While the initial aim may have been to improve efficiency and reliability, the end result has often been to saddle companies with a morass of entangled technologies that make it difficult to keep up with an ever-accelerating rate of innovation in the world at large.
Most companies have tried to drive cost savings and outmaneuver competitors by adopting hulking enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems that are designed to streamline business operations. But instead of enhancing competitiveness, these systems – which usually take several years to design and install – end up being rigid and inflexible, especially when compared to the new-build approaches of aggressive digital disruptors. The complexity of these systems makes it difficult and expensive to drive further change. As the pace of technological advance speeds up, companies that can’t change quickly find themselves falling even farther behind their nimble competitors.