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Maximizing Return on Investment Using ERP Applications by Frank J. C. Andera, Thomas R. Weirich, Arthur J. Worster

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IMPROVING THE BUSINESS (1990–2000)

Flash forward to the early 1990s, however, and things really started to change. Computer technology had now advanced from the “data center” delivering everything onto the desktop. By the late 1980s, word processors, spreadsheets, desktop database programs, and many other user programs had been created. It was now possible to engage end users in the process of designing and operating the business and how to support it. Full realization of the potential and pitfalls, however, did not come along with the advances in technology. With this proliferation, something else occurred. Suddenly, all workers could have their own version of the truth by creating a spreadsheet or a database, built on their own process and logic, which could prove “conclusively” that their version was accurate, creating chaos in the management process. It also, however, evolved very quickly into an “everyone for himself” environment, with some of the creations becoming new functional business processes or work tools, while rarely communicating with other functions or departments.

Network capabilities also improved and expanded, and new concepts such as e-mail on a smart desktop computer were developed. With these exploding new technologies, the concept of client server architecture was also developed during the 1980s and provided a platform for ERP packages to exploit making integrated systems more available and useful to end users and more affordable to companies. This was the ...

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