Testing the 2024 waters: predictions and insights from Pankaj Goel, CEO of Opkey

The ERP world is in constant motion, with waves and eddies of technological breakthroughs causing ripples across the industry’s software landscape. Let’s examine the data on hand to make a reasoned stab at predicting the potential trends that will arrive on our shores in the coming year. Pankaj Goel, co-founder and CEO of Opkey, shares his insights into what he believes is in store for 2024.

PankajGoelOpkeyThe last three years have seen a level of disruption (both positive and negative) in the world of ERP that has never been witnessed before. What’s been causing so much change, and so rapidly? A variety of disrupting factors have come along to shake the industry to its core. I would especially highlight supply chain impairments, sustainability needs and new regulatory and compliance requirements.

All these factors are forcing enterprises to reexamine their ERP strategy and ERP vendors to reevaluate and restructure, the products they sell. More CIOs are also exploring how AI, Cloud and mobile technologies can help them stay competitive.

So, what do I have my eye on as we head into 2024? Here are my predictions for the direction this complex market will go in the new year.

Migrations are the new normal and the rush to the Cloud will continue to gain momentum

The cloud is increasingly attractive to businesses across industries for cost savings, efficiency and scalability. The global Cloud ERP market is expected to grow 13.6 percent annually and reach $40.5bn by 2025, per Statista. Despite these big numbers, 60-70 percent of enterprises are yet to move to a Cloud-based ERP and are planning the move in the next two to ten years. Cloud ERP technologies increase the speed at which products can be delivered to end users but also increases the need for continuous testing. Testing will have to keep up.

ERP platforms will become more composable

Gartner predicts that by 2026, 35 percent of product-centric enterprises will achieve high composability in their ERP applications, integration, data and security. This means there will be fewer rigid long-term commitments to ERP vendors. Creating connected ERP applications will become as simple as the adoption of no-code platforms.

ERP vendors are currently evangelizing these products. SAP is betting big on Fiori, and Oracle launched its new Redwood UX library to make it easy for developers to create connected apps. However, more connected apps mean more “SaaS mess,” and successful achieving of business objectives will require a continuous testing platform as the backbone of integration strategy.

Mobile ERPs will get more normalized

The initial hype surrounding mobile ERPs in 2016 and 2017 has settled and more ERP vendors are including mobile as an important part of their product roadmap to provide on-the-go access to critical business data, allowing employees to conduct both back-end and front-end tasks no matter where they are. Connected mobile apps are going to become increasingly popular, with more enterprises looking for multi-device experiences to enrich their end-user experience in 2024. In terms of testing, different mobile form factors and fragmented mobile device markets will generate increased demand for testing on physical devices.

A new Agile movement

An increasing number of digital transformation programs are failing to meet time, budget and labor allocations. An example of this was the recent debacle with Birmingham City Council’s failed Oracle implementation. Europe’s largest local government body found itself in major financial distress after the costs of a migration from SAP to Oracle Fusion ballooned to $125.5m. Systems integrators realize old implementation methodologies are failing them.

Thus, in 2024, I predict that the ERP implementation industry will witness its own version of the “agile movement” that transformed the old sluggish waterfall world of software development in the early 90’s. This new movement will be underpinned by practices like fast-paced continuous testing and test automation. It will also be tied in with AI; meaningful AI implementations will bring never-before-seen levels of productivity for end users. ERP vendors are looking beyond the hype around Gen AI and finding ways in which machine learning and generative AI capabilities can bring real benefit to business users.

These are the trends and factors that I have my eye on as we head into a new year and a new world of possibilities. Cheers to the journey we are on!