When it was initially built, your ERP was developed with innovative technology, improved productivity and streamlined day-to-day business operations. But over time, the lack of updates has resulted in outdated technology that can’t keep up with growing business demands. What once performed a job perfectly now struggles to scale with your growing business needs.
Old ERP systems can present several everyday challenges for businesses, including slow performance, lack of features, security vulnerabilities, integration challenges and high maintenance costs. If your business operates an old ERP system and struggles with any of these common problems, you should consider upgrading your system to improve its reliability and overall performance.
If you’re looking to upgrade your existing ERP system, there are several options available. The option you choose will depend on a few factors such as your budget and your specific needs/challenges.
This involves upgrading the technology that the system is built on to the latest version provided by the vendor. For example, a system built on .NET Core 3.1 (which is now unsupported) could be migrated to .NET 6, which runs faster and produces more efficient code. It also comes with long-term support.
Upgrading the technology can be seen as the least disruptive to your business as it builds on the current system, however, there may be limitations in terms of modern features.
If your existing ERP is no longer supported or not meeting your business requirements, you may opt to migrate your ERP to a brand-new one. The key benefit of this is that you’ll have a new system built to your specification, the drawback is the time and costs of developing the new system. It’s worth noting that the initial upfront costs will be counteracted by the savings made on the high maintenance costs.
One of the key benefits of moving your on-premise ERP system to the cloud is that it can reduce the cost and complexity of maintaining your system. Cloud-hosted technology offers huge scalability and enhanced security.
PSP has performed several cloud migrations for old systems, including ERP systems, through Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and more.
If a full cloud migration isn’t possible, you could opt for a hybrid approach. A hybrid ERP, as the name suggests, is a combination of on-premise and cloud-based modules. Some organisations use a hybrid approach as a way to test the suitability of the cloud before committing to a full cloud migration.
New ERP Modules
Instead of replacing the entire system, or shifting it to the cloud or a new version, your business can add new features and functionality to address your current challenges. Add-on modules in ERP software can allow you to automate and integrate certain functions of your business to maximise productivity.
Read more here about adding bolt-ons to your legacy system.
The above suggestions are all ways you can modernise your older ERP system. The other option your business can take is a complete replacement of your existing system. Whether that’s a complete rebuild on a newer version of what you’re already using or a complete move away from your current platform or vendor.
This could be a more expensive and longer approach, however, your system will have the latest capabilities and functionality, and be more scalable. It allows you to build a bespoke ERP system that’s tailored exactly to your business, and integrations with newer technologies – such as AI and IoT – are more possible.
The route you go down will depend on several factors that are unique to your business. Are you trying to solve a particular challenge? Does your system need to be accessible on the cloud? Are you concerned about compliance? What is your budget? Does it need to integrate with other apps?
These are some examples of questions that need to be considered when deciding how you plan to upgrade your ERP system.
If you need help deciding the best approach for your business, PSP can help. We focus on People, Systems and Process (PSP) to design and develop a fit-for-purpose solution that exactly matches your unique set of requirements.
Like with every IT project, the process you follow is specific to your business. There are some necessary steps to undertake before getting to the stage of selecting your ERP strategy and/or deciding on an ERP vendor.
1 Conduct a Needs Assessment
Why do you need to update your ERP system? You might think you already know the answer to this, but you must identify specific problems you have with the current system, or if it is part of a wider strategy to improve customer service, quality, production rates or staff productivity.
2 Define the Requirements
Once you understand your needs and challenges, you can define the requirements for your new system. This could include specific features and functionality that your system must have to meet those needs you listed in the first step.
3 Evaluate ERP Solutions
As we’ve seen above, there are multiple upgrade options you can take. If you go down the off-the-shelf route, there are many ERP solutions on the market, too. If you want to develop a bespoke system, assess development companies with a proven track record in building ERP systems. Evaluate the different solutions and providers, plus their outcomes to determine which one is the best fit for your needs.
4 Select an ERP Vendor
Once you’ve decided on your selected ERP solution, you need to select a vendor to implement the system. Consider factors like their experience, client reviews and customer support when making your decision.
5 Develop an Implementation Plan
Work closely with the vendor to develop your development and/or implementation plan. This plan will outline timelines, and resources and show how the budget will be utilised across the entirety of the project.
6 Quality Assurance
The testing phase is crucial, whether it’s for off-the-shelf software or bespoke. It finds bugs and errors before your users do, saving you time and money. It ensures all your integrations are set up correctly and focuses on user experience and overall performance.
7 Go-Live & Training
Once it’s passed the testing phase, you’re ready to train your users on the new system. Save a selection of work instructions, how-to videos and other easy-to-follow guides for new staff and users.
Once your staff are happy, it’s time to launch your new ERP system to manage your business operations. In no time, you should start seeing the benefits of your modernised ERP system.
If you’ve got this far, you must think that updating your ERP system is a no-brainer. Even though you may see it as a necessary next step, you must pay meticulous detail to the analysis, requirements gathering and planning stages. That way, you can be confident your new ERP system will deliver the right value for your business and your ERP project will remain on track.
Here are some final tips for your ERP system upgrade:
PSP is experienced in upgrading and developing ERP systems. As well as developing innovative new systems, we have supported and improved existing ERP systems in use within a business.
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