27th August 2010
There are signs that businesses are once again investing in ERP systems after a long period in the doldrums. The evidence gathered by recent analyst s’ surveys suggest that businesses are willing to invest in completely new systems rather than merely adding to what they already have. However, the last few years have been instructive in demonstrating just how much existing systems can be stretched. Indeed software providers like CODA and Agresso (now jointly owned by UNIT4) have made something of a virtue out of the fact that there systems have been adaptable to change and protected users from the need to undertake wholesale replacement. The message hasn’t been lost on the marketplace with UNIT 4 announcing another period of growth. However, this week’s feature by Lesley Meall questions whether rushing out to buy a new system is the right approach at all. For example many companies could benefit from redesigning their processes rather than swapping software. There is also the vexed question of whether there has been sufficient innovation in the current crop of ERP products to justify fresh investment. Eventually, companies with ageing systems will be ‘forced’ to make a change but until then I suspect that many will simply focus on keeping a lid on costs.