Agility has become a key requirement for industrial companies that need to make decisions more quickly and accurately, and is a key trend in 2019, says industrial enterprise resource planning (ERP) multinational Syspro Africa product manager Deidre Fryer.
“Industrial companies will look to software to help them make decisions quicker. This requires the combination of the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI) and ERP systems. These technologies have become synonymous with the ability to generate valuable business insights quickly.”
IoT enables businesses to connect key devices across their operations. As the volume of unstructured data that businesses need to analyse increases, so too will the importance of AI to the accuracy of the insights provided increase, she says.
“By integrating AI into ERP technology, businesses become agile and responsive. When the unstructured data from connected devices are fed into an ERP system, companies are provided with a more accurate overview of their businesses than ever before,” states Fryer.
Without IoT, this wealth of business-critical information would remain untapped. It is the analysis of these new streams of unstructured data that provides businesses with the insights they need to adapt their offerings to evolving business requirements.
“Depending on the sophistication of the technology in question, AI can even help to predict key business outcomes. When combined with ERP and IoT, AI [proposes] questions that businesses have yet to ask,” she enthuses.
Meanwhile, the shift towards mobility in businesses will have a major impact on the technology companies invest in this year, with 43.2% of local companies planning to increase mobile business software use, she adds.
Mobile ERP is also becoming easier to use through new developments, such as Syspro’s Web-based user interface Avanti. The interface provides users with the same seamless ERP experience regardless of the location from where they are accessing the system.
This real-time access improves revenue opportunities, as personnel can provide customers with quicker, more accurate services.
“Ease-of-use is also a priority for companies. Companies continuously expect technology to enable them to do more for less. In light of this, affordability will be another major area of focus for information technology in 2019,” she adds.