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ERP specialists with the right skills are in short supply. However, there continues to be downward pressure on salaries which is keeping them relatively flat.

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems have been going through a period of accelerated evolution over the past few years. The best ERP systems are evolving, as leading vendors such as Microsoft, Oracle and SAP include more integrated functionality for business intelligence, customer relationship management and human capital management.

 Click here to request your copy of our IT Salary and Benefits Guide for 2013.

Leading vendors are also broadening their appeal by creating niche vertical solutions and offering mid-sized and smaller organisations cut down ERP systems and prices. They are also repositioning themselves for public, private and hybrid cloud access.

Most of the increased demand for ERP skills during the next few years is expected to be driven by implementations for small and medium sized organisations. A push is expected towards cloud ERP, increasing demand for those who can work with both cloud based and on site ERP platforms. At the moment, most demand is for those offering traditional skills and experience of established vendors – though this is changing. As ERP vendors reinvent themselves for the new world of Software as a Service and private cloud virtualisation, the way that they make money from their products and services will change and so ERP specialists will need to change the way in which they work.

Many ERP specialists will experience an increase in demand for softer skills, which reflects changes in the size and type of organisation implementing ERP. This is no longer primarily the domain of very large corporate companies. A growing range of organisations want to optimise their core business processes and the market for those with product specific ERP skills and sector specific knowledge remains strong. However, the structure and resource constraints in many SMEs means that ERP specialists often need to be more involved in understanding and managing the expectations of customers than they would be with larger organisations.

With this demand for ERP specialists growing in both the UK and in emerging markets, there are more roles than can be filled. Even so, there has been some downward pressure on salaries, as employers in finance and the public sector have become more demanding and more risk averse – especially for permanent roles. So, rather than the expected inflation of permanent salaries and contract rates, they remain fairly steady. There is always strong demand for specialist consultants, who can deliver package and sector specific knowledge, plus a deep understanding of how ERP connects and interacts with various transactional, operational and customer facing systems.

 Click here to request your copy of our IT Salary and Benefits Guide for 2013.

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