In this article, written by Mark Schenecker, VP of product at Nextworld, we explore how the future of ERP is a platform, and how that future is already here.
Every decade there is a new release, a re-architected version, of your Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system that promises more functionality and a better user experience. Ok, well at least more functionality. The market has been conditioned such that every ten or so years your ERP requires wholesale replacement. Hence, you must license the newest ERP version and spend the next 1-2 years on a costly implementation – again. This planned obsolescence may deliver new features but at an enormous cost to the business.
VP of Product at Nextworld
The paradox of customizations. Classical ERP solution with hundreds of millions of lines of code is a monolithic system created with proprietary internal tooling. The so-called platforms that a customer employs to customize the ERP are separate and unique. That means that your customizations that make ERP really work for your business must be completely retested, sometimes even refactored, for every upgrade from your ERP provider. This process becomes so expensive, so risky, that many businesses choose to run on outdated software, which just exacerbates the paradox as ERP support inevitably gets more limited and less flexible over time.
The next generation of ERP is not just a planning system, it is a platform. From day one, from the ground up, the same platform used to build ERP is the same platform that is used to deliver the customizations that provide the unique functionality required to make your business more competitive.
Introducing sustainable customizations. When everyone uses the same platform then and only then can you achieve sustainable customizations. The model accelerates innovation as the ERP solution provider delivers new functionality, while your customizations remain fully functional. In addition, customizations are delivered faster, with higher reliability since they leverage the same development tools, the same data model, the same security, the same directory – a fully integrated ERP development environment.
Cloud-native means new features at your fingertips. An Enterprise Resource Platform combined with a cloud deployment model means you get the continuous updates that are only possible via the cloud. Your ERP is constantly updated, delivering increasing value while the customizations required for your business are completely sustainable. All of this happens while leveraging the lower costs of a multi-tenant model where common costs are shared and costs align to actual usage versus being built for peak loads.
A cloud-native platform e.g. built from the ground up for customization and shared deployment means that you should never have to re-license your ERP just to get the latest enhancements and innovations. Continuous delivery of new features is ensured for the life of your business not the artificial lifecycle created by classical ERP providers. This means that there is no end date for support, the platform continues to be developed with upgrades delivered more frequently and more predictably.
The Enterprise Resource Platform redefines our prior notions of ERP. It aligns our expectations with future proofing our businesses rather than accepting the finite planned obsolescence of classical ERP solutions. The platform era makes latest technologies more readily accessible than ever before, without disrupting your business.