The Importance of (SaaS) ERP Upgrades

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importance of saas erp upgradesKeeping up with updates: for many companies, it seems like a lot more trouble than it’s worth. You must  set a time for those updates when you aren’t in the middle of using the platform, deal with slowdowns while the update is installed, and make sure that everything is installed properly once it’s done. Is it worth it? When you choose SaaS options, you may find yourself even more reluctant to manage your updates. 

After all, isn’t SaaS supposed to host it all in one place, where you don’t have to deal with it? Today’s technology has made upgrading simpler, but it does still require you to manage those upgrades in your system.

 Those ERP upgrades could be some of the most important elements of your software. Consider these critical advantages of keeping up with updates, upgrades, and changes to your system.

New Features & Functions Come Out at an Astonishing Rate

Today’s technology is improving faster than ever before. Now, more than ever, software providers, including SaaS providers, are releasing new features and updates that are a vital part of using the system and making the most of it. In many cases, failing to upgrade your system could mean that you don’t have those vital new features.

Sure, your business is working fine with the current system in place–but those new features and functions may mean improved function, enhanced options, or even simply a smoother, more streamlined way of operating. Many of your competitors may already be taking advantage of those options or using platforms that offer them. 

Not only does that mean they can provide those new functions or the new level of convenience to their customers, but it also  means their employees may find it easier to complete their daily job tasks–and with talent shortages across many industries, keeping your existing employees happy is a critical part of maintaining your business.

Upgrades May Include Patches for Potential Problems

As an increasing number of businesses are hit by cyberattacks, leading to immense disruption, it’s critical to maintain security in all of your platforms–including your ERP solution. In many cases, upgrades include patches that are designed to close potential security leaks before an attacker can exploit them. 

Shortly after a hacker discovers a hole in an existing system, that information is often made public. As a result, hackers can easily access that information and use it to break through your security. Any third-party provider you use, including your ERP, could pose a threat to your organization’s overall security. As a result, you must keep up with upgrades and updates to ensure that you close those potential security holes before they become public knowledge.

Upgrades may also patch more than just security holes. Sometimes, your ERP provider may realize that existing code does not integrate well with your other solutions, or that something has broken on their end that you need to keep your business functioning at peak efficiency. By installing those upgrades, you’ll get the functionality you expect from your ERP, rather than getting stuck with functions that simply do not work as expected.

Test Upgrades to Ensure They Integrate with Your Existing Solutions

You may have numerous solutions integrated into your ERP, including your e-Commerce platform, your EDI, and a variety of marketing tools and analytics that need to work with the ERP to give you the best possible results. Often, patches and upgrades won’t work seamlessly with your other integrations at first. 

You may need to test your upgrades to ensure that everything continues working smoothly and that your integrations are still able to communicate seamlessly as you manage your business each day.

Ensure Any Customizations Are Compatible with the Upgrade

While your ERP provider can check the upgrades against their core base code, they cannot test it against every customization made by every business that uses the platform. If you have customized your ERP to your specific needs, which most businesses do, you may need to check those customizations to ensure that they still work properly.

Making Your Upgrades Simpler

Dealing with upgrades may seem time-consuming and frustrating, but there are ways you can make it simpler for you and your employees. First, make sure you’re working with an IT provider who can manage those vital upgrades for you. Often, they can install them at a time that is more convenient for your business and even test functionality to make sure that it integrates properly with your other platforms and software–and even make changes, if needed, to get everything up and running again. You may also want to:

  • Pay attention to the timeline for upcoming upgrades and prepare for them accordingly
  • Keep up with your own software, scripts, and code to ensure that you are not using obsolete technology
  • Provide training for your employees on any new features that will substantially impact your business or the way they interact with it
  • Work with your provider to ensure that you can reinstall or update any extensions as needed
  • Schedule your upgrades and updates ahead of time so that you can prepare for them, rather than being frustrated by the need to update when you aren’t prepared or don’t have time to handle it properly

Upgrades are a part of using technology, even when it comes to SaaS. Having the right tools at your disposal, including an IT team that can handle those upgrades and ensure that they run as efficiently as possible, may be one of the best things you can do for your business. Do you need an IT provider who can help you manage your ERP upgrades and ensure that your functionality remains unaffected by changes to the systems you use daily? Contact us today to learn more about our IT solutions and how they can benefit your business. 

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