In order to for an ERP implementation to be cost effective, it was also important to investigate the effect that ERP implementation on the hardware that was present at that time. From the obtained data it was observed that for SMEs the cost of hardware and network did not stayed at the initial level but increased with time as the organizations grew. Furthermore, almost all ERP implementations were done initially on systems that had current configuration with Intel Core2Duo processor and 2GB of memory with 100Mbps network card, however, in all cases it was reported that SMEs expected additional hardware to be installed as the business grew. In terms of software, All ERP systems required Windows Server edition which caused additional expenditure due to its licensing.
4.4.6 Security Measures
In an effort to highlight the importance of security, presence of security measures were investigated the research. It was observed that like larger organization SMEs were also worried about online threat as well as security compromise from both inside and outside the network. They were particularly concerned about the threat of spyware, software which can be used to steal information from within the organization’s network. It was also observed that SMEs, being small companies were more interested in buying single comprehensive solution for their network rather than multiple point defence equipment, as in the case of larger organization. The security measures that were taken by SME include installation of Firewalls, Intrusion Detection systems as well as Anti-viruses. All network and web based accesses to ERP were secured through encryption while ERP security features such as record level security were also enabled in ERPs.
Following are the findings of this research which were obtained through the analysis provided in this chapter.
– All SMEs have not yet moved completely to the ERP and have continued to use legacy systems that have been integrated with their ERP solution. This was achieved through the use of SOA as well as traditional approach of using integration modules. However, it was observed that integration done using SOA was much easier to achieve than traditional approach.
– The research showed that SMEs posses great potential for international growth with most of the SMEs already having presence international or were planning to go international in the coming years. The popular choices of countries among SMEs were China, Japan, and Brazil, the US as well as several countries in the Middle East region.
– It was found that SMEs made efforts to preserve flexibility in their core business processes which enabled them to conduct their business in a differentiated way. The research found that while some SMEs chose to go down the customization route, other SMEs chose a more innovate way of confining core business process functionalities in custom built modules and integrating them with the ERP.
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