Trailblazers though they were, finance departments have quickly become technology laggards. How did this happen? Believe it or not, corporate finance was once in the vanguard of technology adoption. By the end of the middle of the 1990s, nearly every large organization had some form of ERP (enterprise resource planning) system in place; even small and midsize companies relied on finance or accounting software installed on their desktop PCs. Why? Because the global economy had reached a tipping point where the risk of doing nothing was greater than the risk of change.
As business needs changed, however, the systems had to change, too. Most often, this involved rewriting the application’s source code. According to a 2014 survey from Panorama Consulting Solutions, 90% of ERP users have incorporated some level of customization into their systems. And with customization came complexity, cost, and an inability to easily change direction.
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