What is the role of technology in the ERP selection criteria?
The existing technology in an organization will play a very important role in the ERP selection process. Each organization will have its own technological environment : how the business is being done, what kind of hardware and software are in use, what is the database management system that is used for storing the operational and historical data, how is the data processing done and so on.
These factors can greatly influence the selection process in the sense that they can limit the number of packages available for evaluation. So, the management has to decide whether the ERP systems will be selected keeping in mind the existing infrastructure or, if the existing systems will not be considered. But it is always a better idea to find a package that is compatible with the hardware, software and technology that the company already has in place. Also, if the organization has the necessary infrastructure then it can think of buying the required components from the vendors and integrating them with the existing system.
For example, if an organization is using an HR management system and is quite satisfied with it, then it can go in for the other modules and not for the complete offering from the vendor. Later, if the organization wants to switch from the old HR management system it can then purchase that particular module of the ERP package. So, it is not imperative that all the components offered by the vendor be bought. The evaluation committee in association with the vendors can select the required components and then integrate them with the existing infrastructure. But do not forget here to get the vendor’s assurance that the existing system will integrate smoothly and seamlessly with the purchased components.