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1Risk management and mitigation

Organizations will increasingly look to third-party consultants and services firms for advice on avoiding disaster projects and products with costly hidden TCO.

2Increasing focus on organizational change management.

Managing risks means making meaningful changes to the organization. Executives are learning that org change is not just an option anymore – it’s crucial for a smooth implementation.

3Increasing need for ERP business cases, ROI analysis and benefits realization.

In 2010 organizations buckled down and built clear business cases and conducted ROI analysis to tighten up spending. Look for this emphasis on proper planning to continue through 2011.

4ERP lawsuits and canceled ERP projects.

Tight finances make touchy customers. With even the whiff of ERP failure, expect easily spooked executives to toss those solutions overboard quickly and dial up their lawyers almost as soon.

5ERP vendors will get their mojo back.

It’s been a buyers-market for ERP over the last few years, but pent-up demand for enterprise systems stands to give vendors a bit more leverage. Expect more R&D, product enhancements, price stability, and a little extra spring to vendor’s steps.

6ERP vendor consolidation.

The good times ahead won’t be shared by all. The stronger ERP advisors are bound to pick-off some of the weaker players.

7Heavy adoption of software as a service (SaaS) models at small- and mid-size businesses (SMBs)

It’s usually the little guys that lead us out of recession, and all eyes are on the SMB and start-up market to do so once again. Look for serious-minded small business to be on the hunt for SaaS ERP and CRM systems.

8Continued buzz around cloud computing

SaaS ERP systems still haven’t run away with mid-size to large organizations’ business, but CIOs are still likely to take a look at hosted ERP solutions and outsourced IT infrastructures for targeted niches such as document management systems or customer relationship management.

9A good year for CRM software

Operating and labor budgets have fallen through the floor. Companies will be trying new CRM software and social CRM applications to stretch their money and manpower as far as possible.

10More focus on diagnostics, analytics, and businesses intelligence

With room neither for bloat nor misstep in this economy, ERP solutions will be one of the main ways companies stay out of trouble and make sound decisions. They’ll be relying on powerful tools like diagnostics. analytics and business intelligence applications.