November 2020

Changes to Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems are some of the most challenging, complex & impactful change journeys that an organization will go through. A well-defined ERP strategy based on the true organizational needs and capabilities paired with the right direction-setting is essential to succeed in such a digital transformation. BearingPoint Switzerland conducted a market study to investigate the ERP strategy of organization across industries* to better define how to manage this change.

ERP systems have not grown with their users’ needs and no longer fulfill the needs of today’s dynamic organizations – neither technically nor functionally. Consequently, most respondents therefore desire as well as expect a new ERP strategy implementation to have a positive effect on quality, services and products. Repositioning ERP as driver of competitive advantage in their organizations.


believe a new ERP strategy is an urgent need and critical to achieving future business success

Key Reasons for ERP Transformations 

Several key skill disciplines have been identified as being tightly linked to ERP success, an example of which being Business Process Management (BPM). It is seen as a discipline directly linked to the impact of an ERP strategy and a critical prerequisite for it’s success. Simultaneously it also a capability area expected to improve significantly in its maturity as a result of an ERP implementation. Aside from disciplines impacted & required, several trends where identified in both Business & IT Drivers.

Key Business Drivers for ERP Transformations

Organizations almost always aspire to improve their underlying processes through ERP and seek to positively impact their entire business, such a holistic expectation set is pervasive in the wide range of additional business benefits prioritized from ERP Strategies.

Key IT Drivers for ERP Transformations

ERP strategies are largely expected to drive simplification leading to a cleaner & leaner IT Landscape, reducing cost & effort in the organization whilst enabling the future business needs.

ERP Transformation Approaches

ERP approaches can vary considerably and offer different methods to achieve a wide range of desired results. Green, Brown, and Bluefield approaches favor increasing business maturity and capabilities to differing degree’s whereas technical conversions are often limited to the system oriented benefits. Selecting the right approach is a necessary step to embarking on the optimal ERP change journey.

Business-oriented approaches were significantly more common among those surveyed than IT-oriented alternatives. However, organizations prefer a diverse set of ERP-centric priorities with a strong tendency towards step-by-step implementation approaches.

ERP Success Factors

Critical factors for the successful ERP implementation:


  • Gather objectives and prioritize key topics from business and IT and put them in the center of your ERP strategy
  • Realize and ensure dialogue around the urgency for an ERP Strategy implementation across stakeholder groups
  • Find the right approach for your ERP transformation; the business case should not only be based on cost-saving variables


  • Benchmark your ERP business and IT organization to establish some of your key transformation risks early
  • Incorporate business ownership throughout your ERP journey to ensure business requirements are met
  • Ensure adequate Business Process Management (BPM) capability and add Change Management to your journey


  • Use collective knowledge and agile methods to create business value early and to deliver product increments
  • Utilize the right experts and acquire best practices, templates and pre-configured industry models
  • Keep your platform architecture simple, reduce complexity to gain speed and to increase operational agility

ERP Transformation Toolbox

BearingPoint has developed a diverse toolset, including assets which can be adapted to client specific needs and help to substantially accelerate transformations. These tools fall into two categories:

  1. Product Independent (ERP SW Evaluation Benchmark, ERP Readiness Assessment, ERP Capability Benchmark, etc.) – Particularly relevant for initiating, and driving ERP change regardless of platform.
  2. SAP S/4 HANA Specific (Business Transformation & Digital Architecture Frameworks, Factory Navigator, Application Management Services, etc.) – Focused on easing the design & delivery of particularly challenging elements of ERP Transformation in the SAP space.

ERP Transformation Toolbox

*About the Study: Throughout the first half of 2020, 50+ interviewees, 39% business- and 61% IT-roles from companies of different sizes and different industry segments in Switzerland participated: Industrial Equipment & Manufacturing, Chemicals, Life Sciences & Resources, Consumer Goods & Retail, Utilities, Insurance, Health & Social Care & Communication, Media & Entertainment.

  • ERP Stratey 2027 Survey
    ERP Stratey 2027 Survey 1.04 MB Download

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