Businesses that have used enterprise resource planning (ERP) tools for years have likely updated the software at times to gain necessary functionality to support daily tasks. In an interview with Consumer Goods Technology, Charles Troyer, practice director of consumer and retail at CSC, asserted that there is always room for improvement with ERP solutions.

Organizations planning an ERP implementation are doing so with two different approaches. The first deployment type includes "edge applications," Troyer told the news source. These investments include transportation optimization, customer relationship management, supplier relationship management and supply chain planning and optimization apps.

"The other area of investment is to enable global expansion with ERP support. Some are extending core ERP applications around the world using one or more instances. Others are treating emerging markets as less complex businesses and implementing the solutions from Microsoft, Infor, QAD or even localized solutions within the region," Troyer explained to CDT.

Infor solutions in particular have gained steam in recent years as viable options for companies' ERP needs. Although the service provider may not have the resources of larger competitors, it is skilled in helping clients, regardless of their unique industry, take full advantage of ERP solutions from day one. This type of support has helped the vendor acquire tens of thousands of clients worldwide.

Firms that want to maximize their ERP investments not only need the right software, but a service provider that will always go the extra mile to improve performance. Today's operating needs will likely change in the near future, so businesses that have a reputable vendor to handle important tasks will be in a great position over the long run.

Infor has also upped its cloud presence, and the technology is expected to have a major impact on the ERP landscape in the future.

Cloud ERP gaining steam
Cloud-based ERP figures to be big business for Infor and its competitors moving forward, as more companies worldwide look to replace antiquated equipment in favor of more affordable and flexible systems. Business 2 Community's Mark Connolly explained that a majority of ERP implementations within the next two years will be cloud-based, although on-site will not go away entirely.

Connolly encouraged businesses to start planning for the inevitable transition from older equipment to the cloud "and that means more than throwing up a landing page and calling yourself a cloud player."

Decision-makers still unsure about the benefits of the cloud compared to on-site ERP should do a little research to become more familiar with the technology. Few solutions have taken the tech industry by storm as much as the cloud has. In terms of data accessibility, there may not be a better option on the market. Firms with cloud-based environments can support their workforce, regardless of employees' physical location. Staff members can now access ERP and other important applications in the office, at home or on the road, remaining productive at all times.