ERP: Who's Running the Show? - Slide 4

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More than 30 percent of respondents in each age group indicate that they would be likely to use enterprise software that was hard to use or poorly designed less frequently than software that was more thoughtfully designed or easier to use.

A sizable majority of respondents also indicated that they were prone to using spreadsheets, including Microsoft Excel, instead of their enterprise system of record.

Respondents aged 18 to 35 were most likely to use spreadsheets (75 percent). Any one graduating from college or business schools within the last 10 years (at least) has gained extensive experience with Microsoft Excel, and is seeking the comfort level that comes with familiarity.

In mid-2011, a study was conducted by IFS North America and Mint Jutras, among manufacturing executives and professionals of middle market to large manufacturers, to understand how usability challenges may cause individuals to work outside established enterprise software systems, generating lost value for the manufacturer. Working outside of enterprise systems results in barriers to the enterprise-wide visibility that ERP and other enterprise software are designed to provide, enterprise risk as work is performed outside of the security and traceability provisions of enterprise software, and places enterprise data in online repositories where data ownership and security are even more questionable.

The study focused on the degree to which corporate citizens will take action as the result of enterprise software usability challenges including the use of various types of PC-based software and the types of online free or low-cost applications.  Generational differences were also explored using four different age groups.

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