The ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) concept grew out of early accounting systems; the idea that you should join up all your disparate engine-room components to have an integrated, holistic view of operations. ERP suites from Microsoft Dynamics, Oracle, SAP and others were intended to create a one-stop shop for payroll, invoicing, HR, logistics, supply chains, general ledger and all line of business systems like manufacturing or supply chain.
There has been a recent plethora of blogs about the “death of ERP,” as companies utilize Software as a Service (SaaS) for critical business functions. The blogs say that as nimble, less costly SaaS systems replace ERP components, the whole concept of a single system crashes to the earth.
Specific industries are mentioned such as the media sector where big publishing houses have been forced by the Internet to reboot their strategies and stem the flow of red ink. That change has seen media companies like Pearson, the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times and even the BBC move to pay-walls and a range of subscription models covering both print and online bundles.
What they don’t mention is that even if a functional component (payroll and human resources are common) is SaaS or even outsourced (managed by a third party), easy to use and robust new integration toolsets are allowing organizations to have the same seamless system and organizational analytics.
ERP is failing in failing industries: publishing, printing, and telecoms, all of which unfortunately have decaying revenues and dismal horizons. The concept of ERP is alive and well in most industries, with the slight twist and nudge of SaaS or outsourced.
Don’t believe everything you read…