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5 Questions on Technology Selection

Posted on 11 November 2014 by Andy Latham

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I am a great believer in moving with the times and making sure that I use the most appropriate and up to date technology when delivering solutions to my customers. So I read with interest an article that mirrored my philosophy almost exactly.

I para phrase but in essence the article was warning against choosing ERP systems with ageing core technologies and modern flashy front ends. I couldn’t agree more.  Where my views differ slightly is that I believe no single technology can cover all aspects of an ERP system and that it is essential to use a blend of technologies applying the most appropriate to the task in hand. I am also very wary of the next “latest and greatest”, our industry is littered with products written to the latest craze only to find the fashion has been dropped a year later. 

Choosing an ERP system is probably the most important decision a board of Directors will do in their careers. They will be choosing a product and a supplier that will be with their company for the next 10 to 15 years (and often longer) and if implemented successfully will provide significant benefits to the business.

So whilst the technology decision is an important one there are a few other areas you should consider.

  1. Does your intended supplier have a track record of enhancements and technology migration that doesn’t require you to buy the software again at a later date?
  2. Is the product based on sound industry standards and not any weird proprietary database or programming language?
  3. Does the product work “out of the box” requiring little modification but flexible enough for you to change business processes without needing changes from the author?
  4. Does the software have the ability to be easily customized to your unique business needs? And will you need to reapply these customisations when migrating to the next version of software?
  5. Is the product you are contemplating buying one of a stable of conflicting products. Are you being sold the correct one? Can you migrate from one to another at a later date without being charged? What guarantee have you that the product you are contemplating won’t be dropped in favour of another newer and shinier one?

Despite the interesting technology arguments the most important component in your decision is a partner that can implement systems successfully. Without an implementation partner that has a proven track record of implementing systems that actually work you can have the best technology in the world and it will do you not an iota of good. 

 Learn how to apply inventory optimization to your business


Topics: ERP systems

Andy Latham

Andy Latham is the Group Managing Director for K3’s Manufacturing and Distribution Division.

Andy has spent nearly his whole IT career developing and implementing ERP systems. He is particularly interested in new technologies and specifically the application of technology to business applications. He has spent many years developing integrated manufacturing solutions with SYSPRO at the core and believes passionately that properly integrated and implemented systems should form the back bone of any modern business.

After nearly 30 years working with SYSPRO, Andy knows the SYSPRO product well. Over the years he has worked in many areas from helpdesk, to implementation, from pre-sales to development and brings a wealth of experience to the team.

In his leisure time Andy enjoys DIY, running, and fishing.


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