According to Gartner’s Market Share Analysis Report, SAP has been named the #1 ERP software vendor for 2019, with S/4HANA as their flagship product. There are many reasons why SAP is leading the pack, but perhaps the most important factor in play is SAP’s grasp and anticipation of where ERP market trends are heading. Gartner’s analysis distinctly notes that “digital business changes the way an organization deals with customers, suppliers, partners, internal processes and employee engagement — all of which are supported by ERP, thus driving ERP upgrades and/or replacements.”
We’d like to present our readers with 5 ways the ERP market is changing as of 2019, and how S/4HANA is keeping up to and innovating on those trends.
1. The dominance of cloud
You’re probably familiar with the rise of Cloud ERP and might even consider this old news. However, cloud adoption is accelerating at a previously unseen rate in small-to-midsize businesses since 2016, estimated to grow the Cloud ERP market to about $30 billion in 2021. This makes a lot of sense when you consider some of the main benefits of using Cloud ERP: lower TCO, easier management, improved security, and wider access, to name a few. As more small companies with fewer IT employees can now take advantage of an enterprise technology they wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford, new challenges and needs arise. S/4HANA Cloud takes full advantage of its cloud nature by integrating its entire portfolio of business capabilities (including CRM and HR) with intelligent technology and real-time analytics that open previously untouched competitive advantages for SME’s. SAP is focused on continued evolution towards the cloud future and the growth opportunity this represents for both their enterprise-level and small-to-midsized customers.
2. Analytics in everything
Legacy systems are very effective at collecting and organizing company data but tend to struggle with limitations in analytics and reporting. We’re already living in the age of data-driven-decision-making-or-die. As analytics provide powerful insights that represent quantifiable business advantages, moving towards data-driven decision-making is a top priority for organizations in every industry from finances to manufacturing to sports and entertainment. SAP has always stayed ahead of this trend, and S/4HANA integrates SAP Analytics Cloud capabilities into its modules to ensure a single source of truth for all your data. This gives users access to real-time predictive analytics supported by intelligent tools that help them make accurate and informed decisions at every level of business.
3. ERP as part of a broader digital transformation strategy
For a moment, it seemed as if ERP was being pitched as a cure-all solution and the centerpiece of your digital transformation. While ERP still plays a fundamental role in your digital transformation, there has been a change in philosophy. While improvement is always seen after an ERP implementation, evolution can become stagnant when there isn’t a defined direction in which change is going. Instead of executing isolated ERP implementations, 2019 is seeing the ERP as playing a key role in a broader change management strategy towards digital transformation and intelligent enterprise. Thinking of a strategy instead of just the implementation enables you to think ahead and ensure your ERP is implemented taking other factors into consideration such as training and hiring, workflow adjustment, and other additional tech upgrades. SAP is a thought-leader in digital change and S/4HANA is an ERP designed to be a part of a broader, holistic digital transformation strategy.
4. Industry 4.0
The fourth industrial revolution is experiencing rapid growth and development. We’re starting to see an increased use of artificial intelligence, machine learning, IoT, and other new technologies in day-to-day business processes. Since all these technologies process data in previously unseen ways, ERP software is evolving to make better use of them for process improvement, cost optimization, high-level analytics-based decision-making. SAP is ahead of the game. S/4HANA integrates with SAP Leonardo, an innovation system that combines design thinking methodologies, data intelligence tools, and benchmarking with its services and applications to find solutions to challenges shared by different industries. SAP Leonardo enables S/4HANA for Industry 4.0 and is designed to be in constant evolution.
5. The experience economy
A term that is beginning to sound more familiar in 2019 is the “experience economy”. This constitutes an enormous change in philosophy as to how businesses deliver their products and services to their customers, with client/user-experience playing a central role. The trend shows that consumers behavior is becoming increasingly defined by their customer experience, where the purchase cycle and delivery become as important as the quality of the product/service itself. This means that businesses are looking at new and creative ways to engage their customers and deliver impactful buyer-experiences that appeal to them on a deeper level. This goes hand-in-hand with a new approach towards employee user-experience; improved employee experiences with the tools and processes they interact with daily also impact customers. Enabling your workforce with an ERP that delivers a strong user-experience makes their job easier, gives them more information to work with, and ultimately makes them happier to do their job.
The ERP market is changing and working with these changes can prove beneficial to your business. Read more about S/4HANA and how this ERP can bring your business into the digital future.