The Millennial First World workforce is post-transactional. New college graduates are simply unwilling to harness themselves to keyboards and bang away for 8 hours a day keying data in or pulling data out of old-school software. They realize how wasteful and demeaning it is to spend the best years of their lives acting as human interfaces between machines. They want to use their creativity, knowledge, skills and persuasion networks to solve real world problems. The machines they communicate through serve them, not the other way around.
SAP and Oracle are the two dominant ERP software vendors for large businesses. I’ve had the good fortune to experience their ERP products at a detailed level, as well as several other vendors’. All of the scalable systems share a common weakness – in an effort to appeal to as broad an audience as possible, their internal functions have become extraordinarily complicated, which renders them too big to radically alter. In turn, this has driven a calcification of business processes, requiring an expensive overhead structure that has contributed to the loss of millions of manufacturing jobs in the U.S.A. and Western Europe.
Today we need industrial software systems that have “complexity metrics,” that can understand the strength of connections between people, problems, resources and constraints, in order to create a digital environment of orchestrated, laser-focused team problem solving that maximizes the value throughput of the organization. We need event-driven architecture and event processing – the ability to signal actionable intelligence to the users in real time based on the actions of other actors in the global supply chain and internal operations environment.
Industrial software developers should deliver user experiences that look and operate like MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games) like Star Wars The Old Republic, or TPSs (Third Person Shooters) like Tom Clancy’s The Division.
Let’s do away with complex data entry screens and replace them with rule-based automation, and single-touch transactions. Armed with industrial software systems that leverage the latest most appropriate technology, the Millenials will surely reignite the First World manufacturing sector, bringing millions of good paying jobs back to our shores, where they are desperately needed.