There are a lot of benefits a true cloud ERP subscription can provide to your business. This includes the hardware infrastructure, security, maintenance, software licenses, implementation, training, support, integration services and all upgrades in a single monthly investment.
The upgrades in most cases include updates, enhancements, plus the required services to help your business take advantage of them. For the most part this is a good thing. Compared to on premise solutions, there is minimal impact to your budget because a cloud ERP subscription eliminates the days of expensive hardware upgrades, overhauls and upgrade fees. When you don’t have to pay extra for upgrades, your business is no longer tethered to outdated versions of technology that minimize efficiencies and impair process improvements. New versions are often easier to use, make business processes more efficient, provide easier access to information, have deeper levels of functionality, provide greater levels of integration and are more secure and stable.
But what if your business is not ready to tackle an upgrade to take advantage of the latest software?
Why you might delay an upgrade
There can be a number of reasons why it might make sense for your business to delay upgrading. Factors such as seasonality of the business might mean your business could be asked to upgrade at the busiest time of the year. The last thing you would want is to risk losing business due to your personnel being tied up testing a new upgrade to meet a deadline. Other factors that could cause a business not to be ready might include a change of business direction, potential acquisitions or change of key personnel.
How to know if you are ready for an upgrade
To determine readiness for an upgrade, careful consideration should be given to evaluating the upgrade. Start by talking with your provider to determine what is required for a successful upgrade. A review should be done of your current business processes to gain an understanding of how the new system will benefit your business. Some of the questions that need to be considered are: What additional training will be required? How much down time will the upgrade require? Does your business have the resources to fully test the new version before going live? Who are the key personnel needed for the upgrade? When is the best time to do the upgrade? What tangible benefits will your business gain from the upgrade?
How upgrades should be managed by your provider
It is also important to know your cloud provider’s policy on upgrades. Ideally they should offer a great deal of flexibility on upgrades. Unfortunately, some will force the upgrade on your business. This is because many providers prefer to have all their clients on the same version of the software. This can be more to their benefit than yours. Having every customer on the same version helps to keep their costs down. It may be best to avoid working with inflexible providers. They typically give you a small window of time to get ready for the upgrade and to make matters worse, it’s on their schedule. Your cloud subscription provider should be flexible enough to empower YOU to call the shots. You should be able tell your provider “when and if” you’re ready for the upgrades. The provider should also help you understand what real business benefits the new version provides. If the upgrade doesn’t make sense for your particular situation, you should be able to pass on it until an upgrade becomes available that makes good sense for your business.
Why upgrades are important
It is also important for a business to stay current on software whenever possible. In most cases the enhancements and upgrades to the solution have been customer driven. These enhancements generally provide a great deal of value. The key is to work with your cloud provider to find the best time for your business to convert to the new version with the least interruption to your business. This will minimize the risk and maximize the benefits so you can fully focus on what you do best.
Ready to learn more about the cost-effective benefits of deploying cloud-based ERP software? Watch this webcast to discover how moving to a true cloud subscription provides a free upgrade to the latest version of Microsoft Dynamics GP.