Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software is projected to make up roughly 15% of total IT spending in 2022 — a significant amount of money. Organizations that don’t manage their ERP systems might risk falling short of their ROI goals.
The challenge with ERP systems is there is no one-size-fits-all solution that works for every organization. Unlike customer relationship management (CRM) and human capital management (HCM) functionality that can be relatively easy and straightforward to manage, functions such as manufacturing, supply chain, distribution, and operations are far more complex.
Three Keys to ERP Success
Organizations looking to optimize their ERP for the future are best served by embracing application rationalization strategies, sound application management practices, and modernizing their approach to security:
- Application rationalization. Some organizations have thousands of software products, customizations, and interfaces in their application portfolio. These mounds of software and permutations and combinations of interfaces/customizations can build over time to create a seemingly uncontrollable mess. Organizations can simplify ERP management by reviewing all applications across the business to decide which should be kept, which should be killed, which should be replaced, and which should be consolidated. If your organization has 1,000 or more applications on hand, a reasonable goal would be to get that number down to 200 – 100 that are already in use and 100 new “best-of-breed” apps that meet as many business needs as possible, allowing your organization to modernize and go digital. Without application rationalization, CIOs must deal with an increasingly unmanageable web that’s inefficient and costly.
- Effective applications management. The next step is figuring out how to effectively manage the new application landscape. A solid foundation of application management services (AMS) can reduce the number of incidents and outages that occur each year and lead to root-cause analysis and prevent issues from reoccurring.
One of North America’s largest utility companies experienced roughly 6,000 new IT incidents the year that Rimini Street started working with them. After setting the organization up with a strategic combination of IT support and AMS, it was able to cut its number of incidents down by approximately one-third in just the first year. That freed up resources (time, money, and talent) to invest in other projects that helped move the business forward.
- Get real about security. Tech professionals understand that it’s not a matter of if systems will be compromised, but when. Major ERP providers typically offer support for their own code and only for “known” vulnerabilities that have been identified but have probably existed in the software for years. Combine that with unknown vulnerabilities and an organization’s own custom code vulnerabilities, and the risks are very real.
IT security that’s 100% foolproof may be a myth, but zero day protection against both known and unknown vulnerabilities and a zero trust security posture can provide the best options for businesses to protect themselves.
It’s undoubtedly true that businesses have varying goals and needs that require varying solutions. But the three pillars discussed here provide a consistent approach to optimize your ERP for the future.
*By Sebastian Grady, president at Rimini Street
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