A few years ago, Gartner introduced the term “Postmodern ERP.” In an earlier blog post, I discussed how they define it, as well as an alternative definition. And, I also described how this relates to Tensoft and its solutions. But I left the question of “how did we get to postmodern ERP?” for another time and another blog post. So – with that introduction and background on this topic – I’ll dive right in.
In their 2015 Strategic Roadmap for Postmodern ERP, Gartner describes their key findings and analysis of the evolution of ERP systems. Here’s an excerpt about what Postmodern ERP is replacing, and what is still in place at many companies:
“The evolution of ERP systems over the past 10 years means they are no longer lean, efficient business application backbones. Instead, they have lost business relevance and agility, and have become bloated, fed by the objective of achieving an all-encompassing megasuite. The reality is that these environments have become too large to change at the pace of business needs, or to reflect the flexibility and innovation needed by the business.”
And here’s what Gartner observes as the current trend, and what they predict will be happening in the near future:
“Planning for a single megasuite encompassing all business applications is no longer the starting point for building a postmodern ERP strategy…. By 2020, less than 20% of multinational organizations will continue to plan and adopt an ERP strategy based on a single-instance megasuite….”
The most concise history of ERP that I’ve seen is in The Postmodern ERP – Has the Megasuite ERP Gone the Way of the Dinosaurs? Published on FEI Daily, this article covers a presentation to the FEI’s Committee on Finance & IT by John Van Decker, Research VP at Gartner. Here’s the FEI’s description of the history (with numbering added by me):
- “During Classicism, a period spanning the 1980s to the early 1990s and driven by market and user immaturity, companies typically employed a “best of breed” approach to their ERP systems. Users were generally satisfied, but data integration and reporting was a nightmare.
- During Modernism, from the mid 1990s to the mid 2000s, IT systems became more centralized and the ERP megasuites ruled. Driven by the vendors, integration trumped agility and users became increasing frustrated trying to fit their systems to vendor requirements.
- From the mid to late 2000s, driven by the nexus of forces and user disillusionment, users are taking back control. This is what Gartner calls Postmodernism.”
So, how does this relate to Tensoft? Well, it was during the heyday of ERP megasuites that Tensoft’s first web applications were born. The key needs that these apps filled for customers were industry-specific. This “perfect fit” niche functionality that’s specific to certain industries was way too specialized a market for the ERP megasuite vendors to care much about. They might provide a feature or two, but only enough to plant a flag and declare victory. Tensoft not only spoke its customers’ language, it also delivered agile solutions that scaled with growth.
In fact, Tensoft’s solutions were designed to be loosely coupled to other applications, and to be deployed in the cloud. Our applications can help technology companies move forward with a Postmodern ERP strategy, and benefit from the flexibility and agility that comes with that.
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