Enter the world of ERP

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Banks haven't traditionally been big on ERP software. That's changing.

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software has traditionally been deployed within the manufacturing and retail sectors, but IT departments in financial services firms are increasingly turning to it. And there are jobs in the area as a result.

"ERP has traditionally been very niche in this sector, and relatively few recruitment firms would actively seek candidates," says Louise Clarke, a manager with the technology practice at recruitment firm Robert Walters. "However, I would say the banks are definitely looking at customer relationship management and business analytics systems from the ERP vendors."

For those not in the know, ERP refers to software applications that run core business processes, such as finance, HR and logistics.

Financial services companies are increasingly using them for finance, customer relationship management and HR, says Bo Lykkegaard, an analyst with IT research firm IDC. "It's still a relatively small part of the market, but financial services is one of the fastest-growing sectors in terms of their spending," he says.

The good news for jobseekers is that ERP tends to be a relatively steady industry to work in. According to Clarke, projects can last up to five years or more. It's probably wise to register with a recruiter that has a dedicated ERP practice (such as Square One or Huntress) rather than wait for an opportunity to arise with a general recruitment firm.

As to which roles are most in demand with employers, Clarke reports that the greatest interest is in IT professionals with good experience working with Oracle Financials and Oracle CRM, or any SAP modules. "There are always a few opportunities around those platforms for good project managers, developers and CRM analysts," she says.

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