Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software has myriad benefits but understanding the full possible of them all can be overwhelming. Investing in ERP involves centralizing everything from human resources processes to accounting procedures and inventory management. The software consolidates a large group of integrated platforms and applications, making business tasks more efficient and easier to perform.

In short, an ERP system pulls your data from multiple points so you don't have to. While this type of software was originally popular among manufacturers, ERP has expanded into other industries. Here are some of the current benefits and where ERP looks to be going in the future.

High-Level Benefits of Using an ERP Solution

Some of the benefits of ERP software are well documented and probably what attracted you to the possibility in the first place. These benefits include:

Improved Workflow: ERP software makes workflow more efficient and more transparent. The processes are streamlined, less manual entry is necessary, and different teams have access to the same database, making collaboration easier. When you're working with an ERP system, your departments are not siloed.

Mobile Accessibility: With real-time data being pushed to native apps on smart phones, ERP programs help you stay up-to-date on everything from sales numbers to page views. Because of the integrated nature of ERP software, you can not only check important data from any area with connectivity, but you can also check all of your key performance indicators (KPIs) in the same place.

Lesser Known Benefits of ERP Software

ERP software also offers these less advertised advantages:

Increased Scalability: As your company grows, you will need to increase the number of associates that use important software, as well as add more platforms to your portfolio. ERP systems can handle mass users and a large number of integrated programs. Many businesses choose ERP software because of its convenience, but it also allows their organizations to grow exponentially with fewer hiccups along the way, which is definitely a bonus.

Enhanced Regulation Compliance: Remaining compliant with government and industry standards can be a challenge. ERP software can help you remain compliant with its accepted accounting principles and important tracking standards.

ERP Trends Moving Forward

ERP is ever-evolving, and some of the top trends of 2017 will take it even further into the future. The trends for 2017 and beyond include:

Making Room for The Internet of Things: With more and more devices, including kitchen appliances, going online, ERP software can pull in data from an astonishing number of platforms. This trend will only continue, making ERP programs more robust than ever before. 

Switching to SaaS: Most ERP software currently involves a physical server, but efforts to make it all cloud-based are already underway. Cloud-based apps and software are cheaper to maintain, which is likely to drive down some of the costs associated with running an ERP program.

Enterprise Resource Planning software is trending up for all the right reasons. There are hundreds of options, and they allow you to centralize dozens of software programs while keeping your data secure. With emerging ERP trends offering, even more, features and lower costs, the real question is quickly becoming not whether you need to tap into the power of an ERP solution, but which one is right for you.