But what if ERP could think? What if ERP could be intuitive?
This is what Dave Schwarber, director of Cincom’s Manufacturing Business Solutions division, addresses in his article “The road to intuitive ERP” published this week in Australia’s Technology Spectator.
An excerpt of the article:
The sad fact is that ERP arguably has gotten a little tired in recent years, even as its potential usefulness has expanded.
There are several contributing factors to this tiredness, including the dominance of a handful of ERP players globally as well as the massive size and intricacy of ERP implementations themselves. However, the core of the problem is that ERP hasn’t really kept up with the massive shift to the consumerisation of tech and the concurrent rise of business intelligence.
Let’s look at both factors separately. In terms of ERP, consumerisation isn’t so much about the technology or process itself as it is about perception of that technology. Over the past decade, user tolerance for IT that is not consumer-facing and user-friendly has basically evaporated. People simply expect to find the same ease of use and interactivity with technology whether at home or work. All technology is, in essence, now consumer technology.
That’s problem number one for ERP. Because ERP has focussed so much on making big, bulky and byzantine processes with almost infinitesimal variables run smoothly, the consumer hasn’t really figured into that equation. In fact, the most common complaint is usually about how the user must adapt to the system, learning new languages and conforming their behaviour to fit the systems. It is the exact opposite of how most of us now encounter our technology. We demand ease of navigation and interactivity.
Second, there is the rise of business intelligence. Whereas ERP has done well automating process, it hasn’t historically done as well at engagement in real-time with so-called “facts on the ground” of that process. Most ERP must be customised to an excruciating degree in order to effectively address a business process and then basically re-engineered to accommodate changes to that process….
What does all of this mean for ERP? It means that something potentially more revolutionary than the Cloud is happening. Cloud migration will still happen, but for a whole set of reasons, like latency and security, this will take some time.
What do you think? Should ERP be intuitive?