ERP May Not Be Sexy But It’s Still Hot

March, 2015

The technology that is gaining the most attention today as measured by current investment activity and adoption rate is far from the newest, sexist, or most disruptive IT solution in the market. It is ERP. Nevertheless, ERP systems do not score well in terms of ROI or predictability of total cost of ownership.

Enterprise resource planning, however, is a system that nearly every company requires to run its business and a system that ultimately becomes a prerequisite for hot technology areas such as mobile computing and business intelligence. IT organizations today have to keep their ERP systems current and up-to-date in order to serve as a a proper foundation.

The Computer Economics annual Technology Trends study ranks ERP as the No. 1 area of investment by IT organizations as determined by the percentage of organizations that have adopted the technology combined with the number of IT organizations that are budgeting funds to improve or add functionality to the systems, as shown in the Technology Maturity Analysis in Figure 1. In this study, mature is defined as being both widely adopted and attracting a high level of ongoing investment in new features and functionality.

Tech Trends Fig 1 Web - ERP May Not Be Sexy But It’s Still Hot

While the chart shows that tablet computers, data warehouse/business intelligence, and mobile applications rise above ERP in current investment activity, the higher adoption rate for ERP qualifies it as being the most mature of the 15 technologies in the study.

The continuing strength of ERP is not surprising. More surprising, perhaps, is the placement of tablet computers as the second most mature technology investment area this year. For the enterprise, the use of tablets has become mainstream and commonplace, although partly perhaps because investment in the devices is relatively painless.

Another technology that has risen from emerging to mainstream status is a far more disruptive one. The use of software as a service (SaaS) applications has reached a point where adoption is high and investment rates are strong. This technology is moving beyond the early adoption stage and is clearly in a high growth phase.

The full study examines the adoption trends, customer experience, and investment activity for 14 technologies and technology initiatives. The infrastructure technologies covered in the study include: unified communications, infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), desktop virtualization, platform-as-a-service (PaaS), software-defined storage, software-as-a-service (SaaS), and tablet computers. The study also covers seven enterprise systems: ERP, CRM, human capital management, mobile applications, social business/collaboration, and data warehouse and business intelligence.

This Research Byte is a brief abstract from our study, Technology Trends 2015. The full report is available at no charge for Computer Economics clients, or it may be purchased by non-clients directly from our website (click for pricing).