The ERP landscape is constantly changing. From the ongoing debate between suites and best-of-breed applications, a clear winner has emerged, Postmodern ERP. Designed to combine the functionality of best-of-breed models with the integration and scope of a suite, this solution delivers results for process oriented businesses. Learn more about this approach below.

Understanding the Postmodern ERP Landscape

Gartner introduced the idea of postmodern ERP in the past few years to define the continued of evolution of ERP from traditional models to the hybrid environment that exists in the current software landscape. Postmodern ERP is a blend of the best-in-breed approach to business management applications and the modern suite-based approach to ERP, allowing businesses to affordably invest in specialized applications that seamlessly integrate.

Defined by Gartner,

Postmodern ERP is a technology strategy that automates and links administrative and operational business capabilities (such as finance, HR, purchasing, manufacturing and distribution) with appropriate levels of integration that balance the benefits of vendor-delivered integration against business flexibility and agility. This definition highlights that there are two categories of ERP strategy: administrative and operational.”

This method combines administrative functionality, primarily financials, human capital management and indirect procurement with operational areas like order management, manufacturing and supply chain.

How Did We Get Here?

The push to postmodern ERP is rooted in the much longer history of ERP as a whole. What started in the 60s and 70s as Material Requirement Planning and Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRP I & II) grew in importance and scope in the five decades since its introduction, driven by new technology and accessibility for business.

Driven by the cloud, SaaS, and APIs, these applications have allowed vendors to develop software that is more proactive, disruptive, and user friendly than former iterations, creating software that is process oriented.

Function Oriented + Data Oriented = Process Oriented

Software that continues to evolve allows users to do more with fewer hassles. The new ERP landscape combines two traditional models of design into one hybrid model that combines the data-oriented power of a suite and a function-oriented model of the best-of-breed landscape into a platform where users get what they need.

  • Function Oriented (best-of-breed): This approach focuses on leveraging multiple highly specialized solutions from a wide range of vendors. While offering a lot of flexibility, this approach unfortunately presents integration challenges. Data can become siloed, leading to workarounds to serve a company’s needs.
  • Data Oriented (traditional suite): While the best-of-breed model was able to serve functionality requirements with a wide range of vendors, the data oriented model of traditional suites provided a straightforward approach. Integration was easy, because one vendor did everything and data was in a straightforward format. Unfortunately, these presented as rigid, bulky, and hard to customize. They also represented an immense up-front investment.
  • Process Oriented (postmodern ERP): The combination of these two facets is what leads us to postmodern ERP, which leverages the unique functionality of the best-of-breed and the overarching power of the suite to offer easy integration, real-time data, consistent data integrity, and simple customization.

Leveraging the Power of Process-Oriented Postmodern ERP at Your Business

As your business grows, finding the mix of applications that move your business forward is a key strategy to creating long-term value. Postmodern ERP solutions are deconstructed into personalized sets of integrated business functions. Like the best-in-breed approach, the goal is to use the best applications possible in each area of a business. However, like the modern suite-approach, the applications must integrate with each other, as tightly or loosely as necessary, to preserve data integrity. This flexible approach allows for quick, easy customization of their cloud ERP system.

Acumatica designed, developed, and deployed to match your needs, providing the integration functionality and big-picture views that you can expect from a postmodern ERP. We will explore what this means in the development of industry-focused solutions in a coming blog, and invite you to learn more about your path to smarter ERP by contacting us for a free consultation.

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