Upgrading your ERP: Sticking with what you have

It seems like every analyst, consulting firm, and vendor marketing team is constantly pushing organisations to upgrade their ERP systems. It’s never an option just to stick with your current ERP version.

But who really benefits from it? Is it the organisation agreeing to upgrade? Or the analysts, consulting firms, and vendors who make their money by selling and installing ERP upgrades?

In this series, we’ve been looking at the five main options organisations have when deciding the future of their ERP systems:

  1. Migrating their ERP to the Cloud
  2. Switching to a SaaS solution
  3. Switching to a different ERP vendor
  4. Upgrading their ERP to the latest version
  5. Sticking with their existing ERP system

Today, we’ll focus on option number five: Sticking with what you’ve got.

After all, as the saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, why fix it?”

Wait – is not upgrading even an option?

You’re probably wondering how this is even an option. Can you really stick with the working, stable ERP version you have in place at the moment?

The answer is quite simply yes. You can.

The maturity of modern ERP solutions means the upheaval and expense of upgrading simply isn’t worth it for the majority of organisations, especially given the minor tweaks and limited innovation you will receive from an upgrade.

While other software products are like mobile phones, with each generation providing new features and faster hardware, most ERP systems are closer to landlines: pretty much the same as they were ten years ago.

Sticking with your current ERP version avoids the business disruption and costs associated with upgrades, including testing, implementation, and retraining to name a few. It also means continuing with a trusted and stable ERP environment that is already meeting the needs of your organisation.

Sticking with your current ERP system:

– Workflow and processes unchanged
– No additional costs
– Continue using a stable solution
– Not influenced by vendor upgrade cycles
– No new vendor-provided functionality

What about support for older ERP versions?

For each of the options explored in this series, we’ve recommended switching to third-party support as a way to reduce costs and improve service levels. In this case, third-party support plays an even more critical role. It enables you to stick with your current ERP version for as long as you like, completely free from vendor upgrade cycles.

As we’ve already noted, there are significant cost savings to be made by remaining on your existing system. Switching your support to a third-party provider can help you save even more. Customers consistently save 50% to 90% on annual support fees while receiving a higher level of service and retaining a fully maintained and supported ERP system.

This is a completely future proof option. You can choose to upgrade to a new ERP version in the future, switch back to vendor support if your circumstances change (and even get help with the transition), or stick with your current solution forever. Whatever best meets the needs of your organisation is now possible.

For most organisations, sticking with their current ERP system is by far the most logical choice. By the time you consider the cost, time, disruption, and ROI of other options, most simply don’t make sense for an organisation that already has a stable, functional ERP system.

It’s also a recommended choice by the likes of Gartner and Forrester.

For these reasons, we strongly recommend sticking with your existing ERP system as the default option at the very least. Unless there is a compelling business reason to do so, there’s really no need to consider any alternatives.

Upgrading your ERP: Assessing your options

The prospect of upgrading your ERP system probably doesn’t fill you with joy. In fact, if we had to guess, we’d say it more than likely fills you with dread. So if you find yourself in the position of assessing your options, we want to help.

Recently, we published a guide designed to help organisations make informed decisions about the future of their ERP systems.

So if you find yourself…

  • Worried about falling out of support if you don’t stay on the latest version
  • Receiving pressure from your ERP vendor to move to its SaaS product
  • Wishing you could stick with your current, stable ERP, but unsure if that’s a viable option

…we can help.

If for any reason your organisation is considering upgrading, moving, or switching up its ERP system, this guide is for you.

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