Putting ERP in the palm of your hand

ERP in the palm of your hand

Fifteen years ago, it would have been tough to believe a little device no bigger than your palm would have enough computer power to not only render high-definition videos, but also be able to secure sensitive data with the swipe of a finger and provide access to your corporate network.

Oh, and you would also be able to make phone calls with it.

Today smartphones and mobile devices have evolved so quickly that they are now little offices that you can access anytime, anywhere. In fact, mobility is an area I am personally very interested in because I believe it’s changing society rapidly and offers many business benefits today and into the future.

Since this is my debut blog, here’s a quick background on myself…I’ve been with SYSPRO for nearly a decade, focusing mostly on strategic planning and expanding the company’s presence in the Asia-Pacific region. I have 20+ years of experience in ERP, so I’ve witnessed several major changes in this industry.

Mobile ERP will be a recurring theme in my blog in the coming weeks when I’ll touch on the various areas it can help companies, especially in the Asian region, achieve cost benefits, increased productivity, and better operational insights.

Let’s take a quick look at some stats for the market. According to research firm IDC, the Asia-Pacific enterprise mobility market reached about US$6.9 billion last year, growing at an annual rate of 29 percent.

Analyst group Gartner also predicts that, by 2016, at least 60 percent of information workers worldwide will access content applications via mobile devices, further underscoring the importance of supporting mobility in the enterprise space.

With employees using their personal mobile devices to interact with the corporate network and applications, it is now essential that organizations ensure their system is robust enough to support this growing demand. This is particularly pertinent across Asia-Pacific where mobile penetration is bordering 100% in markets such as Singapore and Hong Kong.

This region is also home to several emerging markets, as well as large growth markets such as China and India, and they are still fast evolving. These markets are more nimble and, untethered by legacy infrastructure, aren’t afraid to be early adopters of new technologies. For instance, telcos in this region have transitioned to LTE or 4G directly from 2G technologies.

Because of their willingness to embrace new technologies as well as new ways of doing business, Asia-Pacific organizations will no doubt be among the early adopters of mobile ERP. But, to provide adequate ROI in any new implementation, mobile ERP must first meet the needs of today’s business environment.

This means it must run on a platform built to meet the company’s specific requirements, must be device independent, and preferably be able to operate off-line and on-line. The standard apps for any mobile ERP should be customizable by the end user without the need to have complex programming knowledge. Ideally the mobile ERP solution should also allow developers to embrace the native features of each device to further extend the reach outside of traditional ERP processes.

To sum up, cloud may be the current flavor of the month but 12 to 18 months from today, mobile ERP will be such a hot buzzword that people are going to say “cloud who?” Expect demand for mobile ERP to be particularly apparent in Asia; so start gearing up for the growth!

Meanwhile, I welcome all feedback and suggestions on topics you want to hear from SYSPRO, so do leave them here in the comment box.

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