1 April, 2024

Critical Questions to Ask Before Upgrading Your ERP System


ERP as a technology has been around for a while, but the world has changed, and so have ERP systems. Whether it’s from misalignment between changing business requirements and ERP systems, new financial model needs, or missing capabilities, many organizations