A study of more than 260 manufacturing executives released by IFS North America indicates that social media will affect enterprise software used by mid- to large-sized manufacturers and industrial companies.
Interest in what IFS is calling Enterprise 2.0, which marries enterprise resources planning with social media functionality is real, the company says. However, study data suggest that integration of ERP with existing social media tools available online is of limited value. Instead, executives saw more value in ERP that mirrored the functionality of social media sites like Twitter and Facebook in order to streamline internal communication.
"While IFS is always adding new functionality to IFS Applications, we think the greatest potential for increased productivity lies in the area of how users interact with the software and the extent to which that software induces them to share and record usable data in that ERP system of record," IFS North America Chief Technology Officer Rick Veague said. "Social media functionality has proven to be extremely effective in engaging users and stimulating communication, so embedding features like chat, wikis and instant messaging into ERP would seem to offer significant benefits."
The study of manufacturing executives with mid- to large-sized companies was conducted for IFS North America by Boston-based Affinity Research Group.
The findings conclude that the ability to integrate with external social media tools on the public internet does not weigh heavily on the selection process for ERP. However, the adoption of social media functions to include collaborative and communication capabilities is viewed with importance, but is not seen as a major influencer. There are two primary benefits of social functionality embedded in ERP: first, to streamline and communicate within the enterprise and, second, to document business processes to support lean initiatives.
Manufacturing executives are optimistic about the potential benefits of social functionally embedded in ERP and realize that there could be great value if their ERP application includes features that mirror the functionality of online social networking tools. Increasing communication in the enterprise and the ability to capture the tacit knowledge of senior employees are the most frequently reported benefits.
The complete study report is now available for download at http://download.ifsworld.com/home/if1/page_586/new_enterprise_2.0_in_industrial_erp_study.html?fast=1
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