Users are only running 50% of the functionality implemented in their ERP system, and are paying for functions they never use, according to a report, Exploiting Enterprise Applications, published by Butler Group.
The research, which was based on data about ERP usage collected in 60 large businesses, found a significant portion of the unused functions had been specifically coded for the business concerned, according to Teresa Jones, senior research analyst at Butler Group.
“ERP is complex and getting end users in the business to use it is still a big challenge,” said Jones.
She urged IT directors to conduct a health check of ERP usage every six months to audit which parts of the system were being used, and to identify any additional end-user training that might be required to ensure the system's full functionality was used.
Without regular audits on usage, Jones warned, IT directors could find users request modifications, because they have never used the built-in functionality of the system.
The Butler study follows a report last year from analyst AMR Research which found that 46% of ERP licences were unused, leaving many users with unnecessary support and maintenance bills.
AMR puts this down to companies buying licences up front, attracted by volume discount deals but overestimating their requirements and the impact of economic slowdown.