Business Benefits from Enterprise Systems Implementation in Small and Medium-sized Enterprises
Keywords:Enterprise System (ES), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), business benefits, implementation practices, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs)
AbstractThe market for enterprise systems (ESs) continues to grow as business becomes increasingly global and competitive. Increasingly, the market focus for ES vendors is on small businesses. The purpose of this study is to provide a unique ES vendor/consultant perspective on (a) the business benefits small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) expect from their ES investment and (b) to examine current practices of ES implementation in SMEs through a conceptual framework that considers the organisational, process and strategic context of the implementation. This study does so with interview data collected from ES vendors, ES consultants and IT research firms, who are the key players in the New Zealand ES industry. A distinctive contribution of this research is the vendor/consultant perspective as the unit of analysis, rather than the SME perspective commonly used in similar research. The vendor/consultant perspective offers a comprehensive viewpoint that extends across numerous SMEs in a variety of industries. Findings from interviews with these professionals indicate that although many ES implementations are several years old now, SMEs have only recently started tracking benefits through analytical processes in expectation to realise business value from their ES investment. The results also identify how ES implementation practices are adapting to be more suitable to the SME sector, an important market for ES vendors given the saturation of the large enterprise market for ES implementation.
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