The future of SMB ERP
In a broad sense, companies adopting cloud-based ERP systems must carefully evaluate the different systems and find the one that best fits their business needs. When assessing the implementation process of the ERPNext system, two significant issues need to be highlighted: system complexity, and implementation size.
System complexity of an ERP system may be measured along three dimensions: the amount of functionality, the extent of integration, and the footprint size. Business environments in Australia and around the world requiring basic functionality, limited integration, and minimal customizations are the most appropriate for open-source cloud-based ERPs such as ERPNext. Such in this category would be most Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs). More complex enterprises would not find ERPNext the best option.
In regards to implementation size, small to medium enterprises are again the most likely candidates for the ERPNext system. Implementation costs of cloud environments are relatively low (Cloud-based ERP implementation rising rapidly, 2013), and the ready-made virtual machine produced by Web Notes Technologies allows companies to begin ERPNext deployments almost instantly.
Most browser based cloud ERP systems may not be suitable for large complex organizations, as they might not meet their enterprise-level needs. However, such ERP systems may fit smaller divisions if the solution can be integrated into an existing enterprise-wide platform. In Australia, ERPNext and ERP end users need to ensure their cloud provider can deliver an optimal connection.
Despite the recent drop in the adoption of cloud based ERPs (Panorama 2014), the future of both open-source and cloud based ERP systems in Australia (such as ERPNext) and globally is projected to improve significantly and their acceptance is expected to rise (Prentice, 2014). In the next five years, it is expected more providers and customers will undergo the transition from the traditional hosted and on-premise ERPs.
As business environments continue to change, and the introduction of more cloud based providers creates a more competitive ERP scene, end users are beginning consistently authenticate and confirm whether current systems are fit for their purposes. This scenario further positions ERPNext in Australia at a competitive advantage since it uses an open-source software platform available on multiple devices.
Cloud ERPs have gained tremendous appeal among enterprises struggling with business management challenges. As a new deployment model, ERPNext may provide significant opportunities for capitalizing on ERP investments that encourage standardization via feasible economic drivers, and for greater focus on strategic actions. The current business environment offers an excellent breeding ground for cloud ERP systems as opposed to traditional on-premise and hosted ERPs. However, cloud-based ERPs also face significant challenges such as limited usability, organizational change, and perceived risks. In this regard, the right balance should be struck between realistic and unrealistic expectations for ERP systems. Nevertheless, cloud-based ERPs have been found to be crucial in the overall advancement of an organization. Providers of Cloud-based ERPs are investing greatly in enhancing their offerings, extending the availability of their services, expanding functionality of their services, and reducing system risks. Small and medium enterprises that are interested in gaining the benefits of scale, lowering their costs, and driving standardization have their best chance of adopting an open-source equivalent system such as ERPNext. With the appropriate growth and management of the framework, ERPNext has the potential to make a significant impact in the SME ERP market.