Act now on ERP technology

Research carried out among 2,000 European companies by technology services firm Millennium, has found a buyers’ market for ERP systems enables companies to ‘hand-pick the best skills at low rates’.

Philip Keet, managing director of Millennium said that after ‘two or three years of downturn, things are on the up’, but that finance directors should take heart because ‘now is still a good time to invest’.

Uncertainty caused by consolidation within the ERP sector has added to FDs’ fears of investment. ‘A series of acquisitions over the last few years has muddied the waters,’ said Keet. ‘People have been cautious of investing in JD Edwards, for example.’

Organisations across a number of industry sectors, including giants such as GlaxoSmithKline and Schroeders, took part in the survey in which FDs were among the main respondents.

‘It remains a buyers’ market for consultancy and one extremely unlikely to return to the heady over-inflated days of the Y2K projects and subsequent boom,’ said Keet.

Mike Horner, IS programme manager at property giant Land Securities, said: ‘There would appear to be a surplus of good quality staff at the right price. The days of large ERP implementations have gone. The emphasis appears to be on smaller focused implementation.’

While this will make good reading for FDs considering a significant technology investment, contractors will be less taken with it. Rates were shown to be down a further 30% in addition to a 22% drop the previous year.

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