If you are like most companies, you put a great system in place and once you got it working, you didn’t change much. And while you may have done a few upgrades to the software, your business processes haven’t changed much.
With that in mind, it's easy to question whether or not an upgrade is really needed. After all, you saw great improvements after implementing your current solution, so why would you fix something you already fixed?
Do you REALLY need to switch to a newer or more modern platform? Sometimes the answer is no.
Here are 5 questions that can help you along the decision path:
Can I do more than I’m currently doing with my existing ECM software or am I hitting limitations?
- Limitations can be because of obsolescence as well as features – If your system will only run on windows 7 and your company is moving everyone to Windows 11, you could be in trouble.
- Your company is moving to cloud solutions and your current provider doesn’t have a cloud offering – Some of the ECM software providers that were very successful in the 90’s and 2000’s have not provided a cloud offering for their clients. That’s not necessarily bad, but you should ask if that is on the development roadmap.
- Do other people in the company make use of the current system? – Most of these systems were sold to provide electronic storage of all your company’s content but many never rolled out to the entire company. Why not? Did you just get tired after phase one or did the project not meet expectations?
Have any core applications changed or are in the process of changing?
- Changing ERP systems? Will that break any integrations? Will that impact any business processes? Can your current system keep up with the changes?
- Are there any new standards your IT team has communicated? New servers? Office 365?
- Is your ECM software compatible with current operating systems and software versions?
Have you added new processes or departments that you are struggling to make fit in your ECM environment?
- Significant changes in your company structure or operations can impact the usefulness of your current ECM design. Is it better to redesign your current system or look for one better suited to accommodate your current situation?
- Have any of your major vendors/customers/partners changed processes and are now outside normal processing guidelines like asking you to upload or enter your invoices or start using a new customer/vendor portal? What impact has that had on productivity?
Is there new technology available now that wasn’t available when you bought the current system?
- New requirements around cloud deployments, security, and mobile requirements may change your 10 year old system requirements
- What is the roadmap for your current system? Are you seeing development of new features and functionality or is it in maintenance mode?
What’s the real cost?
More than likely, it will require less cash to keep your current ECM software and try to squeeze a few more drops of value out of it.
That said, are you sacrificing gains in efficiency, functionality, and insight in the process?
You'll want to evaluate the benefits available in a modern platform in your calculation.