Top 15 Trends and Predictions for 2013 – Enterprise Software

The introduction of the new year brings new challenges and new technologies to propel your business to the next level if used properly.  Eval-Source is presenting this list of enterprise software trends and  technologies around ERP, mobile, big data, Cloud/SaaS and others.  Based on last year’s prediction list all of the trends and predictions unfolded as we predicted.  So to continue the tradition of trends and predictions we present the 2013 list of Trends and Predictions for enterprise software. 
For the New Year Eval-Source has compiled a list of 15 technology trends and predictions that should play out this year. These predictions and trends are based on what we see with our customers, what are their concerns and what organizations will need to address as these predictions have started to permeate organizations already.

Social media use increases but segments.  The use of social media will increase as a whole in                                                    terms of overall market usage by all age groups. However, the differentiating factor of social media use will be based upon subject or vertical based forums and interactions.  People using social media will turn to industry  specific resources and experts within their fields. Executives and business professionals looking for information and research will  go to industry sites and forums such as ITToolbox, vendors themselves, Technorati, a particular social network such as Twitter or Pinterest and  impartial consultants that can offer unbiased and user centric information that will benefit the end-user. Usage of an industry segmented demographic will diversify, segment and divide the social media user base.

Cloud will make BYOD a non-issue.  The use of the cloud will mitigate (to a degree) the threat of bring your own device (BYOD).  Multiple platforms for IT to support will become easier to maintain and handle security from an enterprise level with use of cloud applications and infrastructures as the applications are now security protected rather than the individual devices themselves. This also reduces IT administration in keeping up with platform updates and patches. Security can be handled in the cloud allowing multiple devices and platforms access to applications.
Cloud security.  With cloud solutions spreading in the enterprise cloud security will become a major IT issue.  Organizations must look to secure their infrastructure as well as the applications and limit the             amount of external interactions by contractors and employees using their own devices.  The cloud has brought many new computing models such as distributed, hybrid, on- premise and SaaS which are all options that organizations will need to further investigate to understand which model that best fits their organizational goals.  Next-gen ERP models such as Multi-tenancy will confuse organizations and how it fits into their infrastructure.  Next-gen ERP will change the landscape of how security is handled by organizations with databases information models application layers and infrastructure as part of aligning the business strategy with their technology strategy.   
Point solutions rise for SMB.  The rise of new SaaS vendors starting to create platforms with modular plug-ins for specific functionality has caused SMB to choose different software options to satisfy smaller enterprise needs.  These solutions have started to outpace ERP spending as the perception of ERP is still too expensive and resource draining for smaller organizations.
Companies move downstream with Tier 2 ERP vendors. The tier one vendors have neglected or ineffectively marketed  to smaller companies to prove their enterprise suites can satisfy SMB business needs.  Larger vendors have rebuilt their ERP to cater to SMB.  End-users are now exploring lesser known vendors and less expensive solutions.  The tier 2 vendors have carved a niche of vertical and industry specific solutions.
ERP will continue to consolidate and evolve.   ERP companies looking to expand their offerings will continue to buy smaller industry specific functionality to bolster their ERP suite.  Examples of this such as Salesforce, NetSuite, SAP,  Oracle and Workday have all purchased point solutions to increase the scope of their ERP suites.   Organizations are looking for more than financials and a few other modules to run their business.  Vendors lacking in functionality will be left in the dust if they cannot accommodate what the organization is looking for.  Companies will be forced to look closer at point solutions see point 4.
Increased 2-tier ERP strategies.   Organizations that have already invested in ERP systems will look for smaller tier-two applications to supplement regional and distributed IT systems across the organization.  A trend currently happening is that organizations that have large ERP systems such as SAP and Oracle are supplementing their ERP strategy with smaller ERP systems that consolidate to head office.
Creation of new market categories in software due to convergence of spaces.  Many new vendors have cropped up and have started to create a new enterprise software categories by converging several different spaces forming a new enterprise software space.  An example of this is a vendor that has combined knowledge sharing, content management, storage, social interaction, learning management, CRM and knowledge management forming a new category; Social knowledge management. 
