And by the way, it fails miserably five years later.)

Prediction #6: SRM is the new CRM. What’s good for the customer is good for the supplier. And all the social, mobile and cloudy trends that make CRM the hot app du jour will find their way to the back end, with much less fanfare, though (everything sales does is just a little “louder” isn’t it?).

Prediction #7: Larry Ellison does something controversial. Yeah, I threw that one in just to make sure I get something right. (My guess is that it will have something to do with Java. Beyond that, I’m not saying because frankly, I can’t afford to be subpoenaed this close to the holidays).

Prediction #8: Data diets. Companies are simply ingesting more data “calories” than they can process and the extra fat is clogging the enterprise arteries (have I taken this metaphor too far yet?). The companies that have become “data fat” will go on a diet and scale back their data consumption, to become leaner and more nimble. It’s a “data diet” and you heard the term here first.

Prediction #9: Good ERP talent will be very hard to hold. ERP programmers, analysts and project managers will become very hot commodities in 2011. If you’re a manager and you have ERP talent you want to keep, give them a flattering review, a generous raise and a new foosball table heading into 2011 or expect them to be plucked out of your organization by, say, April. Tops.

Prediction #10: ERP vendors go mass market. Companies like SAP and Oracle will no longer be able to sit and watch the consumer market devour all this tasty new IT (mobile apps, social sites) and will begin to make major inroads into consumer-focused software.

 Okay those are my bold ERP predictions for 2011. How about yours? And hey, don’t sweat it if you’re way off on them. Personally, if I check back in June and none of these look remotely accurate, I’m going to just delete this blog post and start fresh on my 2012 predictions.

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