ERP Gets Wrapped Up In New Technologies
October 8, 2012 Dan Burger
In the small to midsize business (SMB) arena, the IBM midrange shops have traditionally done well because of the excellent ERP applications available for a wide variety of vertical industries and the scalability that the system provides as businesses grow. However, markets change. Sometimes technologies follow and sometimes they don’t. And sometimes technologies change and cause markets to follow.
A recent report from the ERP observers at AberdeenGroup, based on a survey of 300 SMB companies (with no indication if any are running ERP on IBM i), put new technologies in the spotlight.
In the process of sorting out the top performing companies, Aberdeen points out that these organizations have a habit of designing business systems with functionality and utility constantly being tweaked to user desires, as long as they are cost effective and are productivity enhancers. According to Aberdeen’s findings, social, mobile, and cloud strategies are all making a positive impact. As a combo package, this group of highly publicized technologies is being referred to by the name SoMoClo. In Aberdeen literature, you’ll find that term trademarked.
Wrapped into an ERP system, social media is being used to enhance collaboration among employees. Mobile takes the ERP apps and data on the road. And cloud, as always, is the most difficult to define, because so many people have so many definitions of what it is. For Aberdeen, it is ERP that is not on-premise and is rented rather than purchased.
In the Aberdeen report titled ERP in SME 2012: Using Emerging Technologies to Stand Out, SoMoClo is described as being in its early stages, but companies in the analyst firm’s best-in-class category are looking to IT for competitive advantages.
The report compares best-in-class companies with all other companies and finds 15 percent of the best companies have implemented social networking into their ERP systems, while only 4 percent of the other companies have done so.
ERP access from mobile devices is the most popular of the new technologies based on this report, which shows 42 percent of the top organizations with this capability and 20 percent of companies in the “other” category jumping into mobile.
When it comes to cloud-based ERP, 22 percent of the best in class have gone that route, while 16 percent of the other companies have ERP in the cloud.
Aberdeen is recommending the SoMoClo trio of technologies without separating or prioritizing any of them individually. Despite the limited adoption rates in the ERP area, Aberdeen calls SoMoClo “the wave of the future.”
The report is available, without cost, from this link. Registration is required.