ERP evolution: will you adapt or die?

26th November 2019 Written By Edenhouse

It’s fascinating to look at the history and evolution of ERP systems, and how they mirror evolution in the animal kingdom. You can go through long periods where just a few tweaks are needed to ensure survival, but every now and then, you’re faced with a threat on an existential scale, where it’s not always enough to simply evolve — sometimes, you need to get moving as well.

It's time to innovate 

Many of our customers are coming to the realisation that they need to consider a significant migration — to systems like SAP’s S/4HANA — and there are two key drivers for this. Firstly, legacy ERP systems generally have a lot of bolt-on functionality and proprietary software, much of which is probably sitting there unused. This is, of course, highly inefficient — you may be struggling to scale up your system to support business growth, for example. The second issue is that it’s impossible for these ERP systems to evolve enough to leverage cutting-edge technology, like AI and machine learning, which will help your business stay ahead of the curve.

Four reasons to embrace the evolution of ERP and become an intelligent enterprise

We’re witnessing a sea change in the way people work. The younger generation bring new ways of working with them, and aren’t afraid to try new things. They’ve grown up with mobile, and most will have learnt to swipe before they could type. They often choose to work on their own devices, and we can enable that by supplying them with the data, information and knowledge they need to succeed.

That’s why we talk about this concept of the “intelligent enterprise”. A digital core, coupled with an intelligent ERP, allows your business to adapt to changing conditions and seize opportunities quickly and efficiently.

Specifically, the intelligent enterprise will deliver:

  1. Cost simplification - through rationalising your business processes and procedures.
  2. Visibility - thanks to real-time data analysis and report generation. You’ll be able to find out what’s going on right now, not just at month- or year-end.
  3. Flexibility - allowing your workforce to access business data from anywhere, on any device
  4. Productivity - by facilitating easier decision-making, allowing staff to work smarter and faster.

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How to navigate the ERP evolution journey

So legacy systems may not be ideal but they work for you now, and it’s understandable that you may be reluctant to let go. You may have concerns around:

  • Change management, and overcoming resistance to change
  • Difficulty visualising the desired outcome
  • Lack of understanding of current processes
  • The cost of undertaking such a project
  • Whether you have all the skills you need in house — both to make the go/no-go decision and to deliver a successful project

The rapidly changing world you’re doing business in, however, waits for no one. Migrating isn’t just about gaining competitive advantage — it might actually be what keeps you in business.

Understand the journey with a trusted partner 

We understand that evolving and growing your ERP isn’t a simple case of flicking a switch. The journey you’re about to embark on is challenging, and not without risk. That’s why it pays to have an experienced guide at your side. They will have travelled this path many times before, and will be fully aware of potential pitfalls, as well as tried and tested ways to speed up your journey and keep control of your costs.

Planning is everything, and we cover that in more detail in our ‘essential ERP migration checklist’. In the meantime, hop over to Innovation Watch. It has everything you need to know ahead of a migration to S/4HANA.