When you are ready to replace your legacy ERP system, you will soon find there are essentially two kinds of ERP – the kind that was built specifically to serve your vertical market or the kind that was built to serve every market no matter the industry vertical.
Your legacy ERP system is probably a vertical market solution. It was likely heavily customized to meet your specific needs. You may have a staff that has been using it for decades and they may be resistant to change.
For many companies, it is critical to regularly update their internal processes in response to the changes in the market. The most efficient way to do this, is to stay up-to-date with their technology stack. But too many companies still hold on to legacy solutions.
Your current software solution may have served you excellently, when it was first installed. By now, it's probably become critical to your day-to-day operations; and with your processes developed around it, it now appears indispensable.
There may even be the fear that any disruption will result in lost business and potential regulatory problems.
However, at some point, you need to face the fact that the technology is beginning to show its age.
Legacy software solutions rarely integrate well with newer hardware and software systems. Gartner describes the difficulty in making outdated technology work with new solutions as “one of the IT world’s most significant challenges.
But what is a legacy solution?
The term is often used to describe technology which is getting old, possibly no longer in production or has any support available.
Managing your business with a technology stack that is no longer current or supported, is a risky move that can will come at a high cost to your business, affecting continuity, security, and reliability.
Here are some ways that using legacy software solutions can hinder business growth:
Outdated software does not receive updates or patches and thus is no longer protected against known exploits. They are susceptible to security vulnerabilities and are much more likely to be infected with malware.
If an end user is not aware that their legacy application is no longer officially supported, vital data can be lost, as users tend to be relaxed about security.
Ensuring outdated technology can produce data in a format that's compatible with modern systems requires additional expense in money and time. It's estimated that up to 80% of federal IT funds go to supporting legacy systems today. Even the Pentagon uses 1970s-era computing systems that requires the U.S. government to spend around $60 billion a year on operating and maintaining these out-of-date technologies.
The continued use of legacy IT solutions affects the ability of such systems to adapt to modern productivity, security, and privacy requirements.
When you do decide that it's time to replace your legacy solution and implement new software, it's just as important to upgrade with the right tools.
One report by Vanson Bourne found that organizations that modernized their legacy IT solutions reduced their business operational costs by 13%. However, finding a capable, flexible all-in-one system isn't a walk in the park. This is what leads to development of an internal homegrown system, hand-coded over time.
But in many organizations, many of these systems do not “talk” to each other very well. Poor communication between vital systems and departments leaves businesses with silos of data and no clear picture of the whole organization.
Another option to consider is to deploy an all-in-one, horizontal market solution that can be adapted to meet the specific needs of your business, like Microsoft Dynamics 365. More a platform than a software, Dynamics 365 integrates all your systems from email and customer relations management to accounting and operations, providing visibility into the data needed to optimize and automate your business.
Why Microsoft Dynamics 365?
Here are 4 challenges that an ERP like Dynamics 365 solves:
Automate Processes with Microsoft Flow: Fed up with doing repetitive tasks? Businesses across industry segment can benefit from streamlining and automating business processes. Microsoft Flow allows you to design automated workflows and save time by linking apps and services like Dynamics 365, Dropbox, OneDrive etc.
Solve Unique Challenges with custom Apps: With Microsoft’s PowerApp platform, non-coders can construct apps, completely from scratch, that are capable of solving challenges unique to your business. For those apps that almost get the job done, PowerApps can help extend app capabilities to boost app capability and improve business processes.
Extending to Meet Industry Needs with AppSource: It’s frustrating not being able to find the right app to help drive growth and profit. But Microsoft AppSource can help users find SaaS apps, add-ins, and content packs from Microsoft and its partners. AppSource allows users to filter and find apps by category, industry, or by Microsoft product. This feature ensures that users can access industry-specific business apps, that which are compatible with the software they already use.
Improve Productivity by Integrating with Office 365 & Outlook: In the quest to empower teams and boost productivity, businesses choose to use software that integrates seamlessly with others – such as ERP and email. Dynamics 365 can be integrated with Outlook allowing users track emails, create tasks and even edit quotes directly from the Outlook app. Users can amend key data offline and have it automatically synchronized when reconnected.
Upgrading to Microsoft Dynamics 365 can help users manage their businesses with a single, comprehensive solution; one that can manage finances, operations, sales and customer service.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a cloud-based, all-in-one business management solution that helps organizations streamline business processes, improve customer interactions and enable growth.
Are you ready to transform your business and not hamper it's growth by relying legacy solutions? Platforms like Microsoft Dynamics ERP are designed to get you up and running quickly.
Finding the right implementation partner can be another major hurdle for businesses. Aim to find one that:
has done implementations for a company like yours before.
will be available before, during, and after implementation.
have the right combination of technical expertise and product knowledge to help your business.
At Admiral Consulting Group, we have successfully implemented modern ERP systems for many clients, whether they're new to using an ERP or upgrading from a legacy solution.