Legacy Systems

Businesses tend to outgrow old practices. Simple systems and basic equipment that were fine for a start-up can't meet the demands of a company once it starts to expand. Additionally, big data solutions are now embraced by most industries and a business can't afford to be left behind. Organizations that implement new ERP services should start by analysing their legacy systems. Just because a company adopts new technology, it doesn't make the previous software redundant.

Why replace the legacy system?

Company decision-makers have to decide whether they need to replace a legacy system or upgrade it. An existing system may not provide the functions a business needs, but a whole new software solution could be overkill.

Why isn't the legacy ERP service delivering optimal performance? Specific answers are important. A company must determine which features are required to stay competitive and which current processes cause problems. Once the proper personnel audit the system, business managers should reach out to their ERP provider to determine how the organisation could reconfigure the software or if there are cost-efficient updates available.

It can be worthwhile considering a legacy system renovation before purchasing a new solution. Production lines require software for their daily operations, so a complete overhaul may cause a detriment to manufacturing schedules. Upgrading certain parts of the system or streamlining performance through automation can fix issues without halting procedures.

When the company does need a new ERP solution, managers need to keep productivity in mind. Decision-makers have to plan out time for implementation and choose a software program that can integrate with the legacy system.

Integrating new ERP solutions with old systems

Once a business thoroughly analyses its existing system, discovers flaws in processes, creates realistic goals for new solutions and concludes that simple fixes are out of the question, the company should obtain new ERP services from a software partner.

If at all possible, though, the business should not get rid of its old system. It may be possible to integrate previous databases and software with new ERP solutions. The data and resources provided by the previous tools could ease the transition period. Some companies have need for an implementation process that yields real-time results; services must begin immediately without any gap between the old and the new processes.

To prepare a legacy system for ERP implementation, IT professionals must first clean the existing data. Employees have to check for any redundant or incorrect information. Both systems must operate with uniform definitions and business terms. If managers want the tools to work together, systems have to speak the same language.

As integration proceeds, the implementation team should look out for overlap. Old and new solutions probably provide a few similar functions. If the legacy system offers a feature that still works efficiently, there may be no need to change procedures. However, if the new system proves to be better suited for modern customer demand and data performance, then remove the old function.

Putting old tools toward good causes

Of course, it could turn out there is no place for a company's legacy procedures in a modern business world. Organisations shouldn't keep throwing away money trying to fix a solution that will never perform adequately.

One tool that may have outlived its usefulness is on-site hardware. Cloud-deployed ERP solutions are very popular in manufacturing. It's possible companies no longer need servers in their offices hosting their data. Tech Republic suggested business use old hard drives for cold data storage, testing, training and boilerplate repeatable system operations. If all else fails, employees could recycle the tools or donate them.

Before anything is thrown away, decision-makers have to talk to an expert. An ERP consultant can advise businesses on how to renovate, integrate or replace legacy systems.