We are firmly entrenched in the “age of the customer”, where systems, strategies and products are based more on the needs of people who use them and less than ever before on those of the companies that produce them. With the millennial generation defining the archetypal customer and driving this trend towards customer centricity, ERP (Enterprise Resource Systems), like so many other technologies, have followed suit, giving rise to consumerised ERP. Developing and incorporating consumerised ERP is a complex endeavour not without its challenges, but both the challenges and benefits are changing the way we view – and use – ERP.
ERP solutions are traditionally under-utilised, but a more user-centric approach to their design can make them more relevant and useful to organisations, spurring greater adoption and value. For organisations to maximise the value of their ERP system, they need to ensure that its inherent rich functionality can be consumed in new ways, by a new generation of users. ERP systems need to stay relevant. To ensure they do, organisations need to keep pace not only with changing use requirements, but with the subsequent updates and enhancements to the technology offered by ERP manufacturers. For this purpose and for their attractiveness to millennials, cloud-based consumerised ERP solutions that incorporate rich features, high speed and processing power, efficiency and regular upgrades on the back end, with easy omni-channel access and usability on the front end make the most sense.
Today, ERP services are accessed across a variety of devices and through multiple channels, so organisations need to strive for a harmonious and consistent user experience across all of them. User experience needs to be considered at three levels: The User Interface (UI), the actual application and database, and the platform on which they are delivered. While the UI is important, even the most well designed and intuitive interface will be ineffective and unattractive without the support of fast, responsive underlying ERP applications.
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