Doing more with less.  Companies will do more with less by optimizing their current ERP or enterprise software system.  Consulting companies offering services such as ERP optimization and how to properly utilize the current system already in place more effectively.  This will also include changes to business processes and re-architecting how their business is run.   If this is not done properly, these old problems will carry forward to the new system thereby causing the same problems.  Companies will be forced to maximize current operations to deal with the economic climate.
ERP spending will decrease see earlier points. There are many new less expensive options that do not warrant companies to implement a full ERP system.  Programs that contain a few key functionalities such as CRM, Financials and Project Management are sufficient for many smaller businesses.  This approach also reduces risk as time to market is decreased, less business disruption and lower ownership costs are associated with smaller solutions.
CMO’s and CIO’s will conflict more often.   CMO’s are creating their own IT structure and are expecting CIO’s to support the marketing organizations. This will cause turmoil within organizations as the CMO and CIO struggle for power.  The IT support needed  often conflicts with the solution selected by the CMO. The marketing technologies required will have to coincide with the IT strategy. Watch for new positions to be created where one individual not only controls the IT spend and support but also the marketing software infrastructure and support.
Privacy continues to erode.  The use of social media and sharing user policies will continue to erode.  The new user policies allow less and limit user rights in exchange for using public or social networking as in the new Google user policies.  Users will have less control of their information once shared and less say as to how organizations can use their information.   Aggregation of customer data is valuable to organizations and that can be gathered for free from companies with a large social network such as LinkedIn , FaceBook or Twitter.
Collaboration takes front stage in tech decisions.  Companies are starting to realize the importance of collaboration whether it is internal or external. Collaboration is playing a more definitive role when organizations are evaluating software.  Collaboration has paid big dividends  to organizations reducing time to market, lowering product costs, reducing project timelines etc.
ERP failures will continue to rise.  Our research has indicated that newer technologies such as true multi-tenant  SaaS applications complicate and confuse organizations further as there is a lot of misinformation and improper marketing as to what these new options provide and are capable of providing.  These new options are sometimes misconstrued resulting in the wrong decision when selecting software.  Organizations will have to trust impartial consultants to guide them accurately with no vested interest. Organizations that evaluate software under the guise of reselling software that they implement have vested interests for organizations selecting what they resell which clouds impartiality.  There are different stances on what next-gen technologies are and how they impact an organization of which consultants will have to be more educated in top properly advise companies to align the best technologies to their business objectives. 
Social within ERP. ERP vendors have incorporated social interactions within their ERP solutions to keep up with social media vendors and how employees would like to interact.  Organizations have opted for social collaboration within their ERP solutions and have started to incorporate social streams to ease collaboration internally which has simplified communications within the organization and eases use of the software thereby enhancing productivity.  ERP’s that have remained legacy-type will need to innovate quickly to engage customers and show they are competitive with the newer types of systems on the market. 
These predictions and trends should play out over the rest of the year not only within the enterprise space but mostly within the ERP software market.  All of last year’s predictions and trends have unfolded and are continuing to unfold.  We will see new roles and procedures evolve to accommodate these new trends.  
These predictions and trends should play out over the rest of the year not only within the enterprise space but mostly within the ERP software market.  All of last year’s predictions and trends have unfolded and are continuing to unfold.  We will see new roles and procedures evolve to accommodate these new trends.  
About Eval-Source
Eval‐Source is a consulting firm that provides all enterprise software selection and strategic technology consulting services for organizations to achieve success in their IT initiatives. Our consulting practices encompass cloud and on-premise software evaluation services, ERP, Supply Chain, and technology strategy consulting. Our Tru‐Eval selection system allows organizations to avoid IT failure, receive greater ROI and provide accurate decision support for enterprise software. Eval‐Source is an industry leader in the analysis of software technology and our thought leadership has placed us in the elite of consulting/analyst firms. What sets us apart is our unbiased best in class consulting services that provide our clients with value, direction and success in selection, planning and optimization of their technology systems. Eval‐Source provides the professional services that put your needs first and allows you to achieve success in your IT initiatives. We are the source for “getting it right” in IT procurement.

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