Clients have been asking Forrester whether it makes sense to replace their aging enterprise resource planning (ERP) system now. While most consider the idea of upgrading, they must balance factors like cost (which can be in the hundreds of millions), disruption, and other priorities. ERP customers have two options: 1) fix the existing system to resolve the most-pressing issues; or 2) modernize to the next generation of ERP, which Forrester calls digital operations platforms (DOPs) and defines as the next generation of core enterprise applications for business operations, including finance and accounting.

All ERP customers need to understand the current landscape of next-generation DOP options; even those who choose to stay on their current system need to compare that choice to the next-generation options, while those choosing to modernize will actively evaluate choices. To help, we have just published research on the current landscape and state of the market for DOPs. All vendors offer modern ERP alternatives, but this does not mean they can all truly support modern (digital) use cases that we define as typical of a DOP. We recommend technology decision-makers look for:

  • Flexible low-code and no-code solutions to tailor and extend.
  • Rapid, vendor-delivered innovations with at least two major releases per year.
  • Embedded AI and automation that delivers real results with proof points.

Other guiding principles for vendor selection include size, functionality, and your industry-specific needs. You should identify the critical elements for your business priorities to help better support you in building out your DOP strategy. The goal is for you to have a guide to the macro-level solutions available to you.

We look forward to continuing the conversation. Also, stay tuned for our upcoming Forrester Wave™ evaluations on DOPs later this year.