Managing your IFS upgrade
The specific reasons companies invest in IFS ERP can vary. Typically, cost reductions and productivity enhancements top the list, so keeping up to date with the newest releases, features and processes is vital, right? Based on the conversations I have had with IFS customers over the years, businesses often spend considerable time internally debating when the right time for their IFS upgrade will be. Often many are unsure how to tell if the time is right or not.
While some businesses may be sceptical of the upheaval that is associated with upgrading, often the disruption and costs are dwarfed by the benefits to profits and efficiencies that are a direct result from updating to the latest ERP systems.
I have compiled a few reasons companies and customers have chosen to upgrade to a newer version of IFS over the years:
Little vendor support
As with any software provider, there is only so long the vendor will commit to supporting and updating an outdated version of their software, with them justifiably keen to spend their time developing and supporting the most recent version, and in most instances, the preceding version.
Whilst staying with an outdated and unsupported version of IFS may save money in the short-term, leaving your IFS upgrade too long means you will have to jump several versions in one upgrade, resulting in a business having to tackle a substantial upgrade project. The longer a system is left to be updated the more issues the end user risks facing such as new features and a different interface, leading to a more time-consuming and costly transition.
Lack of Standard features
Regardless of whether it is a systems feature, such as IFS Lobbies (only available in Apps9 and Apps10), or a functionality that is specific to an industry, not being able to use most recent technology can be high risk for a business. Often, this can lead to a business being left behind, especially if your competitors have access to the functionality.
New versions are compatible with the Cloud
With on-premises ERP systems, data and document storage occurs on a local server. If the local server encounters an error and stops working for any reason, there is a chance that some of the information hosted on the server will be lost.
Cloud-based ERP systems ensure that data is secure and is routinely backed up. Other benefits include improved availability and disaster recovery, improved usability, and increased mobility. A notable feature of a cloud-based ERP system is that it has rapid updates and upgrades, which can ensure your software stays up to date at all times.
As software developers release new updates, they naturally stop actively supporting older versions, meaning if a new regulation comes in, those on older versions run the risk of not being compliant.
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), an EU law designed to strengthen an individual’s rights regarding their personal data, is a key example of how a new regulation can lead to the need for the development of ERP software.
An entity who does not comply with GDPR can find a fine up to £20 million or 4% of their annual global turnover, whichever is greater. Running the risk of being none compliant for a business is not a feasible option. Recent austerity has resulted in businesses spending substantial sums to ensure they are compliant, a process that could have been aided greatly had they kept their ERP system up-to-date.
Ensuring your business systems seamlessly work together is one of the key factors behind how efficient businesses can be when it comes to their system processes.
Relying on an ERP system that is not easily integrated into your business and prevents the effective transfer of data, can result in efficiency issues consequently increasing manual work. Modern ERP versions tend to be more open to integration, naturally making it easy for developers to ensure your business systems are working in partnership.
An effective and modern ERP system is a powerful tool that can help your business operate in a very competitive market. It is necessary when considering an IFS upgrade, to discover the best products available for your business, as this ERP resource is implemented to increase productivity, not cause confusion.
It can be problematic to determine when you should upgrade your ERP system. However, taking time to evaluate your current system, red flags will greatly guide your decision. ERP software was created to make a business run smoothly and effectively, so don’t hold on to outdated programs because you feel comfortable working with them. Make the jump, take the educated risk and reap the rewards of efficiency.