Title

SAAS AND FOS-ERP SYSTEMS: A MARKETING HYPE OR A SEISMIC CHANGE IN BUSINESS COMPUTING?

Abstract

During the last years, Open Source Software (OSS) has gained acceptance by both the computing industry and organizations, private and state owned, worldwide. However, not all types of OSS enjoy the same status; until recently, at least, many organizations were reluctant to adopt a Free/ Open Source (FOS) ERP solution, despite its predicted lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) compared to propriety ERP. This is mainly because ERP software is considered critical for business operations and FOS-ERP software has not gained the status of respectable software unlike other pieces of FOS software such as operating systems (e.g. Linux). The reverse holds true for ERP software provided as a service (SaaS), which enterprises view as a viable alternative. While many professionals still see FOS-ERP as a marketing hype, there are very recent serious signs that this trend is starting to reverse, which may lead to seismic changes in the business software development model. This paper presents the preliminary findings of a literature review aiming at identifying current SaaS and FOS-ERP deployment and development models’ strengths and weakness as well as future directions and prospects related to the adoption and use of FOS-ERP software. A survey concerning SAP consultants’ views on FOS-ERP is also reported. This study has important insights for managers, ERP consultants and ERP system end users.

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