Vendors Make Strides for ERP Usability

There have been a number of horror stories related to Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software—involving repeatedly delayed implementations, failures to accommodate business practices and to function correctly, and costs several times higher than originally projected—that have resulted in more than one lawsuit between customers and vendors.

“Today’s ERP applications are still too complex and inflexible,” said China Martens, an analyst for Forrester Reasearch. “Organizations continue to be plagued with customization and upgrade headaches as a direct result of the software’s rigidity and poor match with real-world business processes.”

Subsequently, vendors are responding with two potential solutions to enable businesses to implement ERP data in a broader way that offers greater and more expedient usability. The first is Platform as a Service (PAAS) cloud environments, which allows application developers a framework and the necessary tools to create and deploy internet services related to ERP.

“Given the customization and extension capabilities PaaS can afford, we believe ERP apps will evolve to incorporate cloud-based extension and customization tools, especially where the application environment is deployed via SaaS,” Martens said.

The second solution is the creation of new applications with graphical workplace tools, which can benefit both developers as well as users who wish to customize their processes through ERP.