Predicting the future is no easy science. From estimating upcoming snowfall to the impact of Y2K, sometimes predictions are spot-on, and other times they’re wildly inaccurate. Technology has made it easier to predict what’s coming next. For instance:

  • In 1865, Jules Verne predicted a man on the moon
  • In 1888, Edward Bellamy predicted the use of debit cards
  • In 1909, Nikola Tesla predicted Wi-Fi and mobile phones

Technology both enables us to achieve these wonders and astounds us with its capabilities. The tech industry will continue to evolve in this new decade, from the top trend of cloud ERPs to things we may not have even imagined yet.

Here are some things that experts expect we’ll see from technology this year.

Tech Trends for 2020

1. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) will be widely adopted by (and useful for) the finance industry

AI and ML have been around for a while, but their ability to impact businesses—no matter the industry—has been limited by three things:

  • First, they run on neural networks (a set of algorithms designed to recognize patterns) that were certainly sophisticated at the time of their inception, but still needed a few years to evolve into what they are now.
  • Second, companies didn’t yet have the massive amounts of data needed to make AI and ML possible.
  • Third, if they did have the data, they didn’t have the ability to analyze the disconnected data quickly and efficiently enough to keep up with rapid-fire market changes.

That’s all changed. Modern cloud-based ERP solutions now incorporate reporting, dashboards, and data analysis tools along with the AI and ML capabilities required to succeed in this digital economy.

For those in the financial services industry, these tools have—and will continue to have—a huge impact. An Autonomous NEXT report estimates that financial firms will see nearly 20 percent of their costs reduced through the use of AI.

AI and ML allows financial organizations to quickly, effectively, and objectively assess borrowers’ credit history. Customer requests can be addressed by chatbots, reducing front office staffing costs. Risk analysis can now be handled by AI, producing real-time business predictions and forecasts based on organized data and freeing up employees for other tasks.

Fraud prevention, money management, and personal finances all will be influenced by AI and ML, and companies should definitely consider taking advantage of the benefits in order to stay competitive. A recent Forbes article on digital transformation trends for 2020 stated: “Companies that still aren’t investing heavily in analytics by 2020 probably won’t be in business in 2021. There is simply far too much valuable customer data to be collected, processed, and turned into insights for any company to remain competitive without making full use of modern analytics tools.”

In 2020, more and more financial service companies will embrace AI and ML to the betterment of the organization and their customers. ERP vendors, who are seeking to entice these companies, will fall into two categories: Those who jam obscure and essentially useless AI/ML features into their product for marketing purposes and those who seamlessly integrate these features within their ERP solution so that end users experience better results without being aware they’re even utilizing these technologies.

2. Business operations within organizations looking for a cloud ERP solution will focus on comprehensive EULA/data ownership rights

Digital transformation, in essence, is implementing cloud-based ERP solutions. It brings people, technology, and process together to become a connected business through digital technology and a digital platform. It won’t magically fix your business, but it does give you the tools, resources, and ability to operate in today’s marketplace.

The challenge is choosing between the many options and distinguishing between true cloud ERP solutions and legacy ERP systems packaged to look like cloud-capable solutions. Having multiple options puts consumers in the driver’s seat.

In 2020, businesses will take a long, hard look at cloud ERP vendors’ unscrupulous vendor practices. The first move many will likely make is to look for End-User License Agreements (EULAs)—historically designed to give vendors the advantage—that are customer-centric, comprehensive, and unchanging. They will also search for a cloud ERP solution that provides their users access to their data anytime.

3. Cloud ERP investment will continue its growth trajectory

As data analytics, AI, and ML technologies continue to mature, and businesses in every industry recognize them as necessary to their success in the digital economy, cloud ERP investments will also continue to grow.

A recent Forbes article on IDC’s 2020 predictions notes, “IT resources will continue their migration to the cloud (and multi-clouds) and there will be heavy investment in automation and orchestration systems, using artificial intelligence and machine learning.”

IDC also predicted that, “By 2020, 70% of enterprises will integrate cloud management—across their public and private clouds—by deploying unified hybrid/multicloud management technologies, tools, and processes.”

Cloud ERP software is adaptable, intuitive, collaborative, automated, and insightful, providing users with a single source of truth in real time with access at any time, from anywhere. It eliminates the cost of IT infrastructure, as well as the responsibility for hardware and software updates/upgrades, opens the door to innovation, and allows for easy personalization. It also provides top notch security and is affordable for SMBs that are competing with larger enterprises and their larger budgets.

It’s vital for a business to select the right cloud ERP software solution that incorporates AI and ML, provides an easy-to-understand and fair EULA, and protects their data ownership rights. They’ll also want a solution that allows them to seamlessly integrate the best-of-breed cloud applications (e.g. Microsoft for email and collaboration, for CRM, etc.) they use every day.

Find Your Cloud ERP and Get Ready For the Future

SMBs planning to remain in business this year will need to invest sooner than later in a modern cloud ERP solution, such as Acumatica and Sage 100cloud. These platforms are scalable, easy to use, and allow rapid integration with necessary third-party applications.

If 2020 is the year your business is moving to a cloud ERP to prepare for other tech trends, start by getting the right software partner on board. The experts at Accounting Solutions, Inc. are well-versed in cloud ERP integrated workflows to cover your full suite of business management application needs. Break into the new decade with unlimited potential for your business. It all starts with connecting to an expert. Let’s get started today.