We came across an interesting commentary in an article written by the owner of a European Microsoft Dynamics reselling firm that covers Western Europe. His name is Guus Krabbenborg, and he makes the point at MSDynamicsWorld, a partner forum, that while companies often analyze the many and varied costs and benefits of an ERP (or CRM) system selection, one often overlooked is the cost of the system itself.
Here’s his take: “From a bookkeeping standpoint, the investment’s term of depreciation is 5 years. But ideally we want to work with the new solution for 10 years or more”.
But then he asks the $64,000 question: If a system should last ten years or more, what will the world – and more to the point, the technological landscape – look like in 2026? What devices will we be working with then? How far will technology have come?
Think of it this way: Look backwards. Back in 2006, no one had even heard of tablets. The term ‘swiping’ didn’t exist in the tech sense. Google was a relatively unknown company. The cloud was in its infancy, and the word itself (in the popular context) had not yet been uttered.
So if we’ve come that far in just the past ten years, imagine the next ten! And with the pace of technological progress actually increasing these days – it’s tough even to hazard a guess.
So it’s not at all a stretch to say that when looking at an ERP system, you might actually be selecting more of an ERP concept today than a solution. ERP solutions are developing at what Krabbenborg deems “a furious pace.” Vendors that fall behind in this fast paced market are quickly lost in the market. And of course, that means their clients are too.
He concludes with some cautionary advice when you’re looking at the publisher of your next ERP system, which we’ll quote here:
“Companies that are considering new ERP or CRM solutions would do well to test their vendors’ degree of future-proofing rigorously. Do the vendors on your shortlist have any chance at all of surviving this rat race until 2026? Are they (sufficiently) profitable these days, for example? Do they have sufficient international scale? What is the size of their R&D budget? How innovative are they? And is a formal product roadmap available for the solution on offer?”
Words well worth considering, we think.