Challenges and Success Factors of ERP Systems in Australian SMEs
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Today, great potential is envisaged for ERP systems in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and software vendors have been repackaging their ERP systems for SMEs with a recent focus on cloud-based systems. While cloud ERP offers the best solution for SMEs without the
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Today, great potential is envisaged for ERP systems in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and software vendors have been repackaging their ERP systems for SMEs with a recent focus on cloud-based systems. While cloud ERP offers the best solution for SMEs without the overheads of the huge investment and management costs that are associated with traditional ERP systems, the SME sector faces many challenges in their adoption. Traditional ERP studies have predominantly focused on large organizations, and gaps in the literature indicate that both vendor and consumer perspectives require more understanding with new technology offerings for SMEs. This paper describes some of the common challenges, such as cost effectiveness, alignment between software and business processes, customized governance and training, which form the major SME constraints for ERP system adoption. Due to the dynamic nature of SME businesses, best practice guidelines for an SME’s ERP implementation could be arrived at through closer investigation of its business requirements in order to avoid misfits. This forms the main objective of the study. We identify key success factors of ERP implementation in an Australian SME as a case study. These target success factors are then compared to the actual outcomes achieved. Factors such as business process alignment with the ERP system, meeting customer and stakeholder needs and reducing recurring and maintenance costs were key to the success of ERP implementation for the Australian SME. In particular, the IT and business strategy alignment with a customer focus and flexible reporting features of ERP systems has resulted in business agility.