To sum it up in very simple terms, ERP evolved from MRP and MRP II. The history of ERP is not as complicated as Game of Thrones, but more a simple straightforward approach to meet the requirements of the slowing evolving business needs and solutions to addresses those requirements using the technology which was available at that time.
The need for resource planning software was in works as early as the 1940s and 1950s. It dates back to the days when Abacus was used to perform certain computing tasks. This was the very first attempt at using ERP to achieve and improve productivity.
Here is the brief history of ERP systems and software and how it evolved
The initial need was to have a simple inventory management and control system which triggered the need for actual ERP requirements. ERP took it’s first baby steps with IBM, which lead to the creation of Material Requirements Planning (MRP), which helped plan manufacturing requirements and have proper inventory control.
MRP was a full blow software which was running in lots of big organizations and ran on huge mainframe systems.
Around the same time, SAP started its basic roots in Germany offering a product which would pave way for a complete enterprise management solution known as ERP, though the early name was still restricted to certain functional areas limited only to “Systems, Applications, and Products” leading to the name SAP.
Saw the evolution of MRP II from MRP, which also brought manufacturing processes which ultimately ended up being a complete production planning solution.
Saw the evolution of MRP & MRP II to ERP which brought together all the other department functions needed to run an entire organization as one software including finance, project management, sales, purchasing, inventory control, production planning.
Witnessed the evolution of ERP to ERP II which defined all SaaS solutions & services and added additional functionality like CRM, SCM and such, that slowly moved it more towards cloud-based solutions instead of hosting on-premise solutions thereby reducing the cost of running an ERP solutions.
Today we see more cloud-based ERP solution offerings as Saas services, while the integration with Internet of things makes sure that all the connected services can all be used in harmony and provide a better customer experience.