There is a feeling that ERP may lead to unemployment. Is it right?
As you are aware that with a successful ERP in place, information will be freely available and any casual user can very easily generate any ad hoc queries or reports. The system will automatically check for the compliance for most of the standard rules. As such, a number of routine work will disappear. However, with the information system in place, many of the middle level managers can be empowered to perform far more interesting analysis, develop insights and suggest innovative schemes for improvement.
Often these are the real benefits of ERP. If an organization is not imaginative enough to empower people to perform such analysis, obviously ERP can be discredited with creating unemployment.
Take a look at the Indian Railway’s Computerized Reservation System. With the networked computer terminals, one can manage the issuing of the tickets with fewer staff. However, there are more reservation staff today than ten years back. The average counter hours across the country have increased from 6 hours a day to 12 hours per day. Now a person can make reservations from any place to any place from any one of the terminals, significantly improving service quality.
In a way Railway Reservation System may have taken away a few jobs involving certain categories but created many more jobs. In all such cases looking at the head count may be an incorrect way to approach the problem. The goal must be to provide better quality service and better quality of jobs.