School of Information Systems

Big ERP Systems Embracing Small Mobile Devices

As ERP technologies have transformed organizations of all sizes in all industries, mobile devices have transformed how people manage day-to-day activities and organizations. As a result, ERP vendors are rapidly evolving their systems to better support managers with a variety of mobile ERP applications so that managers will be able to take advantage of the functionality, data, and benefits of their ERP application not only in the office but also on the road, enabling real-time management. Mobile ERP applications can provide many benefits to an organization, including: 

  1. Improving Service Quality. Mobile ERP will allow remote workers access to relevant customer information, improving service quality and responsiveness. 
  2. Improving Productivity. Mobile ERP will allow remote workers to access key resources when commuting or waiting in airports, improving productivity, and reducing downtime. 
  3. Strengthening Customer Relationships. Mobile ERP will allow remote workers to have key customer information when needed to strengthen customer relationships. 
  4. Improving Competitive Advantage. Mobile ERP can speed responsiveness to customer needs, improving competitive advantage. 
  5. Improving Data Timeliness and Accuracy. Mobile ERP allows for easier, less redundant, and more timely data capture, allowing workers in the field to capture critical data as they emerge without having to rekey the data into multiple systems where errors and inconsistencies can occur. 

Historically, ERP systems have not had a reputation for being user-friendly. given the mainframe roots of most systems, high usability was not a priority. Vendors are working hard to improve usability, especially for mobile ERP. Early mobile ERP apps tried to do too much and, much like their desktop-based interfaces, were slow and cumbersome to use. To reduce complexity and improve usability, vendors are now creating apps designed to perform a narrow set of tasks related to a specific business problem. Each app can be streamlined to focus on one problem and is therefore fast and easy to use. ERP giant SAP, for example, has hundreds of different apps to perform specific tasks. While apps are helping with mobile access, such innovation and usability improvements are also being integrated into desktop systems, and overall, ERP systems are becoming much easier to use. As mobility is a megatrend that will only become more and more prevalent in the workplace, organizations should choose ERP systems that have the capability and flexibility to integrate with an expanding array of mobile devices and platforms. 

Based on:

Borek, R. (2011, July 22). 5 benefits to mobile ERP. ERP Software- Blog. Retrieved May 18, 2016, from http://www.erpsoftwareblog .com/2011/07/5-benefits-to-mobile-erp

SAP Mobile Technology (2016). Mobile technology. SAP. Retrieved May 18, 2016, from Store. (2016). SAP store. SAP. Retrieved May 18, 2016, from .html?pcntry=uS&sap-language=En&catID=MoB 

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