It’s fairly safe to say that no one could have predicted that 2020 was going to turn out like it has. Accurate predictions are difficult to come by, considering all the factors involved in arriving at a specific future. Technology has made some predictions more accurate—the moon landing, debit cards, Wi-Fi, and cell phones—and continues to evolve in ways we have yet to imagine.
Many of the trends we expected to see in 2020, such as increased use of cloud ERP and digital transformation, were hastened by the pandemic. If you haven’t already adopted these during the coronavirus crisis, expect to see them coming down the road to you in the very near future.
Tech Trends We’re Seeing in 2020
- AI/ML will be widely adopted by (and useful for) the finance industry
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) have been around for a while, but their ability to impact businesses—no matter the industry—has been limited by three things:
- First, they run on neural networks (a set of algorithms designed to recognize patterns) that were sophisticated at the time of their inception, but still needed a few years to evolve into what they are now.
- Second, companies didn’t yet have the massive amounts of data needed to make AI and ML possible.
- Third, if they did have the data, they didn’t have the ability to analyze the disconnected data quickly and efficiently enough to keep up with rapid-fire market changes.
That’s all changed. Modern cloud ERP software now incorporates reporting, dashboards, and data analysis tools along with the AI and ML capabilities required to succeed in this digital economy.
For those in the financial services industry, these tools have—and will continue to have—a huge impact. An Autonomous NEXT report estimates that financial firms will see nearly 20 percent of their costs reduced through the use of AI.
AI and ML allows financial organizations to quickly, effectively, and objectively assess borrowers’ credit history. Customer requests can be addressed by chatbots, reducing burden on remote employees. Risk analysis can now be handled by AI, producing real-time business predictions and forecasts based on organized data, critical information to have in this current economy.
Fraud prevention, money management, and personal finances all will be influenced by AI and ML, and companies should definitely consider taking advantage of the benefits in order to stay competitive. A recent Forbes article on digital transformation trends for 2020 stated: “Companies that still aren’t investing heavily in analytics by 2020 probably won’t be in business in 2021. There is simply far too much valuable customer data to be collected, processed, and turned into insights for any company to remain competitive without making full use of modern analytics tools.”
More and more financial service companies have embraced AI and ML to the betterment of the organization and their customers. ERP vendors, who are seeking to entice these companies, will fall into two categories: Those who jam obscure and essentially useless AI/ML features into their product for marketing purposes, and those who seamlessly integrate these features within their ERP solution so that end users experience better results without being aware they’re even utilizing these technologies.
- Business operations within organizations looking for a cloud ERP solution will focus on comprehensive EULA/data ownership rights
Digital transformation, in essence, is implementing cloud ERP software. It brings people, technology, and process together to become a connected business through digital technology and a digital platform. It won’t magically fix your business, but it does give you the tools, resources, and ability to operate in today’s marketplace.
The challenge is choosing between the many options such as hosted cloud ERP software or a hybrid solution. If you’re considering a cloud ERP or hybrid solution, take a long, hard look at vendor practices. Look for End-User License Agreements (EULAs)—historically designed to give vendors the advantage—that are customer-centric, comprehensive, and unchanging. Also be sure to search for an ERP solution that provides your users access to data anytime.
- Cloud ERP investment will continue its growth trajectory
As data analytics, AI, and ML technologies continue to mature, and businesses in every industry recognize them as necessary to their success in the digital economy, cloud ERP investments will also continue to grow.
A Forbes article had already predicted pre-COVID that “IT resources will continue their migration to the cloud (and multi-clouds) and there will be heavy investment in automation and orchestration systems, using artificial intelligence and machine learning.”
IDC also predicted that, “By 2020, 70% of enterprises will integrate cloud management—across their public and private clouds—by deploying unified hybrid/multicloud management technologies, tools, and processes.”
Crucial in the time of remote work, cloud ERP software is adaptable, intuitive, collaborative, automated, and insightful, providing users with a single source of truth in real time with access at any time, from anywhere. It eliminates the cost of IT infrastructure, as well as the responsibility for hardware and software updates/upgrades, opens the door to innovation, and allows for easy personalization. It also provides top notch security and is affordable for SMBs that are competing with larger enterprises and their larger budgets.
It’s vital for a business to select the right cloud ERP software solution that incorporates AI and ML, provides an easy-to-understand and fair EULA, and protects their data ownership rights. They’ll also want a solution that allows them to seamlessly integrate the applications they use every day.
Get the Right ERP Solution for 2020 and Beyond
Many SMBs who are striving to remain in business through the crisis and recession may need to invest sooner than later in a modern ERP solution, such as SYSPRO and Sage 300Cloud. These platforms are scalable, easy to use, and allow rapid integration with necessary third-party applications.
As businesses begin planning for economic reopening, continued remote work, and the vast uncertainties of the remainder of 2020, a move to the cloud might just be the right move. Since 2002, PositiveVision has been helping businesses in the Greater Chicago area fill the technology gaps with the best ERP solution for their needs. Whether you were planning to move to the cloud or a hybrid solution in 2020 already, or are fast-tracking due to economic uncertainties, let the team at PositiveVision help you find your way.