Looking to the Future of Enterprise-Wide Systems

Looking to the Future of Enterprise-Wide Systems

Frédéric Adam (University College Cork, Ireland) and David Sammon (University College Cork, Ireland)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-188-9.ch014
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Abstract

Many readers of this book may come to the conclusion that the collection of chapters presented here yields more questions than answers. This may well be true, but it is more a reflection of the difficulty and enormity of the problems raised by enterprise-wide systems than a failure on our part, and the part of the authors of the different chapters. We are believers that the concept of a unified system serving the needs of the whole corporation is a suitable and exciting target for researchers and IS managers. We are, however, also convinced that it is less straightforward a target to achieve than many software vendors and consultants would like managers to believe. As early as 1972, Dearden declared his belief that: The notion that a company can and ought to have an expert (or a group of experts) create for it a single, completely integrated super-system — an MIS — to help it govern every aspect of its activity is absurd. This statement indicates that, on the one hand, IS specialists have been trying to develop such systems as ERP systems since the beginning of IS times. It also indicates, on the other hand, that it is probably only now that we have the technology and the platforms necessary to achieve such an ambitious objective. This will not happen without extensive research into the design of ERP systems and the correct approach to their implementation; or the problems raised by organisational fit may persist in keeping failure rates with ERP type systems unacceptably high.

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