How do you know when it is time to replace your enterprise software? Do you wait until the pain is so great that you don’t have any choice? Or are there earlier indicators that can make the process of switching technology a little easier? Making a smooth transition to new technology and enterprise software is possible and the change can greatly improve company performance.
Sometimes, technology improvements make switching necessary. The stream of technology change has flooded businesses with new capabilities and processing power. Since the introduction of the Personal Computer in 1975, the mobile phone in 1983 and the World Wide Web in 1991, technology advancements and adoption have grown exponentially.
Today, smartphones, cloud applications and drones, to name a few, are changing the way we live and do business. Problems that seemed impossible to solve in the past, are feasible today.
With all of this growth, it can be difficult to know when to jump into the stream of technology change. One moment, you feel as though you are on the latest and greatest—the next, a newer technology is made available and your system is dated.
Keep up with competition and customer demands
Sooner or later, you will need to make a change again in order to keep up with competition and customer demands. People have become accustomed to new technology and what it offers—instant access to products, service and data. When they don’t find what they need from you, they will get it from your competitor.
Technology changes have driven business growth and growth can lead to improved competitiveness and financial health. Some technology changes can decrease costs; others can improve the quality of our services. Moving onto new technology platforms can provide cost savings, improve customer satisfaction and increase sales.
If change were easy, perhaps everyone would be doing it, but moving to a new technology platform can be daunting. Changing platforms can be expensive and complex. The decisions you make will impact your business for years to come. That means choosing the right technology and software solutions is a critical part of your business strategy and success.
When does it make sense to change from what you are currently using to something new?
There may be points when changing technology offers little value and other points where it will offer enormous benefit. There will come a time when the benefits of switching platforms will outweigh the costs. When you are trying to solve this problem, here are some steps to take and questions to ask.
Look at your current situation: An outdated technology solution can slow down your company and interfere with your efficiency. If you have a lot of manual processes, your software is not doing its job. It is important to identify processes that are negatively affecting profitability and customer satisfaction.
- Is what I am doing now working?
- Do my users like what they are using?
- What benefits will I get out of changing my solution?
- Do I have the infrastructure in place to make the move?
Look at new technology: When you know that you are ready to make the jump, you will have a vast array of options to choose from. You will need to consider functionality and cost.
Price is only one piece of the total cost of ownership. As part of your analysis, you should identify all costs—software, hardware, customization, implementation, training and support. You need to determine if this platform increases efficiency, improves customer relationships and improves profitability.
- Does the solution cost less than what I am using now?
- What functionality do they offer that I can utilize in the future so I can grow my business?
- Does the product use the latest technology and has it been heavily field tested?
- How much down time will it take to switch?
Look at the new vendor: The technology decision can be made easier with the right vendor. Your technology vendor should recognize the importance of the new solution to your business strategy and provide product, service and support that will help you reduce costs, improve operations and optimize processes.
- Does the vendor have a strong team for support?
- Does the vendor have experience in providing value to companies in my industry?
- Can the new vendor provide me with references?
Following these steps and asking these questions will help you work through the process of replacing your outdated enterprise software successfully.