The pace of technological advancement is an incredible human achievement. It seems every time you turn on the news, there is a break through that has the potential to alter how we live our lives. From 3D printers, to advanced electric cars, to smartphones, new technology has changed our everyday lives at an amazing rate, especially in the last 10 years.
With all of this technology at our finger tips on a daily basis, it is surprising that some companies do not take advantage of the pace of technological evolution in the business realm as well. Let’s compare one of the leading on-premise or hosted ERP solutions against some of the major innovations in last several years. PeopleSoft is still a very common ERP tool for companies in many different industries to use in supporting their HR and Financial processes. The latest version of PeopleSoft, 9.2, was released in 2013. The prior version, PeopleSoft 9.1, was released in 2009. That was the same year Google created free turn by turn navigation software for Android phones. Going back one more release to PeopleSoft 9.0 in 2006, that was the same year Twitter went live, and a year before the first iPhone!
While an ERP upgrade is not nearly as simple as walking to the nearest store and picking out a new phone, the PeopleSoft timeline shows a significant difference in pace when looking at the 3 major releases in the last 10 years compared to the amount of development seen in products we use in our personal lives.
Compare this to cloud based ERP systems such as Workday or Intacct. One of key benefits of these types of platforms are the updates which are pushed to users on a frequent basis. Think about the apps on your smartphone. Every few weeks an update comes through for minor bugs or security enhancements. Every couple of months or a few times a year, new functionality is pushed through to the app. Cloud based ERP systems operate in much the same way. Minor updates come through regularly with little to no impact to the end users. Larger releases with new functionality, are typically less frequent. In many cases, it may be 2-4 times per year, but those releases offer lots of new content to expand the capabilities of the tool.
Truly innovative companies have adopted this pace of change to meet the ever increasing demands of the marketplace. There is no reason that companies should not demand the same innovation from their application providers. When you consider the resources companies spend on their ERP platforms, it makes sense that they should expect updates and new functionality releases to be a frequent activity rather than an occasional milestone. I challenge you to evaluate your ERP system and ask if it is meeting your needs. In many cases, the value added from a move to a cloud based ERP system could be a game changing investment, which propels your company forward at today’s ever increasing pace of technology.