Respond to the following: ERPs usually require frequent application of vendor software patches in order to address minor security/functionality issues and bugs. Not applying these patches can result in the vendor withdrawing support for the ERP. This process occurs in Operation stage. Moreover larger updates, requiring mini ERP implementation projects, can occur as frequently as every three years. What are the implications for organisations adopting an ERP? Do you think the text captured the complexity of this? Why/Why not?
Implementing an ERP is like taming a dragon; if done correctly it adds value or else it can burn the company down with huge economic loss followed by other stressful situations. Implementing that first ERP software successfully is a great achievement, but a company must be aware that there is more to it. A life cycle of ERP does not end after the implementation of ERP, but the cycle continues in the form of recurring upgrades and fixes to realign the system to the changing or unmet business needs. Thus, the ERP support becomes inevitable.
Some of the implications of adopting an ERP are as follows:
- Ease of data access with data integrity
- Reduces data redundancy
- Activity monitoring reduces Sabotages
- Better utilization of time
- Better inventory management
- Ease of sales planning
- Strong organizational process
- Better customer relationship management (Bhorai, 2013)
However, as mentioned in topic itself, there are lots of complexities that might come up while maintaining the ERP. A company has already invested huge money while implementing ERP but it still needs to spend money for upgrading and maintaining; for this reason, a company might consider cancelling maintenance to reduce the cost. This can impact greatly to the company. Before cancelling maintenance, a company must be aware of following things:
- ERP software companies make their money charging their customers maintenance, so they will hardly entertain any bargain regarding the maintenance.
- You will no longer receive any upgrades.
- Considering cheaper 3rd party provider might seem like a good, but they do not have access to the ERP vendor’s proprietary source code, knowledge base or system architects. Should you find a bug in your ERP system that only the vendor’s developers can fix, you will find yourself deadlocked. (Panorama Consulting Solutions, 2010)
Regarding the text, it concentrates more on implementation of ERP, key indicators of success, but it fails to show the amount complexity that might arise later after implementation. The text does talk about the internal conflicts that might come up during post-implementation process, however it did not mentioned about the complexity that may arise due to cancelling of support.
Bhorai 2013, Benefits of ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), viewed 4 Aug 2013, http://bhorai.com/index.php/17-white-papers/21-benefits-of-erp-enterprise-resource-planning
Panorama Consulting Solutions 2010, Canceling ERP Software Maintenance: When the Corporate Hero Becomes the ERP Fall Guy, viewed 4 Aug 2013, http://panorama-consulting.com/canceling-erp-software-maintenance-when-the-corporate-hero-becomes-the-erp-fall-guy/
Svejvig, P 2011, ‘A Successful Enterprise System Re-Implementation Against All Odds-A Multisourcing Case Study’, Journal Of Information Technology Case & Application Research, vol. 13, no. 4, pp. 3-31.