Assessing the state of ERP, the changing applications, and technology choices

Ventana Research asserts enterprise resource planning (ERP) system is a pillar of nearly every company’s record-keeping and management of business processes. It is essential to the smooth functioning of a business’s accounting and finance functions. In manufacturing and distribution, ERP also can manage inventory and logistics. Some companies use it to handle human resources functions like tracking employees, payroll and related costs. Now, however, ERP systems have begun to change, facilitated by the growing availability of new technologies including cloud computing, collaboration, mobility, analytics, planning, in-memory processing and big data, all of which have the potential to address shortcomings in today’s systems and the most common complaints about this software category.

This benchmark research by Ventana Research provides a detailed picture of the current state and future direction of the use of ERP in organizations. The research assessed the degree to which organizations are satisfied with their current ERP systems and identified areas where improvements or enhancements would be valuable. It investigated the issues with which ERP users must contend, such as difficulties in modifying or upgrading the systems or integrating it with other software, the ease with which nonfinancial information from the company’s ERP system can be used for analysis or support business processes outside the scope of the ERP system and if there is a desire to simplify use of and interaction with the ERP system.

This benchmark research also examined the adequacy of ERP systems to integrate human resources elements into business processes, especially with regard to employee records and payroll processing. It also examined differences in responses by industry (especially differences between manufacturing and services companies), by company size and between organizations with their primary ERP system on premises and those whose systems are in the cloud.