Feeds

Just how does IT spend its time looking after ERP?

The results are in

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

But should we expect this kind of activity to settle down over time?

This is something we were able to look at as one of the questions we asked in the poll was how long the ERP system concerned had been in place. Almost exactly a third of respondents had implementations that were less than three years old, the point after which we might consider a system to be relatively bedded in and mature. This gave us the opportunity to compare activity between relatively new and more established environments, and while some differences can be seen, it’s pretty clear that change is ongoing throughout the lifetime of ERP (Figure 2).

Figure 2

Some of the most prominent differences, as we can see, are towards the bottom of the chart and the activities here are more concerned with underlying platform related activity. Mature systems seem to involve more work here, but this may be as a result of older hardware, platform software and management frameworks needing more effort to keep running. Newer implementations are more likely to be based on modern architectures that are inherently easier to manage with the latest generation of admin tools.

By the same token, the additional effort required to maintain interfaces that is apparent in older setups is in part down to a lot of the original integration work having being done before the latest developments in open standards and APIs had been embraced by ERP vendors, making things inherently more difficult to change and maintain.

Coming back to business functionality, however, we can see from the activities towards the top of Figure 2 that ERP systems are essentially living entities that are constantly evolving. This is something acknowledged by readers through comments such as:

ERP projects should never end, that's the whole point of ERP ultimately - a continuous search for perfect automation and you could - and to my mind should - argue that if it ever ends you're not doing it right.

The markets & business change continuously, ERP has to keep up.

With this in mind, it is interesting to look at the parts of the system that are typically the most dynamic from a business functionality perspective (Figure 3).

Figure 3

The overall size of each bar indicates the number of installations that have the functionality listed in place, but whether you look at this, or the composition of the bars which reflects the degree of ongoing change, the obvious area that stands out is reporting, analytics and business intelligence. This is consistent with feedback from the end of last year on unlocking additional value from ERP and CRM (see here. Businesses are increasingly wising up to the fact that the information gathered in these systems is an incredibly valuable asset.

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
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
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.