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Home / Insights / Blog / 5 Tips for a Successful ERP Upgrade
January 19, 2023 - by Synoptek
ERP systems have come a long way; from being just good-to-have systems, they have evolved to becoming must-haves, helping organizations uphold business performance and efficiency. While ERP implementation might seem like a daunting task, the challenge doesn’t end at that. Every ERP system also needs to be constantly upgraded, to bring the business up to speed with current trends and ensure it works to its full capacity – today and tomorrow.
As the buzz around digital transformation continues to intensify, organizations are allocating massive budgets to new technology implementation. While it is true that a large percentage of the legacy ecosystem is incapable of keeping up with modern-day requirements, many systems like ERP offer massive potential – but fail to deliver value in today’s digital era because they are underutilized and not upgraded to the latest version.
If you want to drive the best results and ROI from your ERP investment, you need to manage it across its full lifecycle. Undergoing an ERP system is a great way to align your business with evolving trends while ensuring it offers all the capabilities you need to meet your unique needs. It can be the perfect vehicle for enabling new lines of business, improving user experience, and enhancing efficiency. But when done poorly, an ERP upgrade can also threaten business continuity and derail your core business operations.
So, how do you embark on an ERP system upgrade journey? What factors should you keep in mind? How should you approach the upgrade path? Let’s look at the top considerations to avoid data mapping difficulties and scope creep.
If you’ve been using an ERP system for a while, it is natural that your business processes have evolved over time. For a successful ERP upgrade, you must factor in your workflows and assess if they fulfill both business and audit needs. This will also help you better understand if and how new enhancements, modules, and features will help augment existing workflows.
Undertaking an ERP upgrade doesn’t necessarily mean implementing every feature being offered. Any ERP system available in the market today boasts a plethora of new modules and features, but the onus of identifying which features or capabilities are needed by your business is entirely on you. In the fear of losing out to the competition or not being relevant to customers -instead of implementing every new module, take the time to conduct a gap analysis of your current ERP instance, determine missing capabilities, and see which new modules or features help in filling the gaps you currently have.
In addition to assessing new features, it is also important to take a moment to ensure documentation around processes, policies, and procedures are up to date. This is important since a lot would have changed since you first implemented your ERP solution. Reviewing current documentation can help you better understand what your current ERP system lacks and the alterations or improvements you need to make to improve efficiency, consistency, and compliance.
An ERP system upgrade needs to be backed by a team of skilled professionals who can help establish a project plan and bring it to fruition. The right team can bring a lot to the table: it can clarify objectives, build a robust roadmap, finalize the scope and timeline, establish roles and responsibilities, simplify data mapping, and ensure the right budget allocation. Choose individuals who want to be involved, have the appropriate skill set and are willing to work with other team members. This will help ensure processes go smoothly and the updates and changes needed are suitably covered.
If you think your ERP users will be just as comfortable using the features of an upgraded system, think again! A user base that is accustomed to working a particular way needs to be thoroughly trained on the new refreshes that have been brought about. Not only is this important for better adoption, but it also impacts the productivity and efficiency of your workforce – which will eventually manifest in your bottom line.
Love it or hate it, an ERP system upgrade is indispensable for the effective functioning of any business. It can allow you to access modern capabilities, operate your business with greater efficiency, and ensure you receive unmatched vendor support. But in today’s day and age of digital change, an ERP upgrade isn’t just a one-time project. It is a critical undertaking and needs to be done keeping the goals and objectives of the organization in mind. If you want to avoid a failed ERP implementation, meet your business objectives and get everyone on the same page, you need to assess new capabilities, ensure documentation is up to date, have the right team in place, and thoroughly train your users.
Synoptek can help you evolve and transform your application landscape. As your business needs change, we can ensure the absolute alignment of your ERP system with your strategic vision so that you can achieve your business goals with ease. Contact us today to make the most of our highly flexible, scalable, and available Managed Applications Model and extend the capabilities of your ERP application through a well-planned, well-executed upgrade.
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