The Day after Digital Transformation

Last week I wrote a post here talking about the death of ERP. It had a great response – for my surprise – raising a passionate debate around the subject. Now I try to clarify a little bit, or confuse, the idea of “rethinking ERP”.

ETÁ* – A Digital Utopia

The first text, R.I.P. E.R.P., is a fragment of a personal project where I attempt to rethink not only IT systems, business structures/processes and concepts but enterprises and society. “ETÁ: A Digital Utopia” is divided in three parts: The Death of E.R.P. (published), The Digitised Enterprise and The Birth of Ethereal Enterprise(forthcoming).

The Death

Digital Transformation will kill ERP. The text is a chronicle of birth and death of ERP as we know. It is controversial but sets a historical ground for the decease of an Era.

The Digitised Enterprise

Gartner calls Postmodern ERP but there are other names, such as Hybrid or Digitised, for what is coming soon or has arrived already. At this point Digital Transformation takes on and enterprise systems use the four pillars of Digital Economy – cloud, network, data and mobile – as basic foundation. SAP with S/4 Hana and Hana Cloud Platform is the “has arrived already” bit and it will be the focus of this section in a future post.


The Birth of ERP – Ethereal Resource Planning

It is the most complex and abstract part. Assuming that systems and enterprises are alive, pulsing by Digital Transformation, the biggest challenges are: “what will happen next” and “where sharing economy is taking us”. It will be a moment when technological evolution will not exhaust possibilities but won’t be the mainspring of developments. Creating a vision for this stage requires a new and daring approach and the idea is for “Society as a Platform” – no pun with SaaP intended here! For this risky movement the suggestion is a “blockchained” system – remember Bitcoin? – andEthereal Resource Planning – ERP again – is a tribute to Vitalik Buterin and his decentralised application platform called Ethereum. Then Social Contract as in Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau, will be rewritten and enterprises will be intangible, ethereal.

What is Blockchain by IBM here.


I know; it is deep. ETÁ – Digital Utopia – is a personal project but one day I would like to share it with a community – need suggestions for a platform (not “SaaP” for while) – and I call for collaboration and friendship. I have a big help from Dan Barton who let me free, after my deliverables, to think. If this is good thing. Be patient with me as I conclude, abstractly, with a poem by Manuel Bandeira:

They will demolish my house. 

But my room will remain

Not as an imperfect form

In this world of appearances:

It will stay in eternity ,

With books, paintings,

Intact, suspended in the air!

* ETÁ means “a lot” or “many” in Tupi Guarani, indigenous language from Brazilian Amazon.

To explore what ERP means in UX read our blog here.