In the recent past, ERP systems have been the purvey of enterprise-wide installations that take into account the current and potential utilization of the system. Chron mentions that businesses usually implement an ERP because it gives them more control over their external and internal resources, as well as a more centralized way to manage these assets. The more critical determination in an ERP is how the system will fit the company it's being outfitted for. In any company that runs an ERP, one of the most important things that must be determined before implementation is the size of the implementation.
As stated before, an ERP usually gives a company a single place from which to control and oversee its operations. However, according to Intel, a decentralized ERP system is not only a possibility but has already been implemented by them on over 250 servers serving close to 10,000 clients. A decentralized ERP provides one of the best study points for understanding how to determine to a size of an ERP since each ERP set up by Intel is done so with a single purpose in mind. It's this flexibility that allows them to use ERP's that can stand by themselves, giving the company a unique insight into how server sizing impacts workflow and efficiency and most importantly, how to avoid mid-life refresh.
Generally speaking, an ERP server should be able to provide support to a company throughout the entire length of time the project it's going to be used for runs. Because of this, sizing must be determined to take into account the current and future expansion of the company with regards to users and demands on the hardware and software. When a failure in this stage of planning occurs, it leads to a need for mid-life refresh, which is costly in a number of ways. Firstly, mid-life refresh impacts the ability of the ERP to perform its function, since during the refresh different parts of (or at sometimes, the entire) system will be offline.
The major factors that should be addressed when looking at an ERP server installation are as follows:
The key here is to balance the needs of the business against what the business can afford while at the same time leaving it open for expansion. In order to get proper details about a company to factor in what is going to be needed, we need to first determine elements such as capacity, size of the workload and spikes related to times of increased workload, maximum use cases of the system and projections of the growth of the workload. In addition to this, we must also look at what the time frame of our ERP's operation would be. While in some cases ERP's are project-based, many ERP's are designed as enterprise-wide solutions and in such a case the amount of time that the current server is expected to be running for will give us our operating window timeline.
The impacts of a mid-life refresh on a business could be heavily detrimental. It immediately nullifies whatever benefits may have been gained from a smaller sizing in terms of disruption and cost by immediately forcing the server to be upgraded to meet demand, hampering the operations of the business regularly. Having a proper plan as to what we intend to use the ERP for and for how long it is intended to be utilized goes a long way to ensure that we never have to deal with the downsides of a mid-life refresh.