As it pertains to Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), the app-centric economy is a vast marketplace of software tools and ERP applications designed to expand the native functionality of core ERP and accounting platforms. Often developed by third-party providers, such apps are specialized to serve a specific business function or set of related business functions, such as employee time and expense reporting, payroll processing, payables automation, inventory and warehouse management, advanced reporting, revenue recognition and far more.
Similar to the way a mobile phone app marketplace exists to turn your smartphone into a personalized one-stop shop for everything you might ever want or need to do, the ERP app-centric economy exists to turn your core ERP into a customized one-stop shop for all your business needs.
The advantage of the app-centric economy is the ease with which a business can expand its existing core ERP platform to meet the demands of growth or to streamline business processes and optimize performance. The most popular and valuable apps take advantage of open APIs (i.e. Application Programming Interface) to offer pre-built integrations that are compatible with mature ERP tools, meaning that with a few clicks of the mouse, the software can be easily connected to share data back and forth, eliminating any need for costly custom development. While you will be dealing with different developers and, in most cases, paying additional software costs, the app-centric economy allows your ERP platform to grow as your business does, often preventing the need for large scale software migrations.
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The app-centric economy is ideal for small to medium-sized businesses that find their current ERP solution is no longer meeting the needs of the business with its native features, or that wish to modernize and innovate operations using more advanced capabilities and/or automation.
The right time to consider taking advantage of the app-centric economy is when a business desires to enhance existing, or introduce new business functions, but is not ready to undertake a full out ERP migration to a more advanced, more expensive tool. Consider, for example, a business operating on a less advanced small business ERP that meets the businesses’ core functional and financial needs, but that does not offer much in the way of advanced reporting or KPI analysis. Rather than migrate entirely away from the existing tool to something that offers the reporting and KPI tracking features natively, they might choose instead to introduce a third-party tool designed specifically to support reporting and KPI tracking that will pull data directly from their existing platform and allow for more robust performance analysis.
The beauty of the app-centric economy for ERP platforms is the vastness in functionality it offers, so with a bit of research, one will be presented with a multitude of software providers and solutions. The difficulty then is determining the most reliable solution, as well as the solution that will best meet the specific business requirements.
That’s where Withum is expertly positioned to add value. With years of experience working with ERP and with the most popular app solutions available, as well as with developing technology strategies for clients to meet their business needs both now and in the future, Withum is the ideal partner to help put your business in a position of strength.
Still curious about the ERP app-centric economy and how it can take your business to the next level? Let’s talk! Let’s together Rethink How Business Gets Done – Reach out to us for a complimentary consultation.