Of all the apps currently in the enterprise arsenal, ERP solutions are arguably the most popular and widely-adopted category. Since every business on earth needs to track its financials and capital resources in a clear and consistent manner, it’s easy to see why ERP is such a powerful force in the world of corporate software. Of course, these solutions have advanced in a number of fascinating ways over the past several years, and enterprise strategists should be aware of these developments to ensure they stay on the cutting edge. Here are four aspects of today’s ERP evolution:

1. Massive data volumes: Across industries, teams and even on an individual basis, the average amount of data stored and accessed on a regular basis has spiked dramatically in the past several years, and will continue to rise as long as the digital economy keeps barreling forward. In regard to ERP systems, this means that companies will have to plan for much heavier volumes of data to be both stored and processed, and supplanting legacy applications with the next generation is a strong place to start. New software versions have been developed by teams much more accustomed to handling these huge burdens.

2. Interconnected apps: While ERP systems have traditionally existed in silos separate from other enterprise applications, today’s tech teams are recognizing the competitive advantages that can be gained by connecting these disparate apps in an intuitive manner. For instance, in the construction industry, companies are integrating ERP tools with project management, client relationship management and even building information modeling systems. Of course, forward-thinking firms will have to deploy systems capable forming these interconnected environments.

3. Newfound mobile focus: Enterprise mobility has been on the map for years now, but this fast-moving trend is seeing advancement at every level, especially in relation to software components such as ERP. According to a blog article from Memeburn, companies are emphasizing mobile access for their most critical enterprise apps, as today’s employees and clients are becoming more attuned to mobility in their personal and professional lives. Soon enough, entire suites of enterprise software will be fully optimized for functionality in the mobile domain.

“Enterprises need to give customers, employees and business partners access to business applications and data wherever they are,” explained Keith Fenner, Memeburn contributor. “We’re seeing a distinct shift in the marketplace from inflexible desktop applications to modular, intuitive apps that people can as easily use on a smartphone as on a traditional computer.”

4. Strong vertical emphasis: With the enterprise software market booming, specialization has skyrocketed and companies now have access to a range of vertically-oriented solutions for the unique needs of their industries. For instance, a construction firm can select dedicated systems for contractors that are optimized for the workflows and challenges of the modern job site and supply chain. The resulting simplicity and convenience reduce the need for in-house customization and mitigate risk as a company becomes more deeply invested in the software.