ERP Modernization: Turning an IT Challenge Into Business Competitiveness

4 minute read | 28 Mar 2022

By Boomi

It’s no secret that ERP systems were spawned in IT. Early inventory optimization systems, logistics software, and supply chain management solutions may have been about the back office, but it’s been IT that’s set the agenda, and that’s borne the brunt of the cost.

However, the trend toward modernizing ERP systems — bringing them to the cloud, simplifying their deployments, and making their scale more flexible — represents an irrevocable shift from IT cost center to business competitive advantage.

Did you know that competitive functionality is the #1 reason companies are upgrading their ERP systems?

Companies need business results from their ERP, and what does your ERP need to drive those business objectives? It needs data.

For traditional ERP, the devil is in the data.

First, ERP solutions are limited in areas like machine learning and AI analytics—critical technologies that can accelerate and simplify how to identify, catalog, normalize, and centralize data. If you can’t find all your data, it’s very difficult to gain any intelligence from the use of it.

Second, data optimization depends on reliable data connectivity throughout the applications using the information. Data-centric actions such as data discovery, data hub development, and process integration and orchestration are critical.

And third, the keystone for any successful ERP modernization will come down to speed, and whether you can deploy automation within data usage to deliver business outcomes more quickly.

At the end of 2020, more than half (56%) of businesses planned to have all their ERP applications moved to the cloud at the end of 12 months. Only 18% had managed to do it.

Among the thousands of Boomi customers undertaking ERP modernization projects, we see five distinct approaches:

  1. Cloud-First Migration: Moving wholescale to a cloud environment. To do this successfully, you must intelligently connect and synchronize data in real time, leverage automation to gain visibility of cross-cloud processes, and speed integration across pure and hybrid cloud ecosystems.
  2. AI Analytics: Improve competitiveness by making better use of data insights. You need automated data collection and normalization, intelligent connectivity to drive real-time analytics across key business processes, and the flexibility to swap out for best-of-breed analytics technology as your business requires.
  3. Data Stewardship: To take control of content and data compliance, you must ensure no data is lost or compromised during the ERP migration process, centralize an intelligent master data set that includes dark data, and streamline and simplify enforcement of data policies.
  4. TCO and Improved Productivity: Lower costs and improve total cost of ownership by partial or entire replacement of legacy core ERP. To bring costs under control, you’ll need to take a holistic view of costs and control measures, improve how you measure efficiency and productivity, and be able to swap out sources of high costs or inefficiencies.
  5. Composable and Decomposable ERP: Increase agility, drive productivity, and improve efficiency with a composable ERP architecture. You’ll need to use intelligent connectivity and automation to shorten implementation times, compose ERP functionality based on business needs, and provide visibility into new composed processes and data.

When you take an intelligent, automated approach to data connectivity throughout the ERP modernization process, companies can improve reporting and visibility, gain operational efficiencies, and increase their competitiveness.

Want to know how your company can reap the benefits of ERP modernization? Download our executive brief, “ERP Modernization: An App and Data Integration Story,” to learn more.