ERP implementation: Choosing between a systems analyst or business analyst

For a company to make sure that necessary considerations are made in ERP system implementation, then assistance from a certified ERP analyst may be required. ERP or enterprise resource planning system is a software and hardware technology-based method of integrating all the data and processes of an organization into holistic single structure.

An ERP analyst, or sometimes referred as a business process engineer, has the major role of developing and constructing the ERP system to correspond with the actual business set-up of a particular company. He/she assumes responsibilities to configuring the software and hardware applications included in an ERP system to meet the companys specific business requirements.

Unfortunately, some companies are often faced with the dilemma in selecting the precise specialist to assist in implementing ERP; on whether to hire a systems analyst (SA) or business analyst (BA).

To begin with, a company must have a clear understanding of the difference between hiring a systems analyst and business analyst for its planned ERP project. Basically, an SA has the specific role of bridging the business requirements and an IT-based solution. In contrast, a BAs role is mainly on documenting and understanding the business requirements. Moreover, a skilful BA to work for an IT project must have a sound knowledge and expertise, some previous experience handling an IT-base or -related projects, and has strong connection with the business. A proficient SA on the other hand, comes from a technical background, but has gained comprehensive skills on non-technical areas. Although both roles are visibly significant and are complementary for the success of an IT project, it may be a conclusive decision to rather select an SA over a BA, but then again it all still depend with the companys judgement and resources.