An obituary to ERP in an AI world

New Update

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) breathed in its last few breaths in the last five years. Some want to believe it still hasn’t happened. The naysayers are the ones who are adamant that Autonomous Systems are yet to overtake or replace traditional ERP – and they may not be entirely wrong.


ERP continues to live in our hearts. After all, it continues to be a hurdle for IT leaders and businesses, be it design, implementation, lifecycle management or value realization. ERP, in its youth, failed to solve the problems that it was actually designed for. It was not ERP’s failure alone, we perhaps, failed to utilize its full potential. To add to ERPs perplexity, advancements in business models meant, more complex systems and processes, that required data camaraderie, which just wasn't in its design. Furthermore, ERP implementations are challenging, especially when the organization’s goals and software quality do not match. In a nutshell, the marriage wasn't just meant to be!

It would be unfair to paint ERP as the problem child alone. The part blame resides on organisations that failed to acknowledge and adapt to newer technologies and solutions, further compounding the digital incertitude. This had to be fixed! From an enterprise’s perspective, both human and technology will be critical as they move toward business models that favour reduced human density.

The coming of age 


There’s no denying that we’ve entered the age of AI; everyone recognizes that AI and ML are key to success in the business marketplace. Before the age of AI came the age of Big Data, this advancement opened the door for the growth of data lakes and on to intelligent technologies. AI can be further classified into Automated, Assisted, Augmented and Autonomous Intelligence.

There is no repudiating that Unified and Autonomous Enterprise Systems will take the world by storm, where enterprises will quickly realize the potential of true enterprise democracy, enhanced operational efficiency, work from anywhere, network flexibility, access elasticity, on-demand service, decentralized, distributed and most importantly, real-time.

According to a recent report published by Allied Market Research, the global enterprise artificial intelligence market was valued at $4.68 billion in 2018, and is projected to reach $53.06 billion by 2026, registering a CAGR of 35.4% from 2019 to 2026.


The Epithet

The beginning of unified, autonomous and real-time systems was the final nail on ERP’s coffin. With its departure, ERP also takes several associated problems to the grave.

  1.   Broken employee and customer journey
  2.   Adulterated data collection
  3.   No real time data connectivity
  4.   Piecemeal applications
  5. Rule based automation

Towards a Bright Future

The greatest business possibility of autonomous systems is doing things that have never been done before, rather than merely automating or fast-tracking existing capabilities. Businesses have to take the leap of faith, the prize being; possibility to enhance personalisation, possibility to enhance quality, possibility to enhance consistency, possibility to save time for consumers and last but not the least, accessibility of data to make these gains possible.

Understand this, the innovation, collaboration and decision making within an organisation can all be empowered. Organisations will have the potential to comprehend customer behaviour and predict and respond to their individual needs with exactitude and sagacity that have never been possible before.


We are already witnessing social integration, customizations, greater cloud accessibility and intelligent systems. The global shift suggests a new and improved way of working that allows inclusion of UI overlays, IoTs, machine learning, deep learning, NLP, collaborative systems, image analytics, Algorithmic game theory, computational social choice and robotics process automation.

The possibilities are infinite.


The author is Kiran Raju, Founder Director of Grene Robotics.