The True Cost of Waiting to Upgrade Your ERP
Every business reaches a point when they’ve outgrown spreadsheets and need to implement Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, or they’ve outgrown their existing solution and need to evaluate next steps. Deciding whether to upgrade ERP solutions or add complementary solutions to the current solution can be very challenging and daunting.
When you ask businesses what’s holding them back from implementing ne ERP or upgrading ERP it almost always comes down to the time and cost involved. Also, considering the time it takes to evaluate options in order to decide what to do next, no organization will be able to make commit to a decision so quickly. That’s why so many businesses put off the decision for months or even years—but what are the true impacts of putting off ERP update? One pattern we have noticed in our year of technology consulting is that the negative impacts of an outgrown ERP will only grow larger and more quickly over time.
Why Businesses Stall their ERP Implementation
One reason it is so easy for businesses to put off implementing or upgrading ERP is that they simply don’t realize the extent to which their current solution (or perhaps lack-there-of) is holding them back. Modern ERPs empower your business with features like real-time information updates on the cloud, mobile access, advanced integrations with niche industry-specific solutions, and seamless data flow between multiple systems.
Challenges Stemming from Lack of ERP Software
It is also extremely common for businesses to reject an ERP upgrade because their organization is operating fine without it. But without a proper business analysis, it is often difficult for internal members of a business to recognize bottlenecks, threats, and opportunities for improvement. An ERP discovery can calculate how much time you spend on audits, manual processes, and manual data calculations and data entry.
Evidence shows that when you delay implementing an ERP or upgrading ERP, your organization’s ability to run effectively and gain adequate insight into your data is greatly reduced, making it difficult for managers and executives to make informed decisions. Aberdeen Group unveiled that the most common challenge businesses without an updated ERP faced was redundant data (35%), which equates to employee inefficiency and lack of visibility, both of which can lead to frustration amongst your team. Other top challenges included systems that can’t interact with each other (33%) and systems that cannot track business processes (33%). When you have multiple disconnected systems that collect different unique data and KPIs, but they cannot sync with each other, it is quite useless. Numbers are only meaningful and actionable if they can be measured against other numbers, such as customer information.
Many businesses believe they are “too small” to need an ERP upgrade or implementation. However, there are many modern ERP solutions that are designed scaled for small businesses without tremendous costs. It’s also important to realize that oftentimes, the lack of an ERP can be actually what is keeping a business from growing.
Benefits of Upgrading ERP
According to Aberdeen Group’s recent whitepaper, businesses using modern ERPs on the latest version were 17% to 36% more likely to have access to modern technology (such as access to ERP from mobile devices or integration with social business capabilities like activity steams) than those businesses using outdated systems. The access to today’s newest functionalities and usability improvements offered in updated ERP solutions help you recognize growth opportunities and holes in your business. Most of all, upgrading to an ERP solution with functions specific to your business will prove significant productivity, efficiency, and revenue gains.
Inaction is Not an Option
The long and the short of it is that the longer you wait, the more complex and expensive it’s going to get to bring your systems up-to-date.
How do you know when it’s time to implement or upgrade your ERP?
Download Aberdeen Group’s full whitepaper for insight into challenges businesses are experiencing today, reasons they replace or update their ERP, and the benefits they experience from an upgraded ERP. Don’t just take it from us. Learn what’s possible for your business from 231 businesses that were once in the same shoes as you.