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Intelligent Technologies, Inc.

5 Warning Signs it’s Time to Replace Your ERP and Move to the Cloud


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With all the benefits cloud ERPs offer, it’s no surprise that almost 2/3 of businesses already have or are planning to replace their legacy systems. But your business depends on your ERP. So, replacing it must be anything but a snap decision. It’s understandable that it might seem tempting to keep limping along with your existing system to avoid the hassle of implementing a new one. But sometimes taking the path of least resistance does more harm than good. So today, I want to discuss five warning signs it’s time to replace your ERP. If you can relate to these, it may be time for a change.

 

Warning Signs it’s Time to Replace Your ERP

Difficulty Maintaining Outdated Hardware

This first of our warning signs it’s time to replace your ERP, is probably one of the most common reasons a business opts to move to a cloud system. To keep an on premise ERP up and running requires a lot of work and money. You must invest in new servers as they become obsolete every few years and you must undergo an often time-consuming and difficult software update process at least every couple of years.

But that’s not all, when issues arise, it is largely your responsibility to figure them out. If your IT team does not have the time or skills to handle this on their own, you must find a knowledgeable consultant to help you out, which can slow down the process and increase expenses. Many small businesses lack the resources, human or monetary to handle all of this. So, in this case, the cloud is a great fit. It takes much of the responsibility of maintaining your ERP off your shoulders. In most cases, your vendor maintains your hardware and manages your updates. Plus, they often offer an extra layer of support when needed.

 

Incomplete or Nonexistent Disaster Recovery Plans

With a traditional ERP system, you’re own your own to come up with a plan for what you will when you’re faced with a disaster. And, since your ERP houses some of your business’ most important information, this is a critical step. However, if data security and business continuity are not where your expertise lies, it’s difficult to know where to begin. But if the unthinkable happens without your business having a well thought out disaster recovery plan in place, your future will be in grave jeopardy.

This is another worry that cloud ERP can help take off your plate. Cloud vendors know their customers are trusting them with one of their most important assets, their data. So, they put a great deal of time and money into keeping those assets safe. Most of them will offer redundancy, meaning they keep your information on more than one server, far away from one another. That way, if the main server you used to access your information goes down for any reason, there’s another copy ready and waiting for you. So, you can continue normal operations with no interruption.

 

Inadequate Security Measures

Out of all the warning signs it’s time to replace your ERP, this one may be the most difficult to see until it is too late. So, it’s important to keep it in mind and address it before the unthinkable happens. Just like with the disaster recovery plan, managing the security behind your legacy ERP system is largely your responsibility. Not only that, if you have not updated your ERP system in several years, it’s built in security measures probably lag far behind what you need to thwart the latest threats. It is no surprise then, most data security breeches reported today target on premise systems in large and medium-sized companies. The cost of an attack on your business is downright scary. The latest annual cost of data breach report, funded by IBM found that the average cost of a security breach now stands at about $4 million, a 12% increase over the past five years. This is not to mention the damage a security breach does to a company’s reputation. It’s no wonder, many small and medium-size businesses do not survive these attacks.

Moving to the cloud is an easy way to upgrade your ERP security. All reputable vendors invest heavily in staying up-to-date on the latest security trends and keeping their customers’ data safe. If you’re looking to improve your peace of mind, this is an easy way to do it.

 

Collaboration Is A Chore

Most legacy ERP systems only exist on computers and servers housed within your office walls. But today’s workers don’t want to chain themselves to their desks. They need to get work done from anywhere. This is especially true if you have staff spread throughout the globe. If you restrict their access to your ERP system and the data it houses to the office, you limit their opportunities for collaboration. Why not empower your staff to work when inspiration strikes?

Also, the opportunity to work remotely is a benefit many workers and job seekers now expect. If your business wants to succeed in today’s competitive labor market, this is a must have and moving to a cloud ERP makes this so much easier.

True cloud ERPs, those tailored for the cloud give users full access with nothing more than a common Internet browser. They require no special tools or devices. They can access the system anytime anywhere, without giving it a second thought.

 

Customer Satisfaction Is Suffering

The last of our warning signs it’s time to replace your ERP is another one that if ignored could have a detrimental effect on your business. Just like with your staff, your customers’ expectations are changing. They expect to communicate with your company anytime, anywhere. Many also prefer to use self-help resources to update their own information and solve issues rather than contacting your support team. While this can lighten your staff’s workload, it requires that you have the right tools in place.

 

Because their information is not accessible over the Internet, many legacy ERPs do not make it easy to meet your customers’ changing demands. To give them the access they crave often means buying and setting up add-on tools, which increases your costs and your IT headaches. Cloud ERPs make it much easier to give your customers the on-demand access they crave. First, as we stated earlier, the ERPs information is already easily available with nothing more than a web browser. So, there’s no added infrastructure needed. And, many cloud ERPs offer a customer portal, a secure website you can set up for your customers to access their information with no add-ons.

 

I Can Relate to Most or All of These Warning Signs it’s Time to Replace Your ERP. What Now?

Replacing your ERP system can seem like a daunting task. But it doesn't have to be. With the right guidance, you too can find the ERP that will help your business grow for many years to come.  To help get you started, we have put together a variety of resources to help you assess whether it’s time for a new ERP and find the right match.

Have questions or need help deciding where to go from here? Send us an email or call (336) 315-3935. Our experts have over 28 years experience helping businesses navigate the endless technology choices and find their perfect fit. Let us help you!

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