Guest Blog: 5 Signs of an Outdated ERP system

Enterprise resource planning software is a highly important element of a successful business unit. ERP systems are, figuratively speaking, the central nervous systems of many organizations in today’s digitally driven marketplace. Without the proper business management solutions, enterprises would struggle to keep pace in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

That being said, it’s not uncommon to see organizations hanging on to an older IT infrastructure. For myriad reasons, some companies don’t want to make the switch to a more robust ERP backbone and make the necessary updates to their existing systems.

While there’s nothing wrong with a conservative approach, businesses that hang on to old systems are actually doing more harm than good to their success. Listed below are five signs that an outdated ERP system is out of date along with examples of the negative impacts it has on a company’s operations:

Outdated ERP can be taxing on an IT budget:

The perceived notion of system upgrades is that it will cost money to do so, and to cut costs, some companies may try and put off improvements as much as possible, especially in today’s tepidly recovering economy. With the pace that current technology moves, it’s imperative that organizations stay up to date with their operational software. Business Computing World recently cited Forrester findings that revealed half of outdated ERP customers were using systems two versions behind the current release, which could as much as four years old. The older an ERP system, the more fixes it will likely need. Maybe that upgrade doesn’t sound so bad after all.

OUTDATED ERP is slowing operations:

Although it seems obvious, an outdated ERP that slows business productivity is the antithesis of what it’s designed to do, so if that’s actually the case, then it’s time for a company to move forward with new software. The whole goal of modern-day ERP is to enhance worker production and business output, so a system that’s doing neither of those things must go.

 There are multiple offline components:

The beauty of traditional ERP is that it was always kept on premise, which meant that IT teams had direct access to the infrastructure. However, in today’s digital age, companies that are running multiple aspects of their ERP offline are way behind the technology curve. Newer tools like cloud-based software are helping companies improve their flexibility and agility in the marketplace – both of which are key factors to business growth.


Millennials are known for their technological acumen, so a good indicator that a business’s ERP and peripheral IT infrastructures are outdated may lie in the absence of young adults working there. According to a recent LinkedIn post, Barry Salzberg, global chief executive of Deloitte, said that 78 percent of millennials were influenced by how innovative a company was when it came to decide where they wanted to work. Young adults want to think creatively, and businesses should provide the modern-day tools to do just that.

 Both clients and users are frustrated:

From a business standpoint, modern-day ERP is great because it allows employees to access data in a faster and more flexible manner. Company workers can relay pertinent information to clients within minutes or while on the go, whereas on-premise systems have never had the capacity to do so. On the other hand, if staff members are growing frustrated with the current business management tools a company has, that’s also a strong indicator of an outdated system. Employees want to be equipped with an arsenal ready to take on whatever daily challenges they may face, and in today’s digital commercial landscape, the need to be agile and flexible is of the utmost importance.

Originally published in the Sage ERP Solutions Blog, on 8/6/2014 at 4:20 am by The Sage ERP Team.