Factors affecting implementation of enterprises resource planning software in the telecommunication industry in Kenya: a case of Telkom Kenya
In order to respond to today's dynamic business nature many firms have implemented enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. ERP can be defined as a large - scale information system that integrates all business functions into one unified function. Such an integration of different information systems has proved to give organizations substantial benefits that include cost reductions, improved productivity, better managerial decision-making, and facilitation of process and structural change. ERP has become one of the most significant information technology events since the 1990s. Today ERP is regarded as a foundation for the integration of organization-wide information systems. Companies are realizing that they have to implement ERP in order to remain competitive. Adoption of ERP however seems beset by high failure rates leading to a large waste of investment and other resources. This research project sought to identify and understand the factors affecting such implementation in Telecommunication firms in Kenya, focusing on a case of Telkom Kenya. The objectives of the study are to determine how adoption process affects the implementation of ERP by Telkom by: assessing how finances affect the implementation of ERP by Telkom; examining how the technical aspect of ERP affects the implementation of ERP by Telkom; and determining how the human resource affects the implementation of ERP by Telkom. The research questions are: How does the adoption process of ERP affect the implementation of ERP by Telkom Kenya? How do finances affect the implementation of ERP by Telkom Kenya? How do technical aspects of ERP affect its implementation o fERP by Telkom Kenya? How does the human resource affect the implementation of ERP by Telkom Kenya? A descriptive survey methodology was adopted with the Telkom staff in Nairobi as the target population. Using stratified sampling based on the departments in the company, a survey was conducted using a self administrated, semi-structured questionnaire. Interpretation of data was done using SPSS. The research findings showed that the majority of respondents considered the following factors to have affected the implementation of ERP to a great extent: human resource factors; financial factors; technical factors; and adoption process factors. Based on the findings I have made a conclusion that the factors considered do indeed affect the implementation of ERP. Some specific and general recommendations for telecom companies intending to implement ERP are included in this report. Another observation was that Telkom implemented an ERP system that is built using open source software, indicating a notable departure from the observed local implementation trends. This was done by the company's staff without engaging external consultants. Further research may be necessary to investigate the relationships among the variables considered in this study. It would also be instructive and beneficial to have further research to study the Enterprise Resource Planning implementation experiences in Kenya, and particularly innovative approaches like the one observed in this study or the leasing of software as a service (SaaS) from vendors instead of investing in expensive 'off-the-shelf' ERP software.