Concept Not Understood by ERP Buyers Who Are More Focused on Better Processes, Supply Costs; Political/Regulatory Landscape Deemed Worrisome to Half; Analytic Capabilities Sought by 30% in 2015
SYSPRO, a provider of best-of-breed, award-winning enterprise resource planning (ERP) software for on-premise, mobile and cloud-based utilization, has announced the results of its twice yearly survey to 100 mid-sized manufacturers and distributors within its U.S. client base. The results were released here in Boston at the company’s Winter Analyst Roadshow before two dozen industry technology analysts.
Called SNAP (SYSPRO Needs Answers Please) the currently released pulse survey focuses on growing market hype over “big data” concepts/solutions, which is the aggregation and analysis of extremely large data sets. Large technology vendors in the enterprise solutions space have been promoting the capability of Big Data to reveal patterns, trends, and associations, especially relating to human behavior and interactions.
The survey respondents seem to show a clear disconnect between the understanding/desires of large companies, who are driving the big data concept, and smaller, mid-sized companies in the manufacturing and distribution markets. Specifically, 96.3% of the respondents find Big Data messaging to be either difficult to understand or only somewhat understandable – with only 3.7% clearly grasping the concept. In fact, the predecessor concept of “data analytics,” which was introduced in the mid-1990s as technology to compare/analyze smaller data sets without the component of social media, is also not well understood by mid-sized manufacturing organizations: only 7.4% found it “very easy to understand.”
Despite what some described as more “noise” than “news” in the wider market on big data capabilities, nearly 30% of these smaller U.S. organizations said they plan to “step up” use of their more targeted SYSPRO analytics capabilities in 2015. The primary drivers they say are:
• Better production operational processes (64.2%)
• More sales opportunities (19.8%)
• Better material costs (13.6%)
• Better hiring/talent management processes (2.4%)
In the emerging technology front, an indication of rising interest in social data streams (likely tied to the increased use of mobile devices in the manufacturing/distribution community) is seen with this statistic: some 44.4% of respondents say “accessing new social streams of data” is moderately to very important to their company’s success. The implication here, when coupled with the analytic drivers stated above, is that mid-market technology buyers are interested in new sources of data when they can be easily understood and tied to specific business goals.
The survey traditionally asks this segment of U.S. manufacturers and distributors “how strong do you feel the U.S. economy is as it impacts your business.” In this cycle, 50.6% said they are wary of the political landscape/regulatory actions that could either propel or challenge them. More than a quarter of the respondents (25.9%) said they believed the U.S. economy is: “Not good/strong; I see a lot of challenges ahead for U.S. manufacturers versus feeling that things are improving.”
Survey data can be viewed in the below infographic: