"I think part of that is the changing demographics of users who grew up using the Internet," compared to past ERP users who adapted to the software that was put in front of them, she says. Today's new corporate ERP users "have certain expectations of what the applications should look like and how they will work," she says. "Vendors will have to work on making them more usable and more personable. I think it's one of the messages you're hearing from vendors, as they are now including more business intelligence capabilities in with ERP so users can do querying of their ERP data and present the results in more arresting ways."
So does that mean that we'll see more gamification of ERP applications, where they could take on more playful, entertaining or intriguing characteristics of video games?
Well, let's not get too carried away, but some of those kinds of more engaging features have been finding their way into some Customer Relationship Management (CRM) applications lately, according to Martens. "We're seeing it in CRM and others. It could happen here in ERP, maybe."
ERP users are also looking for collaboration features, according to the study. "We're hearing a lot about collaboration on the CRM side, but vendors are also talking about it for ERP, too," she says. "I think there is a strong use case for it, especially in the Human Capital Management (HCM) world. It could be very helpful to bring together ad hoc groups of people for discussions within ERP applications."
Todd R. Weiss covers Enterprise Applications, SaaS, CRM, and Cloud Computing for CIO.com. Follow Todd on Twitter @TechManTalking. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter @CIOonline and on Facebook. Email Todd at email@example.com. You can also join Todd in the "CIO Forum" group on LinkedIn.com to talk with CIOs and IT managers about the things that keep them up at night.
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