My friend and uber analyst Louis Columbus has a very informative post today titled, Roundup of SaaS ERP Forecasts and Market Estimates, 2012, which I commend to your reading list.
What’s interesting to me is that for the last 18 months major ERP vendors have been strongly suggesting that cloud computing would reach ERP in the form of a new model, which you can think of as hub and spoke. This approach preserves what’s good about conventional ERP — which might be code for that huge sunk cost — while updating a company’s approach to its customers and supply chain and making it more agile in the process.
So a company with a single ERP system might reasonably be able to deploy ERP closer to its manufacturing facilities in some replete geography and this system might make monthly, quarterly and annual rollup and currency conversion easier. I might also make sourcing local components and raw materials easier.
I am not sure of any of this because I am not an ERP guy. But Mr. Columbus is deeply into this stuff and his writing is comprehensive and inclusive of other bright minds, so check it out.