Think back to when you implemented your existing on-premise ERP solution. It was a great time for your growing business—you were ready to invest in next-level business management software and eager to take advantage of streamlined processes, enhanced operational insights, increased worker output, and better bottom-line results. For a long time, your system delivered the goods; eventually, its limitations started pecking away at what was once such a valuable resource, leaving you wondering if you should pick up the pieces or start fresh.
You might be sitting with this question today. Growing organizations commonly experience this technology impasse: yesterday’s ERP solution just isn’t keeping up with today’s business and technological demands. It’s a real challenge that’s driving many companies to replace their legacy ERP systems with cloud-based solutions—and ignite the digital transformation of their business.
But what happens if you continue using your aging ERP system? Let’s take a look at the risks you just might face:
1. Bleeding IT Budget
It’s highly likely that maintaining your on-premise software is taking a big bite out of your budget, not to mention your IT staff’s valuable time and energy. Upgrades get more complicated over time, especially if you’re piecing together disparate business systems to accommodate operational changes. At the same time, you start running the risk of end-of-life software and hardware failures that can result in catastrophic (and costly) data loss.
Unfortunately, the longer you go without an efficient IT environment, the more difficult it will be for your in-house IT team to support your needs. But this is exactly what happens when your business needs expand beyond the software’s capabilities. So ask yourself, do you want to invest in maintenance—or innovation?
2. Getting Left Behind
To help you answer that last question, recognize that your legacy ERP system might be keeping you “stuck.” The software is relatively old—and in many respects, becoming more technologically irrelevant by the day—so it contains patches and requires work-arounds that get in the way of productivity. You might even be taking a few steps backwards, re-introducing manual processes (or adding new ones) to fill in the gaps of what your system can’t do.
Likewise, if your various business systems don’t connect the way you need them to, decision-makers might miss out on actionable insights. If your CRM system, for example, doesn’t sync up with the pricing or inventory data that appears on your website, you could be losing out on marketing or sales opportunities. ERP software that can’t keep up with your evolving business needs, which includes essential software integrations, is inherently out of alignment with your growth strategy and actively impeding your progress. Ultimately, it’s keeping you behind your competition.
3. Falling Out Of Compliance
Legacy systems simply weren’t developed to keep pace with today’s lightening-speed regulatory changes. Much of what your system used to effectively automate has grown, changed, or sped up—and continues to evolve, quickly. Consider IFRS updates, 1099 rule changes, or even FASB’s ASC 605-25.
Maintaining compliance sends you back to spreadsheets—and that means you’re losing time, energy, and even data integrity. And when you’re constantly playing catch-up outside of your business software solution, you’re prone to errors, omissions, and potential legal problems.
4. Disengaging Your Workforce
Today’s employees are increasingly tech-savvy in their personal and professional lives. Top talent—the people with the in-demand skills your company needs to grow—expect access to tech-fueled tools and resources. They have little patience for the issues that often go along with outdated ERP systems, like manual processes and lack of 24/7 mobile apps. To retain your most valued employees and attract tomorrow’s talent, your business software needs to answer the call for convenient, flexible, collaborative, and user-friendly access.
5. Missing Out On Cloud Features and Benefits
Today, the web is the medium for information exchange. That’s one of the key reasons cloud-based (i.e. accessed from any internet-connected computer or device) ERP solutions are gaining popularity over on-premise solutions. They’re often the “right fit” for growing companies who want to take advantage of the latest-and-greatest business management technology without needing to hire more employees. Here are some game-changing facts about cloud-based ERP software:
- It makes the most of your IT resources. They’re essentially “versionless,” and updates are automatic. All system maintenance and user support is handled by the cloud vendor—not your IT team (they’re free to participate in more strategic projects!).
- It’s built for competitive growth. Cloud software is designed to integrate and connect to other platforms and web applications so it can fit the exact needs of your business. And thanks to enhanced data and fast processing, users can get real-time, 360-degree views of business performance for informed decision-making.
- It keeps your data audit-ready. Web-based software is always up to date so it reflects regulatory changes. Since it automates your once-manual processes, data is more accurate and can be viewed multi-dimensionally for any business reporting purpose.
- It’s tailor-made for today’s worker. Web-based apps and self-service productivity tools are ideal for increasingly mobile employees who are not always working from their office cube or boardroom.
If you want to learn more about implementing an ERP system that serves tomorrow, not yesterday, contact us!
More ERP Resources
Top 5 Reasons to Continue to Procrastinate on that ERP Purchase
Business Combinations Pat 1 – Consolidation With Your ERP System
The Data Dilemma – Managing Data During an ERP Implementation