When it comes to outdated ERPs, and/or ERP versions, the list is endless, spanning from Macola, SAP and Epicor right up to other legacy offerings from Sage, IBM, Microsoft plus more. In a few scenarios the provider of such an ERP may not even be launching newer versions or even catering support functions for them.

It might seem as if vendors are simply trying to push newer versions of their ERP in order to further sales. However, in many cases, they urge clients to upgrade their ERP as providing support for older ERP systems is financially taxing on them and has limited technical feasibility.

Whatever the situation, ignoring an ERP system that is outdated could have dire consequences. No manufacturer can extend uninterrupted support for products or services they may have launched in their early days that have become legacy products with poor support and upgrades.

Here are 10 risks when you continue with an outdated ERP.    

1. Lack of Authorized Support

Dismissing official support from the publisher is a common mistake that a number of companies make. This is because an ERP is essentially a black box that requires trained personnel to make adjustments. In situations like this enterprises will attempt to hack in themselves and make necessary modifications, but how well these will function in the future is unpredictable. In some cases, a vendor simply provides minimal support for legacy systems and this does not meet the requirements of your business. This is a huge risk to your company in case an outdated ERP breaks down and there is no official support.

2. Cybersecurity Risks

Many companies store valuable information on their ERP systems. Without regular maintenance and updates the security surrounding your ERP data is slowly eroded and compromised. You could compare an update to a vaccination in that if it is not regularly administered the overall impact that cyber threats can impose is maximized over time and exposure. Safeguarding data is key and as such updates are equally important. Legacy systems often fall short on cybersecurity safegaurds as time goes by.

3. Obsolete Capabilities

Modern ERPs can often perform many tasks and processes better than legacy ones. They cater to new customer requirements as well. So trying to use and outdated ERP can require complex workarounds due to obsolete capabilities that simply do not provide the abilities required for a particular process. This can lead to expensive errors and also necessitate a lot of manual effort to compensate for these shortcomings.

4. Pricey Consultation

Consultants like to be on top of their game at all times, this means working with the latest software and systems. Shifting with technological trends is how they stay ahead of the curve. The consultants who do in fact agree to work with older model ERPs can charge a large sum because of how few of them are left. This is why working with an older ERP can be more expensive than an upgrade.

5. Expensive Maintenance & Upgrades

Older ERPs are more difficult and expensive to maintain. In some cases, upgrades are no longer being offered by the OEM. Switching to a newer, modern ERP is often more cost-effective and reliable in terms of maintenance and upgrades.

6. Mobility Restrictions

Older technologies were designed in a time when mobility wasn’t a key requirement or mobile devices were not as prevalent. This means that without an upgrade you are stuck with an onsite ERP system. Modern cloud ERP systems are equipped with mobile features which mean your organization can run on real-time updates with modifications being made from any location at any time.  

7. Recurring Break Downs

With any older system the chances of experiencing a break down are much higher. With an ERP the same applies, the older it is the more likely it is to run into problems. Your IT team may also experience a fair amount of difficulty in resolving these issues since identifying the problem at hand can become increasingly difficult. Frequent issues like this can be a major hindrance for the smooth functioning of operations.

8. Compatibility Hurdles

Maybe your consultants managed to hack the outdated software, but this still raises the issue of the ERP is compatible with later versions of databases. This means that the ERP is unlikely to be in sync with the operating system or the hardware in place. As you can see the cascading impact of not renewing an ERP system is evident.

9. Lack of Regulatory Compliance

When a software is newly launched it comes already programmed in compliance with current regulations such as PCI compliance, data security, new tax laws and new accounting rules. In many cases not being in alignment with these regulations can mean two things, the first being you miss out on these features and second you could even be charged for it.

10. All Round Experiences

Experience is a key factor in today’s world for both customers and employees. Reliability and predictability are key factors that drive a business to success. When you’re still employing an outdated ERP to orchestrate activities your business processes will be fraught with unreliable and unpredictable occurrences. Employees don’t appreciate working under the burden of an outdated ERP with its many restrictions and cumbersome nature. Updating your ERP is key to providing better user  experiences that drive greater efficiency and better outcomes.

Are you considering upgrading your company’s ERP? Our team at SolutionsX would be happy to help. We provide expert solutions for your organization’s ERP needs. With decades of manufacturing industry experience, our SolutionsX consultants are not only a point of contact but an ongoing personal guide in building and integrating a system that fits with your operations, goals and culture. Reach out to us at SolutionsX to find out more.