The Rise of SaaS ERP Systems and Social Networks

As the field of big data management matures and meets the worlds of ERP, it is on the edge of a major development that will push ERP to the next level in business utility. The last necessary piece was added with the arrival of Software as a Service as a fully web-based service provider, giving us a shiny new market based squarely around data collection and management.

ERP and SaaS

In the past, and for the most part still, ERP systems are mostly internally focused. They allow you to track what’s going on within your own business, what your vendors are doing, what’s happening in the stock market, and how projects are progressing. They help you budget and plan for the future, communicate with partners and employees, and coordinate your various departments. Of course building a modular program capable of automatically gathering and organizing this data is ludicrously complex and requires constant maintenance, and to meet the need the SaaS industry has risen to accept the challenge, resulting in cloud-based SaaS ERP systems.

The interesting part about this is that the software provider now has direct access to the client’s information and provides the interface from which that company gathers information and makes decisions. In order to improve their service the best thing they can do is to provide more and better information – the more real-time the better – and limiting themselves to in-house data is thinking way too small.

Data Velocity, Data Mining and SaaS

The claim that about 90% of the world’s recorded data was created in the last two years gives context to just how much faster the world of information has come. In order to keep up with each other SaaS ERP is being pushed to provide more up-to-the minute data. What I haven’t seen discussed is the fact that the data industry is already in the business of providing information from external sources from stock prices, up to the second news tickers (to help predict the stock market), to data mined from social networks like Facebook or Pinterest.

Social Networks

Social networking sites like Facebook and Google+, and sites like Pinterest that specifically serve to track and sell consumer data to businesses make a living from selling massive amounts of data to businesses. For any but the largest corporations this is cost-prohibitive. However as SaaS ERP hits the main-stream and begins to become ever more affordable to mid-level businesses the constant push to improve their service and add new features will inevitably result in software companies purchasing and integrating data from social networks into their own data tracking systems to provide a clearer picture of consumer demand and preference. How much could businesses make (or save) if they had up-to-the minute consumer information built directly into their ERP systems?


Author Bio: Richard Turkel is a technology blogger who writes about business technology solutions. He currently writes for IT business management software services provider BMC. In his free time, Rich spends his time on the mountain shredding powder.

[Image: torkildr/Flickr]

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