CHAPTER 1

The History and Evolution of ERP

In the early 1970s, business computing relied on centralized mainframe computer systems. Today, almost all large firms use ERP systems to manage operations. These systems have proven their value by providing a systematic way to measure what businesses did financially. The reports these systems delivered could be used for analysis of variance with budgets and plans and served as a place to archive business data. Computing provided a way to keep records much more accurately and on a massively larger scale than was possible through manual means. But, from our perspective, at the beginning of the 21st century, that level of computer support was primitive.

In the 1980s and 1990s, large firms hired many (thousands) ...

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