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Ken Jacobsen, The TM Group Inc.

What To Do with Legacy Systems during New ERP Implementation


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Businesses tend to outgrow old practices. Simple systems and basic equipment that were fine for a startup can't meet the demands of a company once it starts to expand. Additionally, big data solutions are now embraced by most industries and a business can't afford to be left behind.

Organizations that implement new ERP services should start by analyzing their legacy systems. Just because a company adopts new technology, it doesn't make the previous software useless.

Why replace the legacy system?
Company decision-makers have to decide whether they need to replace a legacy system or upgrade it. An existing system may not provide the functions a business needs, but a whole new software solution could be overkill.

Why isn't the legacy ERP service delivering optimal performance? Specific answers are important. A company must determine which features are required to stay competitive and which current processes cause problems. Once the proper personnel audit the system, business managers should reach out to their ERP provider to determine how the organization could reconfigure the software or if there are cost-efficient updates available.

Food Engineering suggested food manufacturers should consider a legacy system renovation before purchasing a new solution. Production lines require software for their daily operations, so a complete overhaul may cause a detriment to manufacturing schedules. Upgrading certain parts of the system or streamlining performance through automation can fix issues without halting procedures.

When the company does need a new ERP solution, managers need to keep productivity in mind. Decision-makers have to plan out time for implementation and choose a software program that can integrate with the legacy system.

Integrating new ERP solutions with old systems
Once a business thoroughly analyzes its existing system, discovers flaws in processes, creates realistic goals for new solutions and concludes simple fixes are out of the question, the company should obtain new ERP services from a software partner.

If at all possible, though, the business should not get rid of its old system. It may be possible to integrate previous databases and software with new ERP solutions. The data and resources provided by the previous tools could ease the transition period. TechTarget said some companies have need for an implementation process that yields real-time results; services must begin immediately without any gap between the old and the new processes.

To prepare a legacy system for ERP implementation, IT professionals must first clean the existing data. Employees have to check for any redundant or incorrect information. Both systems must operate with uniform definitions and business terms. If managers want the tools to work together, systems have to speak the same language.

As integration proceeds, the implementation team should look out for overlap. Old and new solutions probably provide a few similar functions. If the legacy system offers a feature that still works efficiently, there may be no need to change procedures. If the new system proves to be better suited for modern customer demand or data performance, however, remove the old function.

Putting old tools toward good causes
Of course, it could turn out there is no place for a company's legacy procedures in a modern business world. Organizations shouldn't keep throwing away money trying to fix a solution that will never perform adequately.

One tool that may have outlived it's usefulness is on-site hardware. Cloud-deployed ERP solutions are very popular in manufacturing. It's possible companies no longer need servers in their offices hosting their data. TechRepublic suggested business use old hard drives for cold data storage, testing, training and boilerplate repeatable system operations. If all else fails, employees could recycle the tools or donate them.

Before anything is thrown away, decision-makers have to talk to an expert. An ERP consultant can advise businesses on how to renovate, integrate or replace legacy systems.

By The TM Group

One Response to “What To Do with Legacy Systems during New ERP Implementation”

  1. Annie Marks says:

    Implementing new systems can definitely be frustrating, but if you are willing to learn them they can often be more efficient. Legacy software I would agree, will make your life a lot easier once you start using it and as you are able to see all the features it offers! The legacy software system can can help in all your business software needs! Thank you for sharing your input on the legacy software and the tips that you have for other customers in using it!