5 Things You Don’t Have with an Aging ERP System
An aging Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system is like an old house or vehicle—the older it gets, the more it needs to be maintained. And, like a house or car, at some point it makes sense to purchase a new one rather than continue to fix the old one. An ERP system has a typical lifespan of between seven and 10 years. But, with today’s rapidly evolving technology, that may be pushing it.
So, if your business needs to survive in the current competitive environment, having an efficient and up-to-date ERP system is crucial. Legacy ERP systems, which were once innovative, have become outdated and are no longer able to keep up with the demands of modern businesses. Upgrading to new ERP software from legacy systems brings numerous benefits, including increased productivity, improved data accessibility, enhanced business intelligence and streamlined operations.
In this article, we will explore the advantages of upgrading from legacy ERP systems to modern ERP software.
Building the Business Case for Your ERP
Does your current ERP system offer the capabilities and functionalities your business needs today – and will need in the future? If not, it’s time to consider a new solution.
What are Legacy ERP Systems?
A legacy ERP system is any Enterprise Resource Planning software that was once considered innovative, but is sadly out-of-date and driven by outdated technology. Legacy systems were designed to improve productivity and streamline day-to-day functions. However, over time, legacy systems have become ineffective and obsolete.
A legacy ERP system is typically based on proprietary programming technologies that are no longer up to date. It requires significant IT resources for maintenance and support, and it often has difficulty integrating with other systems.
In addition, the legacy system may have undergone considerable customizations and workarounds to fill in functionality gaps and unsupported business operations. The cost of maintaining and supporting an outdated system is high, besides the less tangible costs incurred by the bottlenecks they create in your business processes, leading to reduced operating capacity.
5 Things You Don’t Have With an Aging ERP System
1. Comprehensive, Real-Time Data Access
Today’s business climate requires up-to-the-minute data for fast, informed decision-making. A legacy ERP system may be able to adequately administer or report on data within the four walls of your company but is not able to supplement internal data with external data.
A current ERP system can pull in new data across multiple, easily connected solutions and platforms and update large data warehouses continuously, allowing you to view real-time information from your business, but also show you what’s going on in your internal/external ecosystem, a feat impossible for legacy ERPs.
2. Robust Business Intelligence
A legacy ERP system often has shortcomings when it comes to analyzing data. Typically, business users must ask IT to create custom reports in order to see critical information and show important business trends.
However, modern reporting toolsets are more user-friendly and intuitive, and can pull information from across the organization. And self-service capabilities free up IT by allowing users to create and manage their own reports tailored to their roles and needs.
3. Mobile Access
If employees need to be physically present at their desks, or even at a computer, to access ERP system features, you may be missing out on opportunities within legacy systems. Modern cloud ERP systems and low-cost thin client devices and tablets break down physical and virtual walls, letting employees be more productive by enabling access from the factory floor or on the road.
4. Seamless Integration
Monolithic single-solution ERP systems are giving way to fit-for-purpose applications, especially in the areas of customer relationship management, manufacturing execution or product configurators.
Today’s businesses require real-time data and robust business intelligence from across multiple solutions. However, to do that with older systems often necessitates custom, brittle integrations that cannot be replicated easily when other software, such as a new CRM system, is added. Newer ERP solutions often use open APIs so that it’s easy to transfer data from one system to the other, eliminating a lot of time spent connecting data sources and software.
5. Easier Maintenance and Upkeep
Legacy ERP systems are inherently more difficult to maintain and require highly knowledgeable IT staff to fine-tune them for optimal performance. And often, problems are not so much with the solution itself but because the business has not upgraded the solution in a timely manner or kept current on the latest release.
The architecture of modern cloud ERP systems all but eliminates the need to maintain and update the solution, as the responsibility for upkeep of these solutions falls to the cloud ERP vendor.
Benefits of Upgrading to Modern ERP Systems
Upgrading from a legacy ERP system to a new ERP system offers several significant benefits that can drive your business growth and success. Here are some advantages of adopting a modern ERP solution:
Enhanced Business Agility
A new system provides your business with the agility it needs to adapt to changing market conditions and customer demands. These ERP systems offer flexible and scalable solutions that can easily accommodate your company’s growth and expansion. You can respond quickly to market opportunities, make informed decisions and stay ahead of your competitors with modern technology.
