As is characteristic of information technology, the evolution of ERPs is a constant sprint. Sometimes changes are visibly revolutionary, other times minute and under-the-radar, but interludes between periods of progression are rarely significant. 

Do not expect this narrative to change in 2017. The year is likely to see its share of ideological shifts and burgeoning trends. According to a recent article published to erpnews.com, these changes will be most substantial in seven particular areas.

·     Better customization: Cloud-based point solutions will enable businesses to better add to their system and adapt when necessary. This is something businesses have been clamouring for, and their refrain is beginning to draw widespread action.

·     Confusion...: More specialization will give businesses what they want, but businesses first have to define precisely what that is. Overspecializing without understanding will unfortunately leave some worse off than ever.

·     The growth of DIY SaaS: The ongoing movement toward SaaS will see a change in direction, with more businesses opting to license software on the cloud, but run it as they would on-premise software.

·     More predictive analytics: This one has existed for a few years, but remains under the radar. With more data and wide-reaching information available, the use of ERPs is expanding to encompass a broader range of purposes.

·     Intelligent ERPs: Systems will be more intuitive and react to user behaviour. This isn’t expected to come full circle in a single year, however.

·     Better pricing:As competition within the ERP market grows, businesses are likely to benefit from better prices.

·     Security issues: Increasingly complexed technologies require increasingly complex security. How providers answer this call in 2017 is yet to be seen.

It’s mostly good news for businesses. ERPs are essentially gaining value while becoming less prohibitively expensive. Of course, this is just a forecast. The year is nascent and it is yet to be seen whether the trends that materialize will mirror projections.