Whatever the industry sector you may be in, there are any number of things you need to take into account when selecting an ERP system, especially the costs and potential benefits attached to it. Oddly enough, there is one very important component that is often completely missed during this process. The cost of your next ERP system!
Unsurprisingly, very few businesses will want to look at costs for a future ERP solution if they’re only just looking at how much this one is going to cost the business. But they should.
The selection process for a new ERP application isn’t likely to be a simple calculation. After all, most organisations will want to profit from the new tool for many years to come. In terms of bookkeeping, the investment's term of depreciation will be 5 years, whereas most businesses will want to work with their new solution for 10 years or more.
What a difference a decade makes
In order to work with a system for that long you’ll either need a very powerful crystal ball or a serious talent for tarot reading. Let's face it, a lot can change in 10 years.
Which devices and technology will we be using in 2026? Will our very own personal robot be writing ERP blogs for us by then? We won't hold out hope for the latter, but the point remains that certain elements of our future have yet to be invented. From today’s standpoint we can only guess the answers to these questions.
To help us see just how much things have changed, let’s turn the clock back 10 years. Back in 2006 nobody had even heard of tablet devices, Twitter had only just been founded, Google was all but unknown, WhatsApp didn't even exist, and cloud technology was in its infancy. People actually went out and communicated with other human beings rather than swiping through Tinder.
Hopefully this proves just how hard it is to second guess what new developments we can expect to see in the next decade, especially in terms of evolving ERP systems.
The future of ERP technology is as much a concept as it is a solution; one that’s a developing at an astonishing pace and will continue to do so for some time to come. It’s an undeniable fact that the business that fails to keep up will quickly lose their position in the market.
If you’re considering new ERP solutions, it’s vital that you test the extent of your vendor’s future-proofing. Do they seem robust and innovative enough to still be here in 2026? Are they profitable enough to sustain themselves in this market? The vendors with staying power will be those who have sufficient international scale, a sizeable R&D budget, and a formal product roadmap for the solution they offer. Before committing to a 10 year plan, businesses need to ensure that the vendors they work with and the solutions they provide can meet these criteria.
No nasty surprises
By understanding the commercial stability of any and all prospective vendors during the selection process, will hopefully mean that you can avoid any unpleasant surprises in the future.
A failure to look in the right direction, towards the next 10 years and beyond, is likely to end in tears for you and your business. Unless that is, you can factor in a sizeable chunk of budget for the next ERP system that you’ll inevitably need.
If you need advice about an ERP solution, talk to our ERP fortune tellers today.
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