ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solutions have come a long way from their humble beginnings. Today’s solutions are sophisticated and powerful engines of efficiency and success. But even the best ERP solutions require upgrades as conditions change and technology advances. Upgrading requires an investment of time and money, so nobody wants to perform them more often than necessary. But how often should you upgrade your ERP software?
There isn’t a standard time frame for upgrading your ERP. Most systems last five to ten years, so that might be good a good time to upgrade. Understanding the reasons for upgrading will make your decisions easier.
Here are some of the factors that will drive your decision to upgrade:
There are a number of reasons your business could outgrow your present ERP. New markets, new products or services, increased demand for what your business offers. Increased growth puts pressure on your legacy ERP, and some of the growth factors will require additional functions and applications.
2. Legacy technology
ERP solutions that were built and rolled out a decade or more ago are prime candidates for upgrades. Some companies resist upgrading, fearing that it will be complicated or expensive to maintain their customizations. But business objectives change. There’s a good chance that upgraded ERP software will meet many of your requirements out-of-the-box. And customizations may not be as difficult as you imagine.
3. ERP solution no longer supported
If your ERP is several versions behind the latest version, you will no longer be able to receive the support you need. Yes, your ERP Partner can continue to keep things running for you, but you’ll miss out on the latest patches and updates. Upgrading will keep you up to date on all the latest features.
4. Regulatory requirements
Regulatory changes are happening all the time, and eventually, they call for ERP upgrades. Complex accounting and revenue recognition rules, weak controls, and inadequate functionality are primary reasons you need to upgrade to meet regulatory changes.
5. Issues with your current system
If your current software slow, taking more than the standard processing time, an ERP upgrade should be considered. A cutting edge up-to-date software solution with the latest technology will speed up the processes and get your business back to peak efficiency.
6. Incompatibility with your hardware and software
A common reason to upgrade your ERP is if it can’t support your new hardware devices or new software or third-party solutions. For example, your old software might not load on your new laptop. Or maybe it’s not mobile compatible. Upgrading will allow you to realize your equipment’s full potential.
7. Wanting to improve your customers’ experience
Excellent customer experience is a way to move ahead of your competitors. Digital tools provided by cloud-based ERP can help you reach that goal. Upgrading allows you to get the latest digital tools.
8. Mergers and acquisitions
Small to mid-sized businesses merging or being acquired by larger companies is common in today’s business world. The ERP system that served the small business may not be enough to handle the transactions of the acquirer. In most cases, the ERP must be upgraded to that of the parent company to ensure streamlined processes and smooth integration of systems.