By Dave Hannon
It's that time of year when your Google news alerts are filled with predictions for the upcoming year. They're a lot of fun to write and a lot of fun to read and in some cases they can provide real business direction about new technologies, business trends, etc.
But too often those of us that make these predictions don't hold ourselves accountable. We make these predictions and then never revisit them to find out how we really did.
So in the spirit of "giving" I've decided to give the ILN readers the gift of accountability and review my own "Top 10 ERP Predictions for 2011" as fairly and objectively as I can.
My Report Card on 2011 ERP Trends:
Prediction #1: ERP goes mobile. My #1 prediction for 2011 ERP trends was, frankly, a gimmee. Everyone knew that ERP was/is going mobile. So this wasn't what I'd call a "bold" prediction, but the amount of focus on enterprise mobility, especially from SAP, exceeded my own expectations this year. So while I got the trend right, I'd have to say I didn't get the severity of the trend right on this one.
Prediction #2: Dashboards reach lightning speed. Dashboards have definitely increased in popularity in the past year, but I don't think I'd say "lighting speed" was achieved this year.
Prediction #3: ERP goes SMB. I really didn't see much movement in this area this year. We certainly profiled some interesting companies in insiderPROFILES, but I wouldn't say I saw SMBs making a lot of headway in ERP in 2011.
Prediction #4: Scope creep takes a fatal blow. I think I got this one right. There were more signs in 2011 that ERP customers don't want to use the traditional style of implementation. SAP's Rapid Deployment Solutions are a sign of this. Check out this article in SAPinsider from January to get more info.
And now, a short intermission video to show how powerful the fixed-scope SAP Rapid Deployment Solutions actually are.
Watch the VIDEO here.
Okay, back to the grading.
Prediction #5: The ERP market will see even stranger bedfellows. Well things got a little sketchy this year, but I wouldn't say it was an all-out key party. Infor bought Lawson and Epicor got bought by some investors, but no major hardware firms came flying in to buy an ERP vendor like I thought. SAP's recent deal to buy SuccessFactors might have been its most interesting bedfellow.
Prediction #6: SRM is the new CRM. Not much news here either way. I wouldn't say there was more emphasis on SRM, but not less either.
Prediction #7: Larry Ellison does something controversial. This was supposedto be another gimmee but in Ellison terms, Larry was fairly subdued this year. If you recall a year ago this time he was sending private detectives out looking for Leo Apotheker, so when that's where the bar is set, investing a few hundred million in a sailing race doesn't seem all that whacked out.
Prediction #8: Data diets. While I give myself points for boldness, I was way off. Waaaayy off. No one is going on a data diet. The term was never used. Companies are finding new ways of processing more data, but no one is talking about scaling back the data they are collecting.
Prediction #9: Good ERP talent will be very hard to hold. As far off as I was with #8, I was just as spot-on with this one. ERP talent has been a major challenge in 2011 at all levels. There was more talk about finding and keeping good ERP staff this year. And if you look at what IT recruitment expert Robert Half Technology says are the trends fueling IT hiring now , it's clear ERP talent will be in demand for 2012 too.
Prediction #10: ERP vendors go mass market. This one is hard to grade myself on. While we didn't see a lot of this happening in 2011, I think I might have just been ahead of the curve. I still think this will happen, so keep your eyes peeled in 2012 for news in this area.
Overall, if this were a kid's report card, the kid would be grounded (if, in fact, parents still "ground" their kids?). But since this "report card" was 100% voluntary, I'll let myself off with no television for one night and going to bed right after dinner (wouldn't that be nice?)
As always, I welcome your input. Was I too easy on myself? Maybe I missed something here? Blast away. I'll be in my room not watching TV.