One of my favourite films from the past is Minority Report, mainly because of the technology shown in these films, and not least because of the leading actor! It amazes me to think that Minority Report is already 11 years old. It seemed so far into the future at the time and yet today we are already seeing evidence of the technology used in Minority Report. Some of the technology and futuristic user interfaces have become realized and the way they have come into use is a good example of the term ‘consumerization of technology’.Wikipedia describes Consumerization as:
“the growing tendency for new information technology to emerge first in the consumer market and then spread into business and government organisations. The emergence of consumer markets as the primary driver of information technology innovation is seen as a major IT industry shift…”.
Not only is the consumerization of technology having a considerable impact on the way we all operate in our personal lives (the Internet, social media, mobile), it is also having an impact on how businesses operate. It is therefore critical that any business software, such as ERP, as well as the businesses that are implementing these systems, understand how these new technology developments can work for them and how they can be effectively integrated into day-to-day business operations.
Consumerization of ERP for manufacturing and distribution environments
There are a number of areas of consumerization that are particularly relevant to the ERP market:
Some tips for companies to manage IT consumerization trends
BYOD simply cannot be ignored; it is happening and is here to stay. When people choose their own devices they are more likely to be comfortable using mobile applications. Companies therefore need to do three things:
When using mobile apps in your business:
Looking Forward to the Future
I believe there will still be a place for desktop PCs in the future for operations like accounting. However in the manufacturing environment, where the factory floor has been a no-go zone for PCs, I believe that we will see increased usage of mobile devices leveraging Bluetooth and wireless capabilities, and throughout the distribution process. I also think that technology will be used more widely in the security and goods control processes. Part of this is the proliferation of identification standards, whether it is through personal identification via biometrics, or through identification of the actual products via Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technologies.
And perhaps we should be looking even further beyond the technology shown in the Minority Report – I know SYSPRO is!