How you utilise technology today, and in particular your ERP or business management software, is critical to the success of your business but it is becoming broader and ever more encompassing every day. Getting up to speed on the latest technologies is paramount if you're looking for a Sage alternative or equivalent system.
Today’s competitive environment is putting more and more pressure on businesses to replace systems they have outgrown. The challenges (cost, time and lack of functionality) are often too steep for a company to keep growth on track. While ‘making do’ can hold you over in the short to medium-term, eventually the time will come when you’ll have to move on.
In the past, ERP technology has been slow to change but the last few years have seen some major forces at work. In fact ERP software has been evolving at break-neck speed with greater mobility, analytics & reporting options and seamless integration with 3rd party applications now an important element of most ERP implementations.
Cloud-based options are also more widely available. Some ERP vendors are buying up specialised cloud products and integrating them with their ERP systems. Others are building their own cloud-based specialised solutions. It can be hard to decide which path to follow however. Our blog on the cloud and cloud ERP software might help you here.
New enterprise applications are replacing old software as companies seek to access one flexible system to run their business. Modern ERP software has made enterprise mobility, business analytics and e-commerce more easily accessible. They also now support better collaboration and facilitate data access through responsive user and role interfaces. Better business intelligence and advance analytics have transformed ERP software, making them more predictive and prescriptive.
ERP systems are simply getting smarter and more efficient
Typically, when businesses are selecting software to implement, aside from cost, they focus on the functionality of the software they are evaluating. And while the functional fit of software to current business processes is important, the ability to adapt to future business processes is much more vital in a competitive industry.
Much of that future adaptability depends on the underlying platform on which the business management software is built.
Some popular business software products have been around for years and appear to be a good choice. On closer inspection however, they can reveal that they are based on old and limited technology. You need to invest in technology that is built using a modern framework that embraces modern tools and techniques to empower you to adopt best practice. It must provide you with the flexibility you need to continuously enhance your competitive advantage and serve your customers better.
Don’t be fooled by vendors who repackage a product just to prolong the life of their system. Look deeper into the architecture of the system to see if it is utilising modern technologies (for example .NET Framework, SQL databases) and has the capability to adapt to new and exciting ways to run your business more efficiently.
We understand it can be hard to stay informed of the latest ERP technologies. Setting up a dedicated project team to research the different systems is a worthwhile undertaking. The technology you employ should enable your business to be at your best but technology can only do this if it’s the perfect fit for your business.
So if you’re looking for a Sage alternative or similar ERP product be sure to find out what platform the system is built on. How is the database managed? Is there a natural upgrade migration path? The one thing you don’t want to do is buy a system that will need to be upgraded within a few years of purchase. In some cases, this can mean starting from scratch again (and thus having to employ a new system with a different look and feel). That is a situation you’ll want to avoid especially when you expect a system to last at least the industry average of 7/8 years.
It’s also worth investigating if your system of choice adds new features and modules on a regular basis? How often are improvements made to the software? What is on their product roadmap? Do they seem progressive and innovative?