I have been recently at an IT conference at Penn State University when during a panel discussion on new IT technologies a very lively dispute between Jorge Lopez (Gartner) and Amy Wohl (Consultant) about the future of ERP erupted. Amy was convinced that cloud computing and SaaS will replace traditional ERP systems in the very near future. She named Salesforce.com and Workday, Dave Duffield’s (founder of PeopleSoft) new ERP Company as example for the new industry trend of ERP (one instance) in the cloud. Jorge pointed out that ERP systems are like jumbo jets, complex, very reliable and not easy to change. He is convinced that many instance ERP systems will be around for a long time to come.
I pointed out that Dave Duffield’s declaration April 18th, 2007 that Workday will be ‘parity’ with SAP in 18 months http://blogs.zdnet.com/SAAS/?p=317 was obviously wrong. Workday is doing very well but I think that they won’t be parity with SAP for another decade. I also mentioned that the Deutsche Postbank runs SAP for their retail business. They have about 6 million transactions per second and write about 2.5 TByte per second to the disc. At the moment no one could automate with an OLTP ERP the retail business of for example the Citibank which is about seven times bigger than the Deutsche Postbank. Ironically, Dave cited the Citigroup and Federal Express as examples of the type of company Workday will target.
This discussion has led me to write an IEEE Column titled, “ERP Is Dead, Long Live ERP”. In this column I discuss new technology trends such as high-performance computing, pervasive connectivity, Web services, and SOA and how they will affect ERP and the IT departments.
Have a look at my IEEE Column ERP is Dead, Long Live ERP.