An ERP talent crunch is on the way as experienced people retire while vendors push ahead to new platforms, writes Rimini Street’s Eric Robinson
ERP talent-Every major ERP vendor is moving to a new digital platform, with huge repercussions for longstanding customers. Whether it’s SAP S/4 HANA, Oracle ERP Cloud, Infor CloudSuite, or many others, these new platforms require a different set of skills to implement, administer and support. But with support scheduled to end within the next decade for many older installed versions, customers are up against a hard deadline and a potential ERP talent crisis.
This big change is not entirely unprecedented. Some of us have been in the ERP world long enough to remember the rush of implementations in the late 1990s – driven by a combination of the Y2K panic and the transition from older ‘green-screen’ systems to client-server and the web.
Today’s transition to the next generation of digital platforms feels a bit like that big leap, when it was near impossible to find people with years of experience with the latest ERP platform because it had only been in the market a short time. Those with mainframe expertise had to learn the new client-server and web platforms, while many newcomers were recruited into the field.
The ERP talent crunch
The graduates of that Y2K transition are the gray-haired authorities on the incumbent ERP platforms today. Their wisdom is invaluable, but the catch is that many of these people with 15 or 20 years’ experience are now thinking about retirement. Meanwhile, new talent isn’t necessarily attracted to ERP work the way it once was.
Vendors may like to claim that the next wave of digital innovation will revolve around their latest platforms, but the best young talent is not necessarily flowing in the direction of ERP. There are too many opportunities to work with cloud and mobile apps or to create novel digital business models outside the bounds of ERP.