Are you facing a decision to upgrade your ERP? When meeting with businesses across the globe, the most common question I receive is “Is there value in upgrading my ERP application?” And my answer is this: 20 years ago, upgrades were important because new features and functionality were being introduced all the time based on the evolution of software. However today, these software products are stable, and upgrades are not as important as they used to be.
This short video, part of the Rimini Street Tech Talk series, offers insight on how you can maximize your return on investment by building out functionality and enhancing existing systems.
What else can you do with the time, money and energy required to keep pace with ERP upgrades?
Innovate within – After years of consulting work, I realized that instead of doing expensive upgrades that often resulted in little-to-no return on investment clients would be better off investing that money in building out functionality and enhancing what they have so that they can attain the real promise of ERP, which is to benefit the bottom line with operational efficiencies that can be leveraged globally. It is, in fact, possible to innovate with your existing ERP, and, in my opinion, that is a much better option than simply doing an upgrade.
Realize the value in your existing ERP – We have clients on all different releases of Oracle and SAP. The thing they have in common is that the specific release they are on more than meet their needs. The technology delivery of ERP has changed, but the functionality has been relatively stable for the last 10 to 15 years. These clients have value that can be realized because the existing application functionality significantly outweighs the cost, effort and disruption inherent in ERP upgrades or moving to new providers that can instead be allocated to enhance what they have today by adding software products that are truly innovative to their existing ERP.
In many cases, the value of updates is marginal, but regression testing and implementing them still costs you in time, effort and budget.
Add cloud components – Take advantage of innovation from the cloud without abandoning your existing ERP investments. Many enterprises are already in the process of moving to hybrid IT architectures that mix the best of software as a service (SaaS) with traditional software running in their own data centers or in cloud Infrastructure as a service arrangement. Where there are gaps in your current ERP implementation, you may find you can adopt better functionality with less hassle by adopting and integrating best-of-breed cloud services.
Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to upgrade depends on how well your current ERP environment satisfies your organization’s current and future business requirements. Make your decisions based on your own Business-Driven Roadmap approach, rather than letting a vendor product roadmap dictate your technology choices and upgrade schedule.