There comes a time in many relationships when things are just not working out. It is important to know when to hug it out and when to walk away, regardless of whether the relationship is romantic, platonic or professional. Many companies are making it work with an old enterprise system because of the fear of starting over—the fear of the unknown. Company personnel are dissatisfied with the system, miserable when performing day-to-day tasks using the system, and as one work-around after another is forced, resentment grows. Below are five reasons to kiss an old system goodbye and start exploring other options.
1. “We’ve outgrown one another.”
Growth has exceeded the system’s ability to accommodate the number of users and transactions. Almost all systems have structural limitations based on number of users and transactions. Outgrowing software is a sign that the company is growing quickly and is the best reason to incur the cost of replacing an existing software platform.
2. “We want different things for the future.”
Existing systems may not be able to support plans to grow and change organically or through acquisitions. This is a second sign that the company may be growing quickly or is reacting nimbly in the market. Workarounds will need to be quickly developed and deployed as a new system is acquired and implemented. The company needs to take the right amount of time to choose a new system that provides more flexibility in the future. One that may not have to be replaced if the company continues to grow, change and be nimble in the market.
3. “You’re not the same software you were when we met.”
Over-customization and poor user practices have turned the system into a cumbersome, dysfunctional shell. In this case the best bet is to start over with a new system that is supported by a reliable software vendor. Flexibility is key to starting the new relationship. Change business processes to meet out-of-the-box best practices instead of over-customizing the new system to match outdated and inefficient legacy processes.
4. “We may have rushed into this.”
Sometimes companies succumb to the pressure from stakeholders to acquire and implement a system without the appropriate due diligence. In this case companies quickly select and implement a system before fully understanding the capabilities and limitations of the software. Shortly into the software relationship the company finds itself unhappy when it realizes the system cannot deliver what it originally expected it to. Most companies spend the right amount of time to determine whether a software solution will correctly support the business. In the rare case that a company selected incorrectly, it is critical to determine whether efficient workarounds can be found that do not compromise controls. If the workarounds cannot be found then new software may be acquired.
5. “We’ve run into irreconcilable differences”
Software companies live under the mantra “update or die.” In order to fund updates many software companies force their customers to update systems by terminating maintenance and technical support. In other cases software companies go bankrupt rendering technical support impossible. Operating without technical support is risky and gives a company no choice but to explore other software options.
Key personnel know when it is time to terminate a software relationship, but the expense and disruption often delay the inevitable. Trenegy helps companies select the right software to support growth and change. To loosely borrow eHarmony’s compelling slogan, “Stop waiting. We’ll find the perfect guy [ERP System] for you.”