Something strange is happening to companies across the U.S. They’re being infiltrated by new ideas about what devices they should be using, what their software should be capable of, and how their employees should be working.
As a new generation of workers, raised in a high-tech environment, is joining the workforce, they’re bringing their iPods, Androids and other gadgets and expecting programs they use at work to function on those devices. This is a serious challenge for IT staff. How do you get highly specialized programs (like enterprise resource planning systems) to work across the board on different devices?
Derek Singleton, an ERP Market Analyst for Software Advice, found the answers to this and several other questions in an interview with an ERP expert in the article “The Consumerization of ERP Software.” I’ll discuss the highlights of that video and offer my own perspective on them.
A Hodgepodge of Hardware
There’s quite a dichotomy in technology today with many people fiercely loyal to a particular browser, operating system and mobile device, and they absolutely hate it if they’re forced to use something they’re not familiar with at work. Increasingly, employers are doing their best to accommodate employees’ preferences when possible. The trouble is that having a big jumble of products and operating systems makes it difficult to standardize processes and software. New solutions need to be able to work across several systems.
Making It Work
The very definition of what an ERP is evolving. Many employees who are used to communicating through social media or who want to use the same format they’re used to using in another program are demanding that these things be added to an existing ERP system. All of this customization is taxing IT resources and abilities. It’s also leading to new opportunities for companies to innovate and come up with new ERP solutions that are even more useful to companies.
Is There an App for That?
People who perform specialized tasks in accounting software, inventory management systems, etc. are asking their companies to provide specialized apps in their ERPs. This makes their lives easier and it can increase their efficiency. However, companies need to weigh the costs and benefits of upgrading their ERPs and providing these new apps.
As ERPs continue to change in order to meet the demands of companies and hardware, you can bet we’ll see a lot of surprising developments. Keep an eye out for them!