ERP is the foundation of most efficiently operating businesses. Here’s why it should be integral to your IT strategy.

What is ERP?

ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning and brings together a range of modules that manage the running of a business. Such modules can include; application support for service, sales, marketing, distribution, production, inventory, purchasing, project management, human resources, costing and financial accounting.

According to Wikipedia’s simply put blurb, Enterprise Resource Planning is “a category of business management software, typically a suite of integrated applications, that an organisation can use to collect, store, manage and interpret data from many business activities.”

How does ERP work?

The chief role of an Enterprise Resource Planning system is to reduce operating costs by 1) optimising processes through automation and 2) use data to efficiently allocate resources and support strategic decision making.

The Future of ERP

ERP as we know it now came about in the 1990s stemming from the culmination of MRP (inventory control) and accounting systems. As the system evolved integrations to other key business units were added (e.g. HR and Sales) and the holistic ERP system we know today was born. It enabled organisations to synchronise their processes, gain a 360-degree view of their business and therefore better allocate resources and control expenses.

Fast forward to today and the IT manager has been promoted to CIO and is responsible for tangible business outcomes as any other member of the management team. Today’s IT department rightly sees itself as an enabler for the rest of the business.

So what are the CIO-level business enablers demanding of Enterprise Resource Planning now?

The same as always; holistic view of the business but in an agile, safe, mobile, open and, most important easy to use way.

So how can today’s ERP support your business?

Today’s solution should consist of:

• Platform Flexibility
• User Experience
• Mobile
• Openness
• Cloud
• View 360-degree

Regardless of the industry segment, level of compliance and regulation, modern solutions enable businesses to overcome complexity. Today’s technology gives you the ability to change workflows, business processes or rules, efficiently and independently.

As time-to market must always be shorter even though the ecosystem is more complex; ERP reduces the time, cost and resources it takes from planning a product to delivering it to a customer.