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October 31, 2011

Majority of managers worried about enterprise software flexibility

Over a fifth of managers frustrated about the rigidity o their enterprise software, finds survey

By CBR Staff Writer

Over three-quarters (76%) of senior managers are dissatisfied with the ability of their ERP systems or enterprise applications to easily support changes in the business, such as new regulations, new reporting structures and mergers and acquisitions, according to a new research by business software and services company UNIT4.

In the findings of a new international research project undertaken by Technology Evaluation Centers (TEC), UNIT4 said that among mid-market firms, 46% were frequently unsatisfied or very unsatisfied. The biggest frustrations cited were rigidity (21%), dependency on the systems supplier (12%), the cost of making changes (10%) and unreliability of the system (8%).

The research surveyed 307 business managers and professionals from different industries about their ERP and enterprise applications’ ability to support business change.

TEC principal analyst P.J. Jakovljevic said that the lack of flexibility in systems to support business change is paralysing some companies and cannot be underestimated.

"The difficulty involved and the cost associated to changes required to respond to business change in many cases means they are not made and as a result companies are working with systems that are not supporting today’s business. They are managing business data in silos, often manually, outside their enterprise systems, which opens them up to significant risk," Jakovljevic said.

UNIT4 Product Management VP Ton Dobbe said, "With many big ERP systems, changes have to be made at a code level which is not only a difficult thing to do (users relying on costly resource from their software providers or external consultants to make those changes), but also a very disruptive exercise which impacts the entire business and incurs millions of dollars in hidden cost i.e. Losses.

"Change is frenetic these days and without the ability to make changes easily as required as change affects the business, these organizations will find that they cannot compete effectively. Agresso Business World is built on the unique VITA architecture which keeps the system components for data, processes and information delivery in step with each other, ensuring that when a change is made in one area, it does not have to be redone and rechecked for accuracy in another. As a result, instead of being tied to a rigid information system that hinders growth, users are empowered and organizations are able to achieve their goals and ambitions, without being dependent on anyone else. That’s a significant value to have."

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