Users need 15-20-year roadmap for SAP ERP

IT directors need to plan a 15- to 20-year roadmap to ensure a better return on investment from SAP enterprise resource planning...

IT directors need to plan a 15- to 20-year roadmap to ensure a better return on investment from SAP enterprise resource planning systems, according to the IT director at Altria, the parent company of Kraft Foods and tobacco company Philip Morris.

Speaking at the CIO Symposium, Erich Winkler said firms were holding onto their SAP ERP systems for twice as long before upgrading and needed a long-term investment plan.

"You need a clear strategy on which business processes will be supported through SAP and what is in or out of scope," he said.

Winkler recommended that firms should review the performance of SAP in monthly or quarterly meetings between business heads and the IT department. "ERP has been underestimated. It is essentially a firm's plumbing and you must remember it is a complex technology," he said.

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