Top 8 Ways ERPs Are Failing Your Government
May 3, 2018 – OpenGov
For the last 25 years, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) has been a critical part of government infrastructure. After all, it integrated much of an agency’s data, ensuring things like actual expenses were tracked and compared versus budget. But ERP is built on the architecture of historical transactions, not forward-looking planning and tracking results against financial and non-financial data. With ERP, you know how much a department or agency has spent vs. actuals, but you are missing the context to plan and make future data-driven decisions.
Today’s modern government needs more than what an ERP alone can do. If you’re not convinced, here are eight ways your ERP is failing your government today:
- Can’t handle budgeting. ERP can handle the basics, but there’s no budget workflow, it’s not flexible enough to quickly adapt to change. There’s no ability to create multi-year, multi-fund; and no way to track multiple “versions” through the budget process or create what-if scenarios. It’s hard to use and rigid, so budgets end up less thought-out and more siloed.
- Can’t deliver reporting and analysis in app. ERPs have rudimentary capabilities, you need Excel and experts to put in countless hours to get it. There’s no notion of interactive dashboards, and KPIs that are easily shared and accessed by all. In the end you miss the bigger picture because you’re focused on data management, and Exel that’s limited to a few Excel experts.
- Can’t plan for workforce. The biggest expense of most agencies becomes a one-time static exercise in Excel rather than a strategic activity. ERPs don’t have the flexibility and functionality to easily do personnel-level, bottoms-up planning and management required by things like medical benefits and payroll taxes. You must manually account for government-specific benefits (like annual pay increases and COLAs) or make global benefits changes to the full roster with equations in Excel.
- Can’t budget, track and manage performance vs. strategic priorities. Governments are unified and focused by strategic priorities or initiatives. ERPs provide no easy way to budget and report planned spend against them. There’s no ability to tag expenses or headcount in the budget process. You also can’t access data from other systems, like 311, Parks & Rec, or Permitting. ERPs cannot present spend data in a geospatial format or report on financial and non financial data (something modern governments should be able to do!).
To discover the last four ways, download the full article.