This paper outlines the significance of ERP systems and analyses the factors that lead to ERP adoption within organizations. This analysis concentrates on two major phases of the ERP adoption process. The first phase is an examination of the factors that precipitate a search for systems that will provide a solution to problems experienced with current information systems. This examination is structured around previous thinking on motivations for investment in information systems for business operations. The second phase considers the factors that apply to the decision to acquire an ERP system once it has emerged as a contender for adoption.