Many companies work to ensure their business system is up-to-date with the most current software release to take advantage of new functionality in the software, protect themselves from application issues, and leverage the most currently supported platform technology. But, let’s face it, it’s easy to fall behind – Your company becomes too busy, there are projects with a higher priority, or there are not enough resources and budget available for upgrades.
However, the truth is that the further you fall behind on software and technology updates, the harder and more expensive it is to catch up. In fact, once you fall far enough behind, other issues start to creep in. For example, the database and operating system platforms you rely on may no longer be supported, or you can no longer acquire hardware that works with older platforms, producing potential security risks.
There are two business rules to remember:
- Never fall so far behind in software versions that your company is placed at risk as a result; and
- Do not pay maintenance on or utilize an application that out-of-date when newer versions are available.
While many companies have violated these ‘golden’ rules by continuing to run versions of Fourth Shift that are older than Release 7.50E. Releases earlier than 7.50E require versions of Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft Windows Server that have reached End of Life (EOL) and are no longer supported – this represents a significant security risk. Besides, there have been over five years of incremental Fourth Shift releases since 7.50E was released that add functionality and support current Microsoft platform technology.
All of this leads to the question: When is the right time to upgrade your business system?
Your business will have the most resources available and the most time to upgrade as your company enters a downturn or period of slack demand. Rather than sending people home, this would be the time to upgrade to the newest version of software and technology platform, the time to review and revisit your current business processes, and the time to validate the data your business system relies on. More than likely, your competitors are taking advantage of a business slowdown to make improvements for the inevitable bow-wave of demand that comes when business is strong. To ensure your business is not left behind by others who were prepared and proactive, your company should seize this opportunity while time permits.
Ready to strategize a plan for upgrading your Fourth Shift ERP System today? ICG is here to help. Drop us a line to get started.