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“Solving all our ERP problems through solution replacement… or not” by Denis Torii

By Deborah Wilson | May 08, 2020 | 0 Comments


Throughout these last 4 years at Gartner, I had the opportunity to interact with a big bulk of clients that were facing a diversity of challenges with their ERP applications. Problems ranging from very painful implementations to costly and unstable ERP landscapes represent a representative volume of issues that led to those interactions. At some point of those, clients would frequently ask whether they should give up on their current solution or vendor. Would an ERP replacement initiative solve those problems, even if that meant going back to the enterprise and admitting some errors from the past? Would a replacement allow us to have a less-costly ERP setup or vendor solution?


Remember, implementation costs can be significant, not to say costs to reskill or rebuild internal support teams may not be low. Switching vendors is certainly not a seamless and costless move.


What if a renovation was done, through a set of small but more precise adjustments – along with a stronger business aligned vision. Would that help us? Are we ready to embrace it?

Before we all go through that path of Maybes, let’s think about how to evaluate the possibilities. First thing to be done is to understand the root cause of current issues. Ideally, you would have a starting point, such as an ERP strategy, to help you go through the elements that were defined as guiding principles for your current setup. Don’t have that or have no idea where the enterprise believes your “next ERP” should go?

Maybe an ERP replacement will help you, but maybe not…

Of course, there are visible situations where replacement will be a good choice. Outdated technology is a classic reason for that – but even then, why make that move? Does your enterprise feel like they are losing ground by not refreshing that specific tech?

My colleague Paul Schenck and I have published a note that provides some guidance on replacing or renovating rationales (Gartner clients can access our note here). General recommendation: don’t assume anything, evaluate your needs and readiness for change. Within these “new normal” standards we have now, miscalculated moves will easily drain very scarce enterprise resources and put you in a vulnerable position.

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