Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software is a reality for most large organizations. Some two-thirds of the Global 2000 use ERP software from one or more of the leading vendors (SAP, Oracle, Microsoft, etc.), directly touching more than one billion of their employees, suppliers and customers.

Yet, despite this seeming omnipresence, for a great many organizations, the ERP journey has so far been rather bleak: massive investments, huge delays, limited measurable value. In fact, across major ERP-enabled programs undertaken between 1995 and 2010, more than half have been self-described as unsuccessful and nearly one-third have been outright cancelled within their first 18 months.

The ERP Franchise—More Than One Billion Served and Still Growing

Regardless of the headlines, large-scale ERP has made a very noticeable comeback—a Release 2.0 of sorts—with a significant number of major organizations (armed with program budgets in the hundreds of millions of dollars) once again revisiting ERP.

To be successful in this new round of large-scale ERP programs, organizations need to adopt a very different approach—one built around three key principles:

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