Enterprise resource planning software does not last forever. The average system can function effectively for as long as a decade before slowing considerably under the weight of persistent patching, according to IT Toolbox. Of course, this is not some hard-and-fast edict. Companies must decide on their own when ERP replacement is necessary. How? Operational warning signs often materialize when solutions start to slide. Here are some common signals that regularly foreshadow complete system decline:
Vendor support fades
Most ERP makers pair software with robust support packages designed to keep things running smoothly. However, few maintain these programs into perpetuity. Instead, vendors phase out antiquated versions with newer iterations, ending the need for past support offerings. Organizations with overly aged ERP solutions normally discover this the hard way, as scheduled updates disappear and customer service personnel offer little help when kinks crop up. When this situation unfolds, it usually means a complete system upgrade should take place. Why? The answer is simple: Only vendor-backed ERP solutions can operate effectively.
On a related note, companies that struggle to get support for up-to-date software or have been victim to sudden vendor rate hikes in this area may also consider swapping solutions. In both of these scenarios, costs will inevitably continue to build until the ERP is simply too expensive to keep. It's better to get ahead of this spend by making a move before support-related spending gets too out of hand.
"Only vendor-backed ERP solutions can operate effectively."
IT cannot keep pace
Traditionally, information technology teams are responsible for maintaining legacy systems. Even some newer alternatives require ample internal intervention. Many companies are more than happy to handle these demands, especially if it means protecting large upfront investments. However, when technical staff can no longer do the bare minimum required to maintain the databases and other ancillary platforms that enrich the ERP and facilitate return on investment, change must come, ERP Software Blog reported.
New business opportunities arise
Sometimes even well-functioning ERP platforms must be replaced. Why? In most cases, this situation occurs when organizations pursue new business opportunities, according to Panorama Consulting Solutions. For example, enterprises involved in mergers often look for new systems to address integration issues. Other times, new operational goals require the adoption of more robust ERP solutions. Divestitures present similar problems, requiring departing companies to move data from parent company software to their own independent systems.
Complaints and workarounds abound
System users – especially those with some technical skills – tend to develop personal workarounds for overly problematic technology. When users implement these shortcuts in the interest of saving time, there is little to worry about. However, when these alternative methods constitute standard operating procedure, an ERP swap is essential. If left unaddressed, serious workflow flaws simply multiply until the old shortcuts simply do not work any longer. Similarly, users that skip this strategy and instead fill out trouble tickets should be taken seriously, as high complaint volumes normally indicate major system imperfections.
With these signs in mind, organizations can easily identify depleted ERP solutions and take steps to adopt newer technology that bolsters the business instead of weighing on it. Has your enterprise experienced one or more of these issues firsthand? It may be time for a change. Connect with Accent Software today. As a Microsoft businesses solutions partner, we offer the Dynamics platform, which is backed by top-of-the-line support services from Microsoft. Learn more about our offerings today.