Why out-of-development-lifecycle software is leaving increasing numbers of businesses vulnerable


As the age-old saying goes: ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. Yet, when it comes to relying on software that is past the end of its development lifecycle, businesses who postpone migrating systems could risk a whole lot more in the process. While some of the most widely adopted, on-premise systems offer the safety blanket of familiarity through these turbulent times, their ‘sunset’ status can jeopardise company-wide processes both now and in the future.

You do not want to leave your thriving businesses vulnerable and open to (often invisible) threats, which will likely lead to costly financial repercussions further down the line.

Replacing legacy products give businesses the perfect opportunity to reset and reassess their gameplan, and get the right solution in place that will help achieve short and long-term goals. For example, whether you currently use Sage 1000, which is fast reaching its demise or a specific version of Microsoft AX, already out of development, see this is an opportunity to grab with both hands.

From compliance and security issues to falling behind competitors who can operate intelligently and make decisions faster, out-of-date software leaves businesses vulnerable. We explore the top areas of concern and why you should consider a cloud Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system as an all-encompassing solution, designed to empower leaders to remain alert and agile in an ever-changing climate.

Features need to be fit for purpose

Efficient technological processes lead to productive teams, but true efficiency isn’t possible if the software in question is unsupported and has fallen behind the products that competitors use. Legacy products have no systematic changes, no new functions and therefore cannot keep pace with the real and very modern world. Older software products are not designed in the same user-friendly way as current systems either so even if you can undertake a certain task, it’s very likely cumbersome and takes much more time in comparison to a state-of-the-art solution.

Cloud ERP solutions automatically update – often twice a year – which include improved and new functionalities across all areas. For example, the NetSuite 2022.1 Release in February included, a new Cash 360 Dashboard with a real-time enhanced view of the cash position and forecast, with updated filters to allow Production Managers to see what is relevant to their workbench. Automated workflows are baked in to modern business architecture, meaning efficiencies can be gained by never having to undertake certain tasks ever again, such as raising purchase or sales orders or invoices. With AI-enabled features, teams can have confidence in perfected stock levels or gain more time in their day by using suggested marketing content based on previous engagement levels.    

Don’t get hacked

When it comes to driving secure operations, out-of-development-lifecycle software does not provide the answer. The everyday handling of data paired with an ever increasing risk of a security breach calls for an always-on, always up-to-date solution to ensure such records remain under lock and key. Where data was previously saved to on-premise servers, cloud ERP systems transfer that information to secure servers with always-on encryption to protect your data. Thanks to greater visibility of business-wide operations, suspicious activity is also caught early on – with users immediately alerted to any potential threats – and cloud also guarantee the safe retrieval of data should a disaster situation occur at a business’ premises.

Be a business with a view

Businesses wishing to foster growth and make fast competitive decisions need to have a truthful, single and real-time picture of the business and be able to drill down to each and every corner, whether that’s customers, stock, suppliers, marketing or HR. This means having a fully interconnected business architecture. The older the software product, the harder it is to integrate it with other systems, and a firm with siloed and incompatible solutions risk trusting contradictory information. Of course, you can look at inventory figures and customer purchases, and piece together sales forecasts, but after hours of time and even more spreadsheets to save, the data is not likely to be accurate. If a competitor can retrieve 100% accurate information in a couple of clicks while you spend a day assembling a jigsaw puzzle of data – which could easily contain errors – they will have the competitive edge.

Time to talk ROI

You may be surprised but the hardware, server and workforce costs synonymous with on-premise software are much more than the costs of a cloud ERP solution. In fact, total cost of ownership is a staggering 77 per cent less when compared with on-premises cost, and what’s more, the efficiencies created after implementation lead to many further resource savings. Cloud ERP subscriptions are related to the modules being used and the number of system users – as opposed to the perpetual resource required to keep servers functioning – so the solution is far more flexible and grows with a business. Even if the software you use has one or two years left before it becomes officially unsupported and in-house teams can affect a certain number of updates, you need to ask yourself if you’re going to see a return on that investment or if there are broader benefits to put your eggs in a modern basket now.

Those seeking to drive efficiencies across their everyday operations, keep up with competitors and run a ship that’s secure and compliant should not risk relying on out-of-date business software. Migrating from on-premise systems can help companies great and small embrace automation, optimise processes and gain greater visibility from a centralised architecture. Designed to grow alongside a business, agile cloud ERP solutions like Oracle NetSuite offer an intelligent, integrated approach and facilitate leaders to futureproof and more easily navigate through uncertain times.