This paper investigates the creation of feral systems as a response to an Enterprise Resources Planning (ERP) systems implementation of Systems, Applications and Products (SAP) in the supply chain of a large Government-Owned Corporation (GOC). Using a case study approach and extensive interviews, the researchers found that a SAP system was rigid, highly structured and ignored by some elements of the social system. Moreover, it focused on technical prowess of the SAP solution at the apparent expense of supporting real-world activity. Such a focus allowed the spontaneous creation of ‘feral systems’ that involved ad hoc processes used to get around the SAP solution, to complete important work. This paper begins with an analysis of the feral systems concept and then examines the case study of feral systems in the organisation in question. This paper concludes with a call for future research into feral systems and their effectiveness on ERP systems to support real-world activity.
International Journal of Internet and Enterprise Management / Vol. 4, no. 2, pp.135-147