Mobile technology and cloud computing (particularly cloud ERP solutions) seem to have gained momentum over the past few years. I recently read an article discussing the top technology trends for businesses this year, and I have to say that I agree with the article’s comments pertaining to smartphone and tablet adoption. Many companies are looking to smartphones and tablets for better accessibility to their CRM and ERP solutions. For years it seemed that the trend was to make phones smaller; however, as smartphones have emerged onto the scene, phones are now getting larger and laptops/tablets seem to be getting smaller and lighter. It makes sense that phones and tablets would begin to meet somewhere in the middle, for smaller phones will not provide users with the capability to see and use the functions of the apps they rely upon for their business.

These devices are particularly useful to businesses employing ERP and CRM software solutions. Many ERP and CRM software providers now have mobile apps for smartphones and tablets, and these powerful apps make it easier for employees to access  critical customer and company information wherever they are – be that in the office or out in the field. Mobile apps are extremely useful for companies today; they not only put the most useful features of ERP and CRM solutions into the hands of employees , but they also help streamline data entry. The increased availability of Wi-Fi in businesses and public areas is only going to further the mobile explosion and usefulness of these devices.

The article also discussed the role of the Cloud and social media in today’s businesses. I have to say, I am a little more skeptical of the Cloud and social media as it pertains to business. Social media definitely has its uses for a fun and feel-good marketing tool, but unless your company is targeting young adults  (the 18-25 market) with its product offerings – I think you should consider spending your marketing dollars elsewhere. In my opinion, social media has always been a place for people to meet and discuss personal issues, not a place for serious business offerings.

While the Cloud is generally accepted as the new wave of things to come, I do not think that businesses are going to jump on board with this trend. Yes, the idea of accessing your CRM and ERP databases virtually anywhere is promising; however, the lack of quality internet access in certain areas will definitely slow Cloud adoption. There is definitely a place for the Cloud… I just don’t think that mainstream small businesses will be the ones adopting this new technology. The numbers are hard to sell to clients and there is virtually no savings to be had by moving to Cloud ERP or CRM solutions.