By Marty Schillaci, CEO of The Resource Group
Since I started The Resource Group in 1988, I have seen four major changes in enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, which has caused clients to change their solutions.
The first major change occurred in the late '80s. During that time, the computer revolution had just started and personal computers (PCs) became readily available for small and mid-sized businesses. With PCs, businesses were finally able to move away from paper.
Second game changer was when two software vendors – Great Plains and Platinum for Windows products – became available for Windows. So, there was a large migration from DOS ERP applications to Windows ERP applications.
Fast forward a few more years and we had Y2K. With Y2K, an issue arose regarding coding, which had been done in legacy systems with only two digits for the year. So when you went to a two digit year for 2000, the system thought it was 1900. As such, a lot of applications were replaced during the Y2K era.
The ERP world was pretty quiet for the next decade or so, until cloud accounting became something of interest. Today, we’re seeing a movement from on-premises to cloud applications for ERP.
Cloud-based ERP solutions are much more nimble and innovative and can provide more functional improvements over their updates than on-premises systems.
The reason for this is on-premises applications have to be compatible with many older versions of hardware and software. For example, Microsoft Dynamics GP has to be compatible with multiple versions of Windows, SQL Server, and Windows Desktop. So a large percentage of time is spent on an update is about regression testing for backward compatibility.
Compare that to a true multi-tenant application like Sage Intacct – which has one hardware platform and one software version – many more hours can be spent on coding for improvements instead of doing regression testing.
In addition, cloud-based applications are using more recent toolsets.
These solutions are designed to be browser based and can do tasks like multi-entity, so they actually have the ability to keep up with today's requirements.