Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Dr. Norzaidi, Me, Nur Hafizah and Fadhila Izzati.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The latest trends in ERP


ERP calls for constant modifications and up gradations. ERP developers are facing tremendous pressure both from vendors and companies. In this context it becomes important to analyze the erp's trends and modalities.
Some of the relevant issues are as follows:
Need based applications
Organizations had to implement
ERP throught their systems irrespective of the fact whether they help in all the functions or in one particular function. This was proving to be a big hurdle to the firms. In addition this remained as the main disadvantage or setback of ERP. They had to purchase the whole applications even if it meant that most of them would be idle except for the core function.
The latest
ERP software programs have overcome this menace. They offer need based applications. The firms need not be worried even if these Software Programs were not available. They were given the liberty to purchase and install Software Programs pertaining to that particular function. This advantage has helped to increase the scope of ERP not only among large firms but also small and medium business as well.

ERP was a very costly affair. Thanks to the intrusion of internet and open source applications. This has helped S.M.E.'S to enter the market of prospective buyers.This has not only widened the horizon of S.M.E.'s but also increased the usage among large firms.
These large firms were not able to invest huge money in spite of adequate funds. Now that the spending on
ERP gets reduced there are no hesitations to show the green signal for fear of heavy monetary outlay. It is encouraging to notice the improving IT ERP trends.

Reduction in implementation time
ERP was discouraged by companies because they took such a long time to get installed and set the whole process into action. Since this resource was spent excessively there were chances for reduction in potential business and losing man-hours.
The current day
ERP applications are less complex to install and train. This has reduced the amount of time spent on ERP.Companies are thereby assured of spending lesser time for ERP.

Open Source, Web enabled and wireless technologies
These are three important elements that have rejuvenated the functioning of
ERP.Open Source ERP has done away with the hassles of paying license fees not only during installation but also whenever a modification is made. The company is relieved from depending even for mince matters.
Web enabled
ERP helps in making the enterprise operations go online. Any stakeholder or third party can access the required information very easily and that too by sitting anywhere in the world. This proves to be of great help especially during emergencies when the details are to be sourced with immediate effect.
ERP has helped organizations to make use of the communication channels effectively and efficiently. It has made it possible for many elements to operate in ERP which were otherwise not possible. Wireless ERP is nothing but sharing enterprise information through devices like internet and other devices making it possible for outsiders to access the same.

ERP trends reflect positive signals for the ERP vendors and companies availing their service. It is important to remember the fact that both the vendor and the company will be able to make use of any advantage (including the modern facilities) only through proper coordination, teamwork and nurturing a cordial atmosphere. Mere IT ERP trends will not help in this aspect.

Source: http://www.erpwire.com/erp-articles/erp-trends.html

The need for IT innovation leads to aggressive collaboration

It used to be that when business executives needed some new technology, they presented their requirements to the CIO, who worked with IT to research, purchase and implement it. These days, however, most enterprises have an impressive installed technology base, and doing something new with what they have -->IT innovation -- is the value proposition.

"Most institutions have every piece of software known to man," said Will Showalter, CIO at Sisters of Mercy Health System, a network of 28 hospitals across four states in the nation's heartland. "When the business presents its requirements, it becomes more about how you can tailor what you have through innovation," he said.

While Showalter was toiling in Chesterfield, Mo., last week, hundreds of other CIOs gathered in Scottsdale, Ariz., to discuss IT innovation with analysts from Gartner Inc. The Stamford, Conn.-based research firm adopted the concept of creative destruction as the theme for its CIO Leadership Forum, where the discussions were about how innovation often is the brainchild of collaborative thinking.

"We are where we are, with a tremendous investment in resources," said Mark McDonald, a Gartner vice president and co-chair of the event. "It's time to focus on finding competitive advantage."

It might take eating a slice of humble pie for technologists to admit they don't know everything about the business; and that's why it's important for CIOs to break down the walls between departments, just as surely as new technologies help them tear down silos of information. Creative destruction involves collaboration so that the best ideas bubble to the top.

"Get people working together, and provide a governing structure," advised Harry Pickett, senior vice president and chief technology officer at Manulife Financial Corp., based in Toronto.

Creating a different relationship with peers is critical when you're reimagining IT, McDonald said. Also critical is delivering against new commitments. He encouraged attendees to embrace new infrastructure delivery options and refocus IT on the truly strategic.

Take the case of an IT employee at W.W. Grainger Inc., an industrial supply company based in Lake Forest, Ill., who took the initiative and developed a mobile phone application that connects with Microsoft's Bing search engine so field reps always know what's in stock. "It's a slight twist in logic -- the recognition that 'there was something I could do and no one asked,'" McDonald said.

Most institutions have every piece of software known to man. When the business presents its requirements, it becomes more about how you can tailor what you have through innovation.

Will Showalter, CIO, Sisters of Mercy Health System

When CEMEX Inc., a global cement producer, discovered that fewer companies were buying cement, executives tried to figure out how to contain CEMEX's own costs. The company put together a team of people to look at less expensive fuels for making cement. Using social media, the company surveyed all of its 168 plants to understand the use of fuels, identified the top two plants using alternative fuels, ran a webinar and achieved a 5% increase in the use of alternative fuels company-wide -- within five weeks, McDonald said.

"The first question should always be, 'Is there a quick and dirty way to do this?'" McDonald said, urging CIOs to achieve growth by doing something different -- preferably, something no one asked for. "Results may not get you new resources, but they will give you the ability to play by new rules."

Sometimes business innovation is driven by technology. That was the case with J.R. Simplot Co., a privately held company headquartered in Boise, Idaho, that sells such products as frozen French fries to McDonald's Corp., and guacamole to grocery stores and restaurants. When the company decided to take advantage of cloud computing, it took the IT resources saved (60 people, according to McDonald) and put them into business analyst positions.

The long-touted convergence of business and technology is what caused executives at Crossmark Inc., a consumer goods sales and marketing company in Plano, Texas, to hire a CIO from the business side, McDonald said.

The trend extends across such verticals as manufacturing, retail, financial and health care. "We have gone to great lengths in our business to understand there's a new paradigm in IT health care," said Mercy Health System's Showalter. "It's a realization that technology really isn't about technology, it's about the ability to transform business."

The first opportunity comes with people understanding the process, according to Mimi Chizever, vice president for claims technology at Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., who spoke at the Gartner conference about her company's implementation of Toyota's Lean principles for IT. As part of that initiative, Nationwide brings people together from various parts of the business in a dedicated room during work hours for continuous IT and business process improvement.

"Probably no single person could describe all the roles in the value stream mapping," Chizever said. "Great conversations happen, like, 'Why do you do that?'"

By Laura Smith

Sources : http://searchcio.techtarget.com/news/2240033819/The-need-for-IT-innovation-leads-to-aggressive-groupthink