Enterprise resource planning software is a must-have for manufacturers today. The business management software system, usually consisting of a number of integrated applications, is ubiquitous across the manufacturing arena and many other business verticals. Until fairly recently this software was almost always held on-premise, using servers on-site. But the growth of the cloud and cloud-hosted software solutions in general has had its effect on ERP, and most large vendors (and many smaller ones too) now offer ERP solutions in a variety of deployment options, including on-premises, cloud, and hybrid (a combination of both).
There is no shortage of software-as-a-service (SaaS)–based manufacturing enterprise resource planning software offerings nowadays, for almost any vertical manufacturing market segment. But while cloud and hosted solutions are routine for many types of business software across various industries, manufacturing businesses still express a lot of skepticism, uncertainty and concern about the applicability of cloud software to their business.
The United States Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations has issued its official report on the Air Force's failed enterprise resource planning system implementation. The Air Force Expeditionary Combat Support System (ECSS) was supposed to be a "transformational" logistics program that would make the U.S. Air Force more efficient and effective. The goal of the program was to replace hundreds of legacy systems, some dating back to the 1970s. But, after nearly a decade of work by the system integrator, Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), and more than $1.1bn spent, the ECSS program was terminated in December 2012.
Over the past several decades, processes to design and build cars, airplanes and products used in various other industries have typically followed a linear, sequential path. This process typically started with product research, ideation and concept development, followed by design and development, prototype and validation, leading to production, launch, operation and, eventually, product retirement.
In today's business milieu, the likelihood of successfully selecting and implementing corporate software, particularly large and complex solutions such as enterprise resource planning, is very difficult to foretell owing in large part to the nature of those projects.
In the mid-2000s there was a beginning of public discussions and a surge in market awareness about support and maintenance (S&M) alternatives for users of enterprise applications. Companies in the market for enterprise software S&M services, like nearly every other market in the world, have responded to monopolistic-like pricing and profit margins by seeking choice. Enterprise software licensees now have a choice of annual support providers.