How are EMEA organisations tackling ERP application modernisation?

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Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software and legacy applications have struggled to find their place in this era of digital disruption. In particular, ERP is mustering up a reputation of being too stiff to modernise. This is largely due to hybrid IT, which businesses will know too well as a significant obstacle. However, with ERP remaining a necessity (though a costly one at that), a revamp is more imperative than ever.

The need for a rethink, or more specifically, innovation, is evident, and businesses are increasingly considering how to move forward in light of this. Boomi™, a Dell Technologies™ business, investigated this further in its ERP Innovator's Dilemma survey. The independent research uncovered how EMEA organisations are tackling ERP application modernisation. In particular, it reveals the ways in which businesses will overcome the barriers that complex hybrid IT environments present.

Historically, organisations allocate a large portion of their budgets on Keep the Lights On (KTLO) technology (as a refresher, this refers to the technologies keeping existing daily operational activities going). However, Boomi's research revealed a significant reduction in KTLO spending, dropping from 70-80% to just 35%.

This enables organisations to repurpose what's left towards IT modernisation and innovation (33% and 32% respectively). In turn, this is a clear indication of the shift in priority as businesses move forward in their digital transformation.

However, one of the main takeaways from the research is the change in attitudes surrounding ERP. Boomi found that 68% of EMEA organisations are heavily focused on moving enterprise applications to the cloud. In particular, they are focused on modernising legacy ERP applications to enable strategic growth, rather than remain a cost centre.

This is a far cry from traditional ERP perceptions, which businesses once considered too complex to be modernised. Instead, large-scale migration of ERP applications to the cloud is proving to be all the rage – and why wouldn't it be? The benefits for EMEA organisations speak for themselves. According to Boomi, 58% enjoyed assurance of uptime, performance, and security, while 55% said the same for business growth. 52% also noted improved IT agility.

The ERP Innovator's Dilemma

Boomi's research indicates a technology conundrum that the company refers to as The ERP's Innovator's Dilemma. European organisations are having to make a critical choice between upping investment on the presumed costly, complex process of ERP modernisation, or get left behind.

If left unresolved, organisations may never deliver on their goals of delivering excellent customer experiences (52%), integrating their applications (47%), and achieving IT agility (40%). To meet these goals, EMEA organisations reported that they would focus on standardising and consolidating applications (76%), migrating infrastructure to the cloud (79%), and consolidating legacy infrastructure (69%).

The research concludes that the main challenges EMEA organisations are facing is the lack of integration technologies that can ingest data from any device/data source (51%). Following behind that is the lack of right integration skills (39%). Fortunately, Integration-Platform-as-a-Service can remedy these challenges, and the benefits are clear: designing and scaling APIs (23%), improving business with partner networks (19%), and synchronising data across the enterprise to drive business outcomes.

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