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February 2013

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The Year Ahead: Seven Key Enterprise Applications Trends

In a new report, "Seven Enterprise Applications Trends for High-Growth Companies in 2013," Oracle foresees a renewed commitment by midsize companies to modernize IT and identifies seven areas of anticipated focus for the year ahead.

“Today’s business managers enjoy real-time access to stock market activity, hourly weather forecasts, airline flight status updates, and push alerts when their dry cleaning is ready to be picked up,” writes the report's author Jim Lein, programs management senior principal for Oracle Accelerate. “They want no less from their business systems—and now it’s not too much to ask because tier 1 ERP is easier than ever to deploy.”

Taking into account this mindset as well as a widespread, if cautious, optimism across global markets, the report identifies the following key trends for 2013.

The Cloud Makes ERP Exciting Again
“Oracle partners are experiencing frequent requests from their midsize clients to gain a deeper understanding of how to practically transition some processes to the cloud while leveraging their existing investments,” writes Lein. "CIOs and CFOs simply want a more predictable cost model for IT without sacrificing capabilities.”

A Widening IT Skills Gap
With many markets experiencing shortages in IT skills, Lein writes that companies should consider “not just a potential solution’s capabilities but also how easy it is to deploy, maintain, and adjust in the long term.... Modernizing ERP should simplify IT, not complicate IT, and provide companies with more options for both systems and business management.”

More Enterprise Applications Go Mobile
“Increasingly, tablets are replacing work stations on the shop floor, finding their way into the cab of delivery trucks, and showing up behind retail counters,” Lein writes. "That’s where transactional information is born, and no company wants personnel in those roles to have to wade through a series of screens to get their jobs done.”

Big Data is the Next Big Thing
“Oracle partners working with growing midsize businesses are having more frequent discussions with their clients about big data," writes Lein. "Even as these clients analyze where cloud computing, business analytics, and mobile applications fit in their near term plans, they recognize that they will need to harness the power of big data.”

Discovering the Plus Side of Technology Upgrades
“Upgrading existing enterprise applications may offer the best path to modernization if the vendor—such as Oracle—has continually invested in its solutions,” writes Lein. Financial and IT managers can build a compelling business case for "turning on more functionality in the core product or deploying complementary products that address high value areas of the business,” he adds.

Business Analytics Keep on Sizzling Due to Clear ROI
“Oracle partners tell us that even companies with US$10 to 20 million in annual revenue are finding ROI in business analytics investments," writes Lein. "Business analytics are staying hot for growing midsize companies because the products just keep getting better and easier to deploy. Analytic applications enable companies to deploy 75 to 85 percent of the performance metrics they need upon go live.”

Quicker, Tighter, Faster Deployments Enabled by Industry Best Practices
“Most growing midsize companies need to deploy enterprise applications quickly in order to lower costs, reduce business disruption, and speed time to value,” writes Lein. Fortunately, today's ERP solutions are typically live and generating value “in less time than might previously have been spent in just the traditional requirements assessment and request for proposal review process,” writes Lein.

View the full report: "Seven Enterprise Applications Trends for High-Growth Companies in 2013."

Learn more about Oracle for Midsize Companies.

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