Feeds

The unrealised potential of ERP and CRM

Digging up that buried treasure

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Reducing security risks from open source software

Poll Results With all of that money, time and effort expended on ERP and CRM systems over the years, you would expect organisations to have paid a lot of attention to getting the most from them, but a recent poll of Reg readers (including 66 ERP users and 65 CRM users) suggests that many implementations have some way to go before they deliver their full potential (Figure 1).

Figure 1

To be fair, when looking at this picture we must acknowledge that putting such systems in place and getting them properly bedded into the business is not a trivial exercise, and as one reader explained:

“We have only just implemented ERP - people are still learning the system. It may take several years to fully realise the benefits.”

Indeed some would argue that ERP and CRM implementation is a perpetual process and that with ever evolving business requirements, it is unrealistic to expect systems to ever be ‘finished’. Nevertheless, the above does suggest the presence of a lot of unrealised potential, particularly in association with CRM. And the following reader comment provides some insight into why such big gaps often exist, even with more established deployments:

“The day-to-day use of ERP and CRM is ingrained with the users. Most do not see the benefits to be had by using the systems in a smarter way. The tools only get used to 'do the job' not to do the job well.”

This goes back to our previous discussion about systems often being implemented originally to deal with particular process-oriented requirements, then the capability delivered not being revisited thereafter, which, as another reader said, highlights the imperative to:

“Remind senior management that these systems are not fire and forget.”

Good advice, perhaps, but where exactly should you be looking to unlock additional value from ERP and CRM systems? Well, switching on previously inactive functionality that was not within the original implementation scope is mentioned by two thirds of our poll respondents, but top of the list, highlighted by an even greater number, is enabling better use of the information stored in systems of this kind (Figure 2).

Figure 2

The truth is that ERP and CRM applications can accumulate large amounts of transaction data that potentially represents a significant business asset, but is often simply too hard to get at and make sense of. As a result, the practice of users with little formal IT knowledge or discipline extracting information into Excel spreadsheets and other offline tools will be familiar to most users reading this, as will the associated dangers and costs. The sentiment articulated by this reader is therefore likely to strike a chord with many:

“The greatest benefit from ERP/CRM is only to be obtained when [dependency on] office software is dropped so the ERP system is actually the centre of information.”

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.