As legacy ERP solutions begin to show their age, the difference between “cloud-enabled” and “cloud-native” software is becoming a flash point for many higher education institutions.
ERP Platform-I always learn something new when I am with my friends in the higher education and ERP industries. I learned yet a new term at Educause 2019 in Chicago this year: “BURNING PLATFORM!” It sounds ominous and brings to mind visions of 1990s oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. But what does it actually mean?
“Burning platform” is a new term used by some consultants and many competing ERP solution providers to refer (harshly) to companies that are continuing to pull their customers along with a dead-end, “legacy” solution. Having implemented some of these solutions in the past, I can attest that many are using the same core code as they did in the late ’90s and early 2000s. While still functional, a burning platform is older and uses somewhat outdated programming methods to post journal entries to a general ledger, move student data into tables, and handle integration records being transferred between old ancillary systems. If you are familiar with running these older systems, I’m sure you can think of a number of routines and scripts you have used for years to manage your ERP.
Are These Platforms Really “Burning?”
Many of these legacy systems have been around for decades and continue to be functional from a user perspective. Even though they come from the on-premise days of ERP, many have been “cloud-enabled” to make them mostly functional in the cloud. Moreover, institutional staff professionals know the software, and they are experts on keeping the systems running smoothly.