Small- to medium-size enterprises (SMEs) in South Africa are struggling with slow and unreliable enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, according to a new white paper from Microsoft and IDC
The Taking The Fast Track To ERP Innovation Is Essential For SMEs white paper showed that 28 per cent of companies found solutions to be too slow and 25 per cent said that their IT platforms failed to deliver return on investment (ROI). Furthermore, 21 per cent said that implementation of their platforms took too long and 15 per cent said that ERP platforms were unreliable.
Microsoft also found that SME ERP managers are concerned about deploying a new solution, citing loss of data and high operational costs as their biggest concerns. As a result of this, Microsoft is promoting its Dynamics 365 Business Central solution to combat these problems.
“Dynamics 365 Business Central starts quickly and grows at the organisation’s own pace, is tailored to unique business and industry needs and brings together all systems and processes with an end-to-end view that enables smarter decision-making, improved productivity and better customer service,” said Jon Tullett, senior research manager for Sub-Saharan Africa at IDC. “During the peak of the pandemic, ERP was one of the areas which saw the greatest movement towards cloud, driven by specific factors including speed of deployment, minimum disruption, and rapid ROI.
“South Africa’s growing adoption of cloud is also marked by an expanding middle class of businesses; SMEs accounted for 16.2 per cent of software revenues in South Africa in 2019, a share which is forecast to grow to 18.5 per cent of a market worth more than $3.2 billion in 2024. Most of that growth, particularly in SME customers, will be driven by cloud adoption of enterprise applications.”
Findings from the white paper also show that 87 per cent of enterprise application decision makers are prioritising attracting and retaining customers and 81 per cent identified talent development and brand awareness as their main concerns.
“Changing business, customer, partner and employee expectations and needs mean that organisations need a well-integrated and streamlined business management and enterprise application ecosystem – and the new generation of ERP solutions provide the integration, automation and security delivered by cloud-based capabilities,” said Karin Jones, director of business applications at Microsoft South Africa.