ERP 2016 – what is new?

February 29th, 2016 by Stephen Jones Leave a reply »

According to a 2015 Gartner Research report on the growth of Enterprise ERP mobility, “…the proliferation of (today’s) mobile devices represents a real opportunity to increase the penetration of ERP for all types of workers — in healthcare, manufacturing, finance, even charity organizations — and overcome some of the resistance to ERP usability. However, deploying ERP on mobile devices presents many challenges, due to the rapidly evolving mobility device and app landscape.Mobility does not come free from the ERP vendors. It requires expensive upgrades to their newest technology platforms and constant patching as the vendors deliver functionality a little bit at a time.”

So, in this social media, always connected world of smart phones where does erp fit in?. User demand will drive it as will software vendors, but be clear why you need it – mobile technicians in the field, mobile workflow approvals – or just a lot of pretty pictures. If you are going down the road of mobile operation give some thought to mobile device management – patching, security, geo-fencing, mobile support logs etc.

Agility, flexibility, simplicity, scalability, are typical buzz words but first worry about stability and security – whether on cloud or on premise. When you do that think about your own Internal IT skills and staff turn over, and those of your implementation and support partner. Moving to the cloud may offer a whole load of costs and benefits- but who is managing and supporting your end -do they have the skills? Citing research from IDC, a recent TechTarget report explained that by 2020, approximately 30 percent of tech suppliers currently in the market will have either failed, been acquired or changed dramatically. As businesses become dependent on these service providers for everything from virtualization functions to core cloud systems, they must be prepared to handle the operational disruption that will come when different vendors go out of the market.

IDC projects that the global Internet of Things (IoT) market will be worth $1.7 trillion by 2020, and enterprises from all sectors are embracing the opportunity to deliver and take advantage of the connected economy. Gartner describes a “digital mesh,” which it defines as “an expanding series of devices, services, platforms, informational networks and individuals that integrate together and provide contextual intelligence and enable greater collaboration.The connected economy is now wide open to midsize companies. Leveraging cloud technologies to connect employees, customers, partners and devices together is fast creating new ways of doing business. The changing market for products and services means businesses will move from a single SKU per product to a bundled product with affiliated services (warranty, monitoring) and subscriptions. Organizations’ existing back-office systems, including ERP, need to adapt to this new business model and support effective management and monetization of bundled and multi-modal products. An ERP that has integrated configure, price, quote (CPQ) capabilities will enable customers to easily order products, and for businesses to let the customer know when to expect delivery.

Forget the technology – there is emotional effort needed to successfully get a full-fledged ERP system adopted into a company culture. These days people even try to pay lip service to BPR and change management, or senior management ownership and leadership. Just demand the lowest costs and fastest time, oh and by the way we would like a lot of extras thrown in. Out of the box will do as long as it works exactly the way we want. Why do we need to test – it should work. Training – ‘train the trainer’ is often close to the bling leading the blind. And the consultant who comes at half price is the one eyed man in the kingdom of the blind.

Such factors have produced more ERP failures than Apple sells phones. ERP selection and implementation failures whose fault is it. If every lesson ever learned is ignored if cut price costs and unrealistic timelines are more important than success then where does Corporate leadership responsibility come in to get the ball across the goal line.

Technology and project documents alone will never ensure a successful ERP selection outcome. The enterprise culture has to commit whatever needs to be done, whenever it comes time to do it. Whether in the cloud or on premise out of the box or bespoke, mobile or at your desk does not change the need for two hands to clap. A joint team means shoulder to shoulder.

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