What’s stopping you migrating your legacy ERP system?

26th November 2019 Written By Edenhouse

If your legacy ERP system is creaking at the seams, you’ve probably already considered the advantages of a modern ERP system like S/4HANA vs. sticking with what you already have. Migration is a major step though — get it wrong, and the budget can easily spiral out of control, compromising your ROI.

When we start talking to clients, they often tell us they’ve talked themselves out of taking the plunge, even though they recognise the benefits a next-generation system can bring. They might have previous experience of a project that became a drain on resources, or they’ve heard horror stories of other schemes that hit the rails.

Are your current systems holding you back?

When this happens, our advice is to visualise the future one, five, ten years ahead. Can your organisation continue to grow, and be successful and competitive using your current systems? Invariably, the answer is no. What’s more, given that even the most straightforward migrations need careful planning, the time to start the ball rolling may well be right now.

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Upgrading your legacy ERP system: perception vs. reality

It’s one thing to recognise the need to migrate to a modern system such as S/4HANA, and quite another to be able to set out confidently on that journey. So the first step is to identify what’s holding you back, and then to analyse those worries to see how much of a roadblock they really are.

Perception Reality 

“Our legacy ERP system has been so heavily customised to our needs, it’s virtually impossible to replicate it!”

It’s much more likely that the functionality you previously had to implement yourself will come as standard with the new system, and you’ll be able to retire most of those customisations.

“And what about our aging third-party integrations?”

Again, many of these integrations will come as standard in a next-gen ERP system such as S/4HANA, and any that you need to keep can be developed in the cloud ahead of the main migration, keeping things simple and clean.

“Our databases are all over the place —thanks to mergers and acquisitions, they’ve grown organically and rationalising them will be a nightmare.”

 

Who hasn’t, at one point, slammed the door shut on a messy cupboard and left it for another day?

In the past, it was difficult and labour-intensive to reconcile information across different data structures. Now, by reducing the number of systems and integration points, you can reduce complexity significantly.

“But how do we actually set about stripping out the data we no longer need?”

New tools will help you reduce the legwork. Rules and automation can speed up the migration itself, as well as ongoing data management.

Scoping your legacy ERP upgrade can bring much-needed perspective

Now, we’re not suggesting for one minute that the ‘reality’ is a walk in the park. Indeed, if you Google ERP migration, horror stories abound. But when you delve in, a common theme emerges with these stories — poor planning, and lack of expertise.

Planning is everything

Just like with any major undertaking, if you plan your migration carefully and have an experienced guide with you for the journey, upgrading your legacy ERP system doesn’t have to be fraught with danger. Who knows? It could even be fun!

A readiness assessment can help you figure out exactly what you’re dealing with before you even start out — and you may be pleasantly surprised. Check out our Innovation Watch videos that’re packed with everything you need to know about migrating away from a legacy ERP system.

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