Improved Operational Efficiency
Newer ERP systems streamline your business processes and eliminate redundant tasks, resulting in improved operational efficiency. These systems automate manual processes, reducing the risk of errors and improving overall productivity. By centralizing data and providing real-time visibility across departments, modern technology enables your company to optimize resource allocation, identify bottlenecks and make data-driven decisions.
Advanced Business Intelligence and Analytics
Modern software, such as cloud solutions, offer robust business intelligence and analytics capabilities, empowering your business to gain valuable insights from its data. These systems provide user-friendly reporting tools and customizable dashboards that enable business users to generate real-time reports and visualize data trends. With actionable insights derived from advanced analytics built into modern software, your business is able to move beyond basic data in legacy ERP systems to make informed decisions and drive strategic initiatives.
Seamless Integration with Third-Party Systems
Modern ERP systems are designed to integrate seamlessly with other applications and systems, such as CRM software, e-commerce platforms, and supply chain management tools. These integrations enable your business to streamline data flow, eliminate data duplication and optimize processes across various departments. With seamless integration, your organization is able to achieve end-to-end visibility and enhance collaboration with suppliers, partners and customers.
Cost-Effective and Scalable Solutions
A modern cloud ERP system offers economical solutions compared to a legacy ERP system. With cloud-based deployment, your business can avoid upfront hardware and infrastructure costs, as well as ongoing maintenance expenses.
Cloud ERP systems also provide scalability, allowing your business to easily adjust its system resources based on your needs. This flexibility ensures that your business only pays for the resources it uses within the new system, making it an economical solution for businesses of all sizes.
Key Considerations for Upgrading Legacy ERP Systems
When considering an upgrade from a legacy ERP system to a modern ERP system, your business should keep the following considerations in mind:
Assess Current System Requirements
Evaluate your legacy ERP system and identify its limitations and areas that need improvement. Understand your business requirements and goals to ensure that the new ERP system meets your specific needs.
Plan for Data Migration
Data migration is a crucial aspect of upgrading to a new ERP system. Develop a comprehensive data migration plan to ensure a smooth transition from your legacy ERP system with minimal data loss or corruption.
Select the Right ERP Solution
Research and evaluate different ERP vendors and solutions to find the one that best aligns with your business requirements. Consider factors such as scalability, functionality, ease of use and vendor support when making your decision.
Prepare for Change Management
Technology is moving at a break-neck pace; end users may struggle to adapt to a new system. Upgrading to a new ERP system requires change management efforts to ensure a successful transition from your legacy ERP system. Communicate the benefits of the new system to employees, provide training and support and address any concerns or resistance to change.
Engage with an Experienced Implementation Partner
Collaborate with an experienced implementation partner who understands your industry and can guide you through the upgrade process. Their expertise and support can help streamline the implementation and maximize the value of your new ERP system.
Legacy ERP systems may have served businesses well in the past. However, in the current era, they can no longer meet the demands of modern businesses.
Businesses looking to improve their day-to-day operations with a digital transformation via a legacy ERP replacement can completely replace the missing features of older technology with new features. This is because new technologies do away with the software issues that are no longer supported in legacy software comprised of outdated systems patched together from third party vendors.
For example, keeping your data storage in house, even for larger companies, can strain human resources, risk a data leak, is older technology and is incredibly time consuming to maintain. New ERP replacement options include centralized database technology hosted in secure data storage off-site via cloud ERP software.
Upgrading your ERP technology offers numerous benefits, including enhanced data access, improved intelligence, mobile access, seamless integration and easier maintenance. By embracing modern ERP solutions, your business will be able to achieve greater agility, efficient business operations and competitiveness in today’s dynamic business landscape.
By utilizing the knowledge offered by Ultra Consultants, your business ensures successful implementation, replacing your legacy ERP software. With our knowledge in your specific industry, we can help you navigate all the roadblocks you may experience during the process for a successful ERP implementation. For more information and additional resources on how to navigate a legacy ERP system modernization, schedule your free discovery call today.