Changing Landscape of Enterprise Software

Lots of interesting articles appearing lately about changes to the Enterprise software landscape.  Here is one called Why Oracle May Really Be Doomed This Time and another one called The End of ERP. Both suggest that the era of the huge software installs is coming to an end. Or perhaps better said that it has to come to an end. I’ve said I’d rather chew off my arm than do another ERP upgrade yet CIOs are faced with those situations. One must either upgrade an ERP instance or pay ever-increasing maintenance costs or no support. And it is not just ERP instances, but there are other cases where huge low value IT projects are required in an organization.

We are seeing companies embrace SalesForce and Google/Microsoft cloud applications and companies like Workday get more and more traction. I think that CIO are 1) being forced to move these directions and 2) want to move that direction to lower costs and ease support. Resistance if future.

What are your thoughts on big ERP migrations and upgrades? Are these articles right?

2 thoughts on “Changing Landscape of Enterprise Software”

  1. Another change that has impacted large software installs such as ERP packages is SOA. Companies that have invested heavily/successfully in SOA have reduced the ERP platform to performing the role of store of record for data/transactions and generic core business transactions. SOA introduces a valuable layer of abstraction between users and systems performing business functions and the underlying ERP platform. Thus, pointing services from an ERP package to another (potentially cloud provider) further reduces the need for a huge and complex upgrade.

    One potential strategy is to let the support contract expire and invest in the SOA layer around the ERP package.

  2. The problem is letting ‘maintenance/support’ expire. If running a large operation where transactions are critical in money and time, then taking that risk is a great risk. However, moving things in that direction as you describe is probably the way to go. Just take careful steps!

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