Ten years ago, it seemed the enterprise software market had reached a state of maturity with a few major players controlling the majority of the market and little opportunity for new entrants or radical innovation. And then came the shift to the cloud—with the mobile revolution close on its heels. These disruptive changes have ushered in a new era of enterprise integration that presentsboth opportunities and challenges.
Here are three major trends affecting the direction and integration requirements of enterprise software systems today:
HR technology purchases are on the rise
Although the adoption of core HR information technology may seem like old news, and it would be difficult to find an enterprise level organization who did not already have automated payroll and benefits processing, the space is experiencing significant change. In the never-ending search for improved performance and productivity, organizations and HR leaders are looking beyond the transactional necessities of human resources management and searching for “new metrics for the measurement of successful HR.” This growing demand for more effective HR technology solutions is driven by a number of factors, including:
- The increasing complexity of people management for companies of all sizes as compliance demands intensify across most jurisdictions where companies operate. Global companies are especially effected by this reality.
- The challenge of sourcing and attracting talent; with fierce competition for new hires in many fields and recruiting that often crosses traditional geographic and educational boundaries. This fuels the demand for innovative recruiting technologies that can facilitate the hiring process and reach new audiences.
- The need to better understand and anticipate labor requirements, costs and trends drives a burgeoning need for more and better data—ideally supported by increasingly sophisticated analytics to leverage that data.
- The availability of affordable HCM technology for small and medium-size business, due to an explosion of new cloud-based HCM offerings, which has made HR technology available to a much broader range of businesses.
This convergence of increasingly complex needs with the explosion of new, innovative HR technologies has stimulated a surge in sales of HR technology.
Companies are shifting away from monolithic enterprise systems
In recent years, the demand for more flexible, employee-centric HR technologies has outpaced the functionality of existing enterprise systems. As a result, many companies are moving toward hybrid solutions, composed of best in breed components from multiple vendors, to meet their changing needs. Of course, in spite of the conglomerate nature of these hybrid systems, they are still expected to work together seamlessly.
Consider, for example, a company that purchases Workday. It does a great job addressing many of their core HCM requirements, but they soon realize they need additional customized talent acquisition capabilities that Workday does not offer. From the new abundance of HR technologies, they select a point solution that fills the gap. To be effective and avoid fragmentation, these two systems will now have to be integrated via middleware or an API. Over time, the organization connects a number of point solutions targeting specific needs to their Workday foundation, each one requiring a similar integration.
This scenario is becoming much more common as organizations refuse to accept the limitations of traditional monolithic systems. Today’s companies are also unwilling to live with systems that don’t play well with others. The ability to integrate well has become a key selection criteria for purchasers and, in the words of industry analyst Josh Bersin, “mission critical to software vendors.”
Input and access to enterprise systems is increasingly mobile
Mobile has become the preferred platform for interacting with just about everything and enterprise systems are no exception. The latest data shows that mobile usage time is now significantly higher than desktops usage globally (in the US mobile usage is at 51% compared to desktop usage at 42%.) 
In recent years, this pervasive shift to mobile has resulted in the integration of smartphones with enterprise applications through the development of user-friendly, mobile applications that enable access to a growing selection of enterprise functions. The steady movement away from traditional input devices will continue to drive enterprise integration needs, accelerating even further as wearables become more prevalent and demand for access via these new devices increases.
Responding to the Evolution of HCM
The changing needs and expectations of users will continue to influence enterprise integration. Currently, a growing demand for more comprehensive HCM technology; the shift away from monolithic systems; and a steady movement toward mobile, are three significant factors shaping the future of enterprise systems. As these and future trends exert mounting pressure, organizations will have to find efficient ways to access data in environments with many different systems of record. More importantly, they will have to provide modern, mobile UIs that interact with information from these multiple systems through a single, consistent front-end.
 The Starr Conspiracy, Intelligence Unit, 2015 Human Capital Management (HCM) Vendor Brandscape Report™http://campaigns.thestarrconspiracy.com/hcm-vendor-brandscape/futur...
 Josh Bersin, Forbes, The Talent Management Software Market Surges Ahead,http://www.forbes.com/sites/joshbersin/2014/06/26/the-talent-manage...
 Josh Bersin, Forbes, The 9 Hottest Trends in HR Technology … And Many Are Disruptive,http://www.forbes.com/sites/joshbersin/2013/10/21/the-9-hottest-tre...
 Danyl Bosomworth, Mobile Marketing Statistics Compilation, http://www.smartinsights.com/mobile-marketing/mobile-marketing-anal...
 John Greenough and Jonathan Camhi, Business Insider, Here are IoT trends that will change the way businesses, governments, and consumers interact with the world, http://www.businessinsider.com/top-internet-of-things-trends-2016-1