The cloud may get all of the press these days, but are companies actually doing anything about it? Probably not as much as the press would have you believe. I recently spoke with an IT professional at a large company about that very subject. When asked if his company had any plans for the cloud, his response was simple and straightforward: “Our whole business runs on the mainframe, and it runs well. Why would we move to the cloud?”
While it’s just one company, and one opinion, I get the feeling that many businesses are in a similar situation. There are many, many companies that have invested so much time and money into their current systems, they couldn’t possibly justify ditching everything and moving to the cloud any time soon.
That begs the obvious question: If these companies are stuck with old systems, how can they possibly keep up with tech trends? What if they want modern features and capabilities that aren’t supported by their outdated system?
This issue is quietly driving a big tech trend that has largely avoided the press, until recently. Gartner just identified and named this trend as the rise of Process Enhancement Technologies and Services (PETS). They’re predicting that traditional ERP systems will gradually be augmented with cloud-based business process as a service (BPaaS) offerings, which are cloud services designed to meet specific business needs, such as payroll or HR services.
Here’s a simple explanation: Rather than replace existing ERP systems, many businesses are choosing instead to augment their systems with modern features. This keeps their technology current, yet spares the time and expense of replacing their systems.
Now, while Gartner specifically focuses on the BPaaS angle, I believe it goes even further. I’ve noticed that businesses are opting to keep their current systems, and enhance them with all types of web applications (not just BPaaS). For instance, here are a few common ways that businesses are enhancing their ERP systems:
- They’re building mobile applications, giving salespeople access to their ERP data from anywhere.
- They’re building custom end-user reporting applications, giving their users a simple way to create and run web-based reports.
- They’re building customer extranets, giving customers a way to purchase items and edit their accounts via the web.
The best part: In all of the examples listed above, the company is enhancing their ERP system without modifying the underlying ERP software. Since the web applications run on top of the ERP software, it doesn’t affect their ability to take ERP upgrades.
While the cloud may get all the hype, the harsh reality is this: Companies have invested too much time and money into their current systems to just toss them aside and move to the cloud. Considering these facts, I believe we’ll see more and more companies turn to PETS in an effort to breathe new life into their aging ERP systems.
Enhancing an aging ERP system can be a daunting project. If you need help extending your current system with modern features and capabilities, let us know. We have the software to let you enhance your ERP system quickly, as well as the consultants to guide you through the process. We’d love to help you out.