Digital Transformation (DX) is fundamentally changing businesses, allowing them to transform their decision making, which is enhancing their business outcomes significantly. Digital transformation is an enterprise wide, board-level, strategic reality for companies wishing to remain relevant or maintain or enhance their leadership position in the digital economy. Digitally transformed businesses have a repeatable set of practices and disciplines used to leverage new business, 3rd Platform technology, innovation accelerators and operating models to disrupt businesses, customers, and markets in pursuit of business performance and growth. DX is driving businesses to rethink their technology strategy and that includes moving beyond their legacy back office ERP systems. New sources of innovation and creativity to enhance experiences and financial outcomes are paving the way for enterprises to move towards SaaS and cloud-enabled ERP software.
Why move to SaaS and cloud-enabled ERP systems?
Years of spreadsheet jockeying and little visibility make it hard for small and midsized businesses to grow quickly. Larger midmarket businesses have invested in legacy systems that are customized heavily, meaning that every upgrade is a costly and painful process, not to mention the sunk costs in hardware and maintenance. Midmarket businesses looking to grow and move beyond these issues are rethinking their ERP system strategy, seriously considering SaaS and cloud-enabled ERP systems.
Businesses of all sizes undergoing digital transformation have turned their focus to SaaS and cloud-enabled software because they need flexible, agile ERP systems that are configurable, continuously updated, quick to implement and scalable. Small and midmarket businesses are finding that most SaaS and cloud-enabled ERP systems are now within their means, allowing them to quickly expand and grow into new regions around the globe.
How do I select the right SaaS and cloud-enabled ERP system?
Fortunately for ERP buyers there is a massive amount of information surrounding ERP solutions, but synthesizing it can be quite complex. Organizations require significant research to fully understand what they will be buying. So many buyers are quickly scanning the internet, finding a list of ERP vendors and reaching out to them, before they even issue an RFP. This leads to massive confusion and uncertainty.
One sure method for finding the right ERP vendor is an IDC MarketScape document on ERP. IDC publishes IDC MarketScapes for multitudes of applications across the technology spectrum. Midmarket ERP buyers can utilize the IDC MarketScape: Worldwide SaaS and Cloud-enabled Midmarket ERP Vendor Assessment, 2017. The document is thorough, following a rigorous research methodology that looks at vendor offerings, their go-to-market strategy and their business. IDC MarketScapes include a representative list of midmarket ERP technology vendors. Vendors were then surveyed and further investigated to ensure that their ERP systems qualified as SaaS or cloud enabled and were already serving mid-market clients. Fifteen vendors actively participated in the research with a total of 52 references contacted and interviewed. Discussions with references included the systems utilized and their perception of the vendor and software in terms of technical support, account management, marketing message, level of value delivered versus price paid, ease of integration, user interface and ROI. In addition, references also provided areas of improvement and their future business requirements.
The document is an excellent way for the IT buyer to look at the market, understand the market and vendors, determine the field of vendors to include in an RFP, and for the selection process. The IDC MarketScape figure quickly displays the field of vendors so that Leaders, Major Players, Contenders and Participants are outlined based on their strategies and capabilities. The segments are:
Leaders: Vendors strong in both strategies and capabilities.
Major Players: Show strength in most areas of strategies and capabilities.
Contenders: Have many strengths but are often limited in some areas such as geography, industries, or specific product features.
Participants: Are often new entrants, or fading stars with few exceptional capabilities or strategies.
The vendor profiles provide a guide to the IT Buyer on who the vendor is, the strengths and challenges for each vendor and many times include reference comments. Finally, a recommendation is provided for the IT Buyer on when they should consider a particular vendor. The IDC MarketScape document is a guide for vendor inclusion in your selection process and also a must have reference document that answers many of your questions on the vendors in the market.
To learn more, read about NetSuite’s place in the MarketScape for Worldwide SaaS and Cloud-enabled Midmarket ERP applications 2017 and watch a webcast with NetSuite and IDC on how to select the right ERP vendor.
About the Author
Mickey North Rizza is program vice president for IDC’s Enterprise Applications and Digital Commerce research practice. She leads a team of analysts responsible for IDC’s coverage of the next generation of enterprise applications including ERP, financial applications, procurement, supply chain automation project and portfolio management, enterprise asset management, services resource planning (SRP) and related project-based solutions software and the digital commerce business network. In her role, Mickey and the team advises clients on ERP and i-ERP systems and associated applications, and digital commerce with a focus on the key trends, opportunities, innovation and the IT and Business Buyer concerns and requirements.