“Gone are the days when ERP was just used for transactional or repetitive activities and considered as an automation tool. Modern ERPs are considered as an extension of your teams and in many ways a new team. If your ERP isn’t part of your team, you are still far away from realizing the true benefits it can bring.”
Technology is not new to us. From the invention of wheels over 6000 years ago, we have seen several inventions such as the calendar, the compass, and paper, and in our more recent history electricity and aviation, which are such an integral part of our lives now. Software is the most recent invention that has made rapid strides into our lives but is still only at its nascent stage. Software works in the background, a uniqueness it brings but also has been its nemesis. We cannot feel software or see it physically in action, and thus considered it more of a support tool than an enabler. Software has the great ability to bind all other technologies seamlessly and deliver far more than their individual capabilities. Our future will be dictated by software and its ability to bring everything together. We need to embrace it and make it work for us in a way that not only supports us but also enables our growth.
Enterprise Resource Planning or ERP software is the one used by organizations to bind their functions together. Traditionally, ERPs were considered more of a tool to automate processes and help with the flow of data from one function to another, thus reducing redundancy and saving costs. Like other technologies, ERPs are continuously evolving, and the pandemic only accelerated the evolution and adoption. With a handful of ERP vendors not so long ago, there are several options now to choose depending on the size of your organization. The way to measure the benefits or success of an ERP is also changing. The power of computing has brought ERP to the forefront and is viewed as a strategic enabler than a mere automation tool.
In the past, the success of an ERP implementation was counted in the cost savings and productivity targets attained. Over time, along with the holistic shift in global markets and technology landscape, the way we perceive, and measure ERP success has taken a progressive turn. With the expansion of digitization, data has come to form the crux of every decision, process, and innovation. The proliferation of social media and the idea that “data is the new oil” draws on the increased demand for data as the most valuable resource. The unrivaled power of analytic insights and forecasting in propelling businesses forward has turned data into a holy grail for exponential growth. Consequently, historical databases that previously served little purpose have now gained renewed interest and value. Data is no longer to be stored and forgotten; it is to be curated to drive decisions. Businesses with a sustainable vision are increasingly investing in technologies that enable intelligence and real-time interactions along with smarter workflows. It is an established fact that your ERP will enhance the bottomline, but success may still be far off unless it empowers you to drive business growth.
The future looks brighter and more promising for organizations soundly equipped with robust ERPs to leverage the full potential of data in driving better and more insightful decision-making. Organizations that have not utilized their data well enough have not achieved success with ERP. In the next blog, leaning on some of our client experiences, we will look at some of the measures and best practices that companies could adopt to evaluate and ensure the success of an ERP implementation.