We get it! It costs money, it disrupts business, you need to get used to new screens and functionality. Upgrading your ERP system can be a painful process. On the other hand, not upgrading can cost you more money and time in the long run. If we look at the flip side of the coin, there are also major benefits and opportunities that will improve business processes, save you even more time and help you gain competitive advantage. The key to upgrading is to find a partner who has experience and makes the process as easy on you and your colleagues.
The risk of not upgrading
One of the biggest risks of not upgrading is not having support from the vendor. In a study done by Aberdeen Group, 25% of respondents stated that the reason for upgrading was due to the vendor no longer supporting old versions of the system. Without support, it means that keeping up with customisations will also depend entirely on your team or expensive external consultants. This means higher cost and your team wasting time in maintaining old technology.
By not upgrading, you are also at the risk of falling behind the competition. Your team is spending time maintaining technology, while the competition is focusing on strategic tasks with real-time data to make decisions. Some of your competitors are already able to leverage the newest technology which helps them react to industry changes quicker and more efficiently.
Some external industry changes can be new regulations or information security updates. Vendors usually make sure that the latest version fully complies with new regulations (IFRS 15, GDPR, etc.). By not upgrading, this means that you may have to custom develop in order to comply. The latest version of your ERP system will ensure that you keep up to date with technology standards and support across operating systems, browsers and mobile.
The opportunity and benefits of upgrading
If organisations are afraid that upgrades will disrupt the business, they should consider the positive side of the upgrade path. Aberdeen’s research finds that SMEs who are on the latest version of their ERP software report greater benefits as a result of their solution in a variety of key performance indicators, when compared to organisations on older versions.
Upgrading to the latest version brings significant advantages to your business, your users, your IT team, and your system administrators. Your organisation will experience greater value from the latest capabilities, updates, technical improvements, and innovations released since your implementation or last update.
By comparison, organisations have implemented the most recent version of their ERP software to those on older versions, it becomes clear that upgrades lead to more functional, usable and scalable solutions.
The first step to a successful upgrade is to find a partner who can help you with a smooth transition. Look for an approach that helps you to fully assess your current business needs. Building a picture of what your system’s current strengths and weaknesses are, identifying opportunities and then assisting you in implementing the upgrade. It is also important to assess the resources you will need, the training required and the time frame that everything can be delivered in.