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Legacy ERP: tips to modernise your system

With technology continuing to advance at a rapid pace, businesses are starting to see the potential of modernising and updating their existing IT infrastructure. They’re not just looking at it as something that is required for running their business, but an investment in future growth. 

As your business embarks on new paths and strategies, it can be challenging to discover your legacy systems may be holding your company in the one place. Modernising with more dynamic and innovative systems to replace your legacy enterprise resource planning (ERP) system can ensure your organisation stays competitive in today’s economy. 

Why do legacy ERP systems create problems for businesses?

Traditionally, ERP systems were monolithic suites, ones that didn’t integrate with other systems, and involved specialised and complex code that slowed down or even prevented the adoption of new technology. In today’s competitive world, modern ERP systems offer enhanced capabilities to connect systems and processes that ultimately offer intelligence and adaptability that enable optimised operations.  

There can be many reasons why your business is still relying on legacy ERP systems, such as business-critical data being stored and maintained on older systems that still work. The cost and disruption of upgrading these systems may not seem to outweigh the disruption of new processes and the change management that is needed. 

Yet eventually, the negatives of persisting with legacy ERP systems can become problematic to deal with, such as lagging and slow processes that reduce your team’s productivity, or the cost and risk of continuing with obsolete technology. There is also likely to be a skills gap when it comes to knowing how to maintain legacy systems or integrate new technology to promote business growth. 

What is legacy modernisation?

Legacy modernisation involves updating and optimising business systems to gain operational efficiencies, address technology constraints, meet customer expectations, and support new technologies. 

The process of legacy modernisation is initiated when organisations find themselves unable to interoperate with new technologies and are stuck between maintaining older, expensive hardware or undertaking the monumental task of revamping the infrastructure. 

Modern ERP solutions such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 help to drive optimal performance with insights driven by artificial intelligence, connect your processes and data to increase visibility and deliver more value, and adapt to your business needs, so you can prepare and respond to future changes. 

legacy erp

Tips for ERP legacy system modernisation

Legacy system modernisation is a difficult process and must be done in the right way to achieve desired results. The minimum goal of legacy system modernisation is achieving like-to-like parity with operational enhancements, but the ideal goal would be significant leaps in performance, agility, and innovation. 

​​ERP modernisation is a complex and challenging endeavour, and can be approached in several ways:

  • Encapsulation is a process by which the main components of a system are reused and old code is omitted while connecting it to new access layers. This provides an interface for legacy components to leverage functionality from the app. 
  • Rehosting is a process that enables easy migration of the whole system to new hardware, cloud, or virtual environment. This improves the system’s performance while not disturbing its workflow. 
  • Replatforming involves migrating components of an application to a new platform with minimal changes in the code. The components that you will be able to adapt for a new system only represent a fraction of all the software running on your current system. The rest can’t stay up-to-date with the modern market. 
  • Refactoring is the process of changing a program’s underlying code without affecting its current external environment. 
  • Rearchitecting is a process that changes the code’s architecture to resolve performance, scalability, and functionality issues as well as simplify adding new features in the future. 
  • Rebuilding is a huge undertaking, but it is the best custom solution that you can get. Essentially, a new system will be built from scratch according to your business needs; legacy systems must be rewritten and new functionalities need to be created as well. 

Tips to modernise your ERP legacy system

Outdated legacy ERP systems can hold your business back, and prevent you from delivering a positive employee and customer experience. Disconnected systems and manual processes force your teams to spend more time on running your legacy ERP system instead of focusing on innovation and business growth. 

Deciding to modernise your ERP system can seem daunting, but the rewards can outweigh the challenges, by reaping substantial ROI and upgrading to powerful new systems and processes. The cloud has opened up new avenues for companies of all sizes to affordably modernise their ERP, by expanding capabilities and creating greater efficiencies. Cloud-based business applications such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 bring together ERP and CRM, with productivity applications and artificial intelligence tools, to offer your business scalability and mobility, to prepare for today’s ever-changing business conditions. 

Modernising your legacy ERP securely and smoothly can be achieved with the IT consulting experts at INTELLIWORX, who can work with your business to deliver effective solutions to realise your true business potential.

Shane Maher

We passionately work on the IT Infrastructure of mid-tier businesses and support MSPs into cloud services. I have over 17 years of commercial experience that includes supporting and managing IT systems, developing infrastructure solutions, both onsite & in the cloud.

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