July 15, 2013
Table of Contents
Page 1 – Title Page
Page 2 – Table of Contents
Page 3 – Introduction
Page 5 – Background
Page 10 – Conclusion
Page 11 - References
In today’s day and age, businesses come a dime a dozen. They come in numerous forms, types, sizes, etc, and for this main reason there is no ‘one size fits all’ process for any part of running an organization/business. Different things are applicable and implemented based on the type and size of the business. What may work for one company may not necessarily work for another company. A business can be anywhere from one person to thousands of people. The size of the business is a huge factor in determining what kinds of Information Systems should be implemented. For a business to be ultimately considered successful, it needs to have the right Information Systems (IS) implemented because although a great IS does not guarantee success, it is a huge factor in contributing to success. Because IS supports business operations in many fields of an organization/business like Marketing, Accounting, Finance, etc, it is very necessary that it is very meticulously implemented in order for it to perform its full functions to its maximum efficiency.
When organizations expand and get larger, they also get more complex, which means they may have to separate functions into smaller, more manageable groups so as to function effectively and efficiently. One of the major steps in doing this is to ensure that the staff are specialized in whatever group/unit they fall under. This is to maximize efficiency. When these businesses/organizations expand, their systems will have to be tailored to meet the necessary requirements. Sometimes this will involve major changes to the computer architecture configurations which ultimately hinder productivity. Hence, it is very necessary that the changes be implemented very meticulously.
In order to fully understand ERP, it must first be defined. Motiwalla and Thompson (2012) define ERP as “basically integrated information systems that support such enterprise functions as accounting, financial, marketing, and production requirements of organizations.” (p. 6). Other definitions of ERP are – “A set of software applications that organize, define, and standardize the business processes necessary to effectively plan and control an organization. (Aptean), and also “A process by which a company manages and integrates the important parts of its business.” (Investopedia). Although there are numerous definitions of ERP, one major point stands true in all of them – ERP helps in making a business/company run more efficiently by bringing together different systems for ease of use.
Aside from their main definition of ERP, Motiwalla and Thompson (2012) further describe ERP as “comprehensive software applications that support critical organizational functions” (P. 6). One goal of ERP is to ensure that the flow of information from one department to another within the same company is dynamic and should be done immediately without any time delay or hindrance. Another goal is to merge the different systems from different departments and functions into one main system infrastructure. This may be quite challenging considering the many different requirements of each department, but they will not all be required to use the exact same thing. ERP only brings them together on the same platform for ease of transfer of information.
A lot of companies designed silo systems for their departments in the 1960s and 70s. These silo systems focused on the individuals, not the process or teams. This made companies work interdependently, but it ultimately led to a bottleneck because it became quite challenging for users to share data, so they had to manually gain access to the systems just to integrate data. This access restriction coerced companies to find ways of using a system that would provide