A report we came across recently, based on a survey of ERP buyers, revealed a number of trends gaining momentum in 2016. A few worthy of note included…
Increasing adoption of ERP systems among small and mid-size organizations. Newer ERP systems, including SaaS options, along with the latest mobile technologies, have put business management software within the grasp of virtually any business today, thereby negating the edge once held by the larger, more tech-savvy industrial firms. Gone are the days of multi-million dollar ERP implementations. Today’s company can get started for a figure in the thousands to tens of thousands, easily.
High profile lawsuits expose the causes of ERP failures. There have been some pretty high-profile ERP failures over the years. (There have also been many more great successes.) The record shows that the failures are much less failures of technology, and much more failures of sound strategic planning, organizational change management, well-scoped process analysis, misaligned (or unrealistic) expectations between provider and consumer, pure communications, or unrealistic budgets and timeframes.
“Best of breed” makes a comeback. For several years, standalone ERP systems with little integration to other systems were much in fashion. But the increasing ubiquity of systems that hook out to the rest of the world has made that approach a more viable alternative. These core systems don’t – in and of themselves – try to be all things to all people. Instead, they focus on the core ERP functionality, and then let others with vertical expertise provide certified and well-integrated extensions that truly do enable them to become “best of breed” instead of “one-size-fits-all” solutions.
ERP project recover becomes a skill set. Lots of ERP installations ‘go south.’ Deeply knowledgeable implementers with appropriate domain experience can unravel what went wrong, and where, and then recover with the steps necessary to do the job right the second time. It requires strong domain experience and unique skill sets that can get to the root(s) of the problem, and rebuild, implement and train users from there.
Customization becomes more accepted by the mainstream. The word ‘customizations’ used to terrify CEOs, CFOs and other execs. But the fact is, about 90% of all implementations (according to a 2015 survey by Panorama Consulting) are (and must be) customized to some degree to meet business requirements. But today’s tools make it a lot less risky to do so. With an experienced provider, customizations and modifications can be executed and tested safely and made to fit each client’s unique needs – all with a minimum of operational risk. Just be sure you’re dealing with someone with domain and customization experience.
These are a few of the most recent, growing trends in the world of ERP, as the increasing breadth of software and technologies bring it within range of nearly every business today.