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The ERP Organizational Change Journal

Episode 33

Enterprise Resource Planning: History and Evolution

by | Jul 21, 2021

by Dr. Jack G. Nestell | The ERP Organizational Change Journal Podcast

In This Episode

In this episode with guest Dr. Shadrack Katuu, we discuss Enterprise Resource Planning history and evolution.

We discuss Dr. Katuu’s paper “Enterprise resource planning: past, present, and future.” As Shadrack states in his paper, ERPs (or business systems) have experienced significant changes over the last 50-60 years.  Understanding the history, and a discussion of the evolution of ERPs provides insight into the ERP timelines and the presumption of improvement over time…and perhaps insight into where ERP systems are heading. 

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Dr. Shadrack Katuu 

Dr. Shadrack Katuu

Dr. Shadrack Katuu is Research Fellow at the University of South Africa (UNISA) and has worked in the information management field in 8 different countries over the last 24 years in Kenya, Canada, Botswana, South Africa, USA, Austria, South Sudan and Iraq. Dr. Shadrack Katuu completed his doctoral studies in information science at the University of South Africa.

More about Dr. Katuu


He has most recently been an information management officer with the United Nations in Iraq and before that an information management officer at the United Nations Mission in South Sudan. He was previously head of the Records Unit at the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna (Austria) and before that was an archives/records officer at the International Monetary Fund in Washington DC. (US). He has previously held several positions including manager of information systems in Mr. Nelson Mandela’s post-presidential office at the Nelson Mandela Foundation. He has worked as an information analyst at the South African History Archive in Johannesburg (South Africa). He has also been a full-time lecturer at the University of Botswana as well as guest-lectured in several universities including the University of Michigan (US), University of Pretoria (South Africa), and University of West Indies-Cavehill (Barbados).

He has been involved in the InterPARES Project for more than a decade and a half, initially as a graduate research assistant during the first phase of the project (1999-2001), as a member of the Advisory Board in the second phase of the project (2002-2007) and as a co-director of the Africa Team in the third phase of the project (2007-2012). He is currently part of InterPARES Trust (2013-2018) as a member of both the Africa Team and the Transnational Team (which constitutes institutions such as NATO, UNESCO, and the World Bank). He has authored or co-authored several peer-reviewed and non-peer-reviewed publications that have been cited more than 800 times. 

“The International Research on Permanent Authentic Records in Electronic Systems (InterPARES) aims at developing the knowledge essential to the long-term preservation of authentic records created and/or maintained in digital form and providing the basis for standards, policies, strategies, and plans of action capable of ensuring the longevity of such material and the ability of its users to trust its authenticity.”,

Episode Resources & Links

Episode Highlights & More about this Episode


03:55 In your paper “Enterprise resource planning: past, present, and future”, What motivated you to examine this topic?

07:15 How do you define ERPs

09:17 You stated in your paper that “constraints” around modern ERP include: 

  • An implementation may require major changes in the company and its processes. 
  • Involves an ongoing, possibly never-ending, process for implementation, and 
  • Expertise is limited with ongoing staffing problems. 

Any tactical or practical words of advice in terms of dealing with these constrains?

15:12 Shadracks elaborates on new governance changes and how it affects people, process and technology

17:18 As you describe in your paper, we went from “Inventory management and control” in the 1060s to MRP, hardware and software developments in the 1970S, to MRP II in the 1980S to ERP in 1990s. Can you walk us through the primary purpose and constraints of each “generation” of “ERP” or business systems?

22:32 Can you explain for pour listeners? What is the difference between Software as a Service (SaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS)?

29:30 You go on to state in your paper that  “In the mid-2010s previous iterations of ERPs were loosely coupled solutions. Therefore, Gartner coined a new term of “postmodern ERPs” that were seen as more agile and outward-facing. What does Post Modern ERP mean?

32:17 The value-driven evolution of ERP is prompted by at least two related realities. What are those?

36:49 One good reason to understand the past is to help shed light on where we are going. Where do you see ERP in the 2030s?

39:24 Your article concludes with two observations made from reviewing the evolution of ERPs. What are those observations? 


Katuu, S. (2020). Enterprise resource planning: past, present, and future. New Review of Information Networking, 25(1), 37-46.,

Katuu, S. (2021). Trends in the Enterprise Resource Planning Market Landscape. Journal of Information & Organizational Sciences45(1).

Gartner coined the term “Post Modern ERP”

Want to learn more about some specific ERP systems? Check out these episodes:

Episode 5: The Benefit of Industry Specific ERP Platforms and Emerging Technologies in ERP, Paul Magel,

Episode 26: Niche ERP and Competitive Differentiators, Craig Skonieczny,

Episode 25: Private Equity: IRR, EBITDA, and the value of ERP, Pete Malone,

Episode 21: Industry-Specific ERP and Differentiators: People, Process, and Technology, Paul Van Metre,


Want to learn more about ERP challenges and mitigation? Check out these episodes:

Episode 31: ERP: A Practitioners View, Bob Bucy,

Episode 28: Optimized ERP, Greg Shumaker,

Episode 20: Winning the ERP Game,  David Stefanick,

Episode 6: ERP Organizational Change Success Factors, Justin Goldston,


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