Although the market is seeing growth in cloud enterprise resource planning (ERP) adoption – SA is still divided between the early adaptors and those who are resistant to change.

This is according to Stephen Corrigan, sales director at Palladium Business Solutions, who notes the reason for the resistance is a lack of understanding of the benefits of cloud and ERP.

“There are organisations who still believe that ERP and cloud ERP are the meant for large organisations and are expensive, which is actually not the case.”

Corrigan believes there is a mindset change that needs to happen. The world of business application software is rapidly transforming how organisations source and implement ERP systems, he said.

CIOs are rethinking their approach to the software that runs virtually every medium and large organisation in the world, notes Corrigan.

A lot of businesses in SA are still looking to accountants to choose the ERP systems and software, rather than looking at how they can incorporate ERP to the whole organisation, he says.

There is a saturated market of legacy software in SA, says Corrigan, adding there aren’t a lot of true cloud solutions in the market because the technology is a little bit behind.

Traditionally when it comes to accounting software, businesses are still stuck in the “local is lekker” mentality, says Corrigan.

Companies like to buy local because they believe the products are developed for the local market. However the local products are falling behind their international counterparts quite significantly.

Corrigan says from a connectivity point of view if something is in the cloud or accessible via browser, it can be accessible through any device as long it’s an HTML-type interface. This opens up the ERP software to the entire business, he adds.

Corrigan points out cloud ERP gives SMEs the same execution abilities as larger organisations, allowing them the same competitive advantages.

Gartner says the highly customised ERP systems are looking a bit long in the tooth, to the point where by 2016 it will be common practice to refer to them as ‘legacy’ software.

Business will have to adopt cloud-based business applications that offer viable alternatives to the unwieldy, inflexible, and expensive systems that have long dominated the sector if they want to remain competitive, says Corrigan.

“Cloud ERP vendors are already having a disruptive effect on the ERP market by offering affordable, yet sophisticated, flexible, highly mobile, and easy-to-use applications.”

He believes education is key. “Organisations have to understand the benefits and realise cloud ERP is available to a lot of small- to medium-sized businesses at an affordable price, concludes Corrigan.

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