Academic journal article Interdisciplinary Journal of Information, Knowledge and Management

Does Usability Matter? an Analysis of the Impact of Usability on Technology Acceptance in ERP Settings

Academic journal article Interdisciplinary Journal of Information, Knowledge and Management

Does Usability Matter? an Analysis of the Impact of Usability on Technology Acceptance in ERP Settings

Article excerpt

Introduction

In our global, connected economy sophisticated software systems are increasingly made available to management in enterprises for measuring, analyzing, improving, and controlling business activities and overall performance. These enterprise systems can assist organizations to process huge amounts of information effectively within complex and usually distributed working environments, against an enormous variety of tasks (from gathering business intelligence to managing safety-critical systems). Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems are claimed to integrate, improve, support, and complete management solutions by transacting and incorporating potentially all business functions of an enterprise (Vaman, 2007). An ERP system can be defined as a software package that permits seamless integration of all company information, including information pertaining to several business units in an organization, such as finance, accounting, manufacturing, and human resources. An ERP system is designed to integrate all functions and departments across an entire enterprise and still serve the needs of each individual department (Forcht, Kieschnick, Aldridge & Shorter, 2007).

The primary benefit of ERP systems relates to the integration of data and processes and improved business efficiency (Huang, Huang, Wu & Lin, 2009). Another benefit of these integrated systems is their focus on customers, improvement in process efficiency, and support for building teams of employees that cross functional areas (Motiwalla & Thompson, 2012). As a result of the potential benefits reaped by ERP systems, they have been adopted by the majority of enterprises globally (Zouine & Fenies, 2014). According to a recent Gartner Forecast Analysis report (Eid & Granetto, 2014), worldwide the ERP software market is predicted to grow from $25.4B in 2013 to $35.2B in 2018. SAP AG is the leading ERP system and in 2013 retained their market leadership position and sold $6.1B in ERP software, a slight increase from $6B in 2012 (Great Speculations, 2014). Oracle was second in sales in 2013 with $3.117B and in third place was Sage with $1.5B.

In spite of the potential benefits of ERP systems and the growing ERP market, ERP system project failure rates are still high (Kimberling, 2012; Panorama Consulting Solutions, 2014). It is predicted that ERP failure rates will not slow down in the near future (Kimberling, 2012). The 2014 ERP Panorama Report revealed that 54 percent of projects exceeded projected budgets and 72 percent exceeded planning durations, with 66 percent receiving only 50 percent of the measurable anticipated benefits (Panorama Consulting Solutions, 2014).

ERP systems are known for being profoundly complex and having poor usability (Faisal, Faridi, Javed & Shahid, 2012; Lambeck, Fohrholz, Leyh, Supulniece & Muller, 2014; Oja & Lucas, 2011; Supulniece, Bogusevica, Petrakova, & Grabis, 2013; Veneziano, Mahmud, Khatun & WaiPeng, 2014). Small improvements in usability of an ERP system have been shown to produce many benefits to an organization, and the greater the ease of use of the system, the greater the probability of implementation success (Ceaparu, Lazar, Bessiere, Robinson & Shneiderman, 2004; Almajali, Masa'deh & Tarhini, 2016). Conversely, the Faisal et al. (2012) study revealed that a poorly arranged user interface can negatively affect user performance and efficiency. The poor usability of ERP systems has been reported to cause failures and inefficiencies on process management, which can generate frustration to users or resistance (Hawari & Heeks, 2010; Lambeck et al., 2014; Singh & Wesson, 2009; Yeh, 2006). These users might need longer time to learn how to interact with an ERP system than planned, and they are often faced with a number of difficulties while using it (Lambeck et al., 2014; Topi, Lucas & Babaian, 2005; Wai-Peng, Veneziano, & Mahmud, 2015). …

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