The world of enterprise IT has undergone a number of transformational shifts just in the last decade. With new and exciting technologies like IoT, machine learning, and expansive cloud capabilities now within reach of most businesses, it is time for all leaders to reevaluate which tools are suddenly necessary and which are no longer necessary.

Enterprise resource planning software (ERP) is considered mission-critical by most companies. But as we enter a new generation of IT, it’s time to consider whether ERP is as important as it once was, or even necessary at all. There’s a case to be made that it’s not. There’s an even stronger case to be made that ERP is more important than ever. Here are some reasons why which can’t be overlooked, ignored, or dismissed.

Big Data is Unstoppable

Big data is a tool that any enterprise can rely on to gain detailed insights and practice informed decision making. But even as big data tools have become more accessible, giving form and function to massive and ever-expanding streams of data is not a simple or standardized process. Since ERP is a tool designed specifically to ease the burden of data management, it is a core component of any strategy built around the potential of big data.

Mobility is Essential

Taking advantage of a mobile and remote workforce is one of the most exciting recent developments for both employees and employers. But if the limits of the traditional office are going to be fully dismantled, remote employees must have access to all the data and applications they would have at their own desks. Cloud ERP is a reliable and accessible way to ensure that mobility is an advantage rather than an impediment.

Cyber Security is Problematic

Cyber security can only be characterized as a losing battle at this point. And while no single solution or strategy is equipped to deal with today’s evolving threats, data management is an essential tool in the arsenal. Since ERP integrates and standardizes data onto a single platform, the challenge of securing it becomes more straightforward.

Regulatory Compliance is Complicated

As the volume of data that organizations store and share has ballooned, preserving regulatory compliance has become more challenging than ever. ERP eases this burden first by bringing all relevant data into one location. Then it empowers compliance managers to drill deep into this data while also taking advantage of automation to simplify the compliance reporting process.

Supply Chain Management is Expanding

Even SMEs rely on global supply chains. Now that supply, production, and distribution have become so widely dispersed, a single delay or oversight can spell disaster. ERP offers manufacturers a top-down perspective over their supply chains that is not just helpful but essential for bypassing problems.

Customer Relationship Management is Paramount

There are few, if any businesses, that operate in non-competitive markets. The reality for most is that each customer has multiple options, meaning that relationships with customers must be hard won and carefully preserved. ERP is crucial for customer relationship management, because it helps to prevent internal problems from compromising the customer experience.

Strategic Decision Making is Uncertain

Returning to the previous point, every company must constantly fight for ground or risk falling to the back of the pack. ERP is a powerful tool for enhancing strategic decision making, because it puts relevant, up-to-date insights all in one location. That way, any decision, whether bold or cautious, is based on a complete and honest accounting of the facts rather than assumptions and intuitions.

All the reasons discussed above are compelling ones for pursuing ERP. But the biggest reason that ERP is still a necessity is because the best ERP vendors have worked hard to keep the features and functions up-to-date with the needs of businesses today and tomorrow. This is not a technology that is coming to the end of its lifecycle, but rather, just now reaching its maturity.