December 21, 2017
On ERP, Netflix and the Government Back Office
By: Mark Howard

When a government back office becomes a center of innovation, it spends less time processing transactions and monitoring compliance and more time focusing on the true missions of finance, HR and procurement. As I’ve shared in earlier posts, emerging technologies like advanced analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) are crucial to this transformation, while service design can help in crafting better employee and citizen experiences.

This time, I want to hone in on a specific emerging technology: ERP.

You might be thinking, “Wait a minute—ERP has been around for decades. How can it be an ‘emerging’ technology?” It’s true that governments have long relied on monolithic ERPs to power their back-office operations. But those old-school systems are unlikely to power the shift to become a center of innovation.

What’s now emerging is “Netflix for ERP”—in other words, a platformed approach where organisations can choose only the best of what they need. This approach delivers greater agility across nearly every aspect of an ERP: More rapid implementation. A different (and often more flexible) cost model. Continual access to the latest security and other features. And unprecedented speed in addressing changing business needs.

What’s more, there are multiple ways to tap into platformed ERP. Government back offices can opt to run their platformed ERP on their own hardware, to use a hybrid model with some (but not all) cloud components or to rapidly replace multiple legacy systems with a unified cloud platform.

For example, a financial institution in Australia decided to fully embrace platformed ERP. The institution moved 30 legacy systems to cloud, using a virtual physical-to-virtual migration with minimal service disruption. By leveraging pay-as-you-go services, the institution has saved $1.5M to date. It has speeded application server delivery from 13 weeks to just three days. And it is processing 700 transactions per second for 16M customer accounts at peak times.

In the U.S., the Department of State is using a more flexible and modular system to save time and money. The Department deployed four mobile apps on to a PeopleSoft solution to support its Mobile Diplomat initiative. The shift is saving more than 16,000 hours in data entry and a million sheets of paper annually.

The shift to platformed ERP is now gaining momentum—and represents only the beginning of how a new model is emerging. The platformed approach lays the groundwork for the next evolution: an augmented back office that combines a digital and human workforce using robotic process automation and AI.

These next-gen ERPs offer faster, better processing and lower costs while freeing up more time for what really counts.

Take the Netflix challenge!

It’s the holiday season. That means spending time with family and friends—catching up, enjoying great food and, yes, chilling out with some on-demand video streaming. As you enjoy new and old favorites, I encourage you to think about how a similar delivery model could benefit the government back office. Then weigh in with your thoughts, questions and suggestions. Until then, I hope you have a wonderful holiday and a very happy new year! For more information about bringing the back office to the forefront of government innovation, visit us here, and follow me on LinkedIn and Twitter.

See this post on LinkedIn: On ERP, Netflix and the Government Back Office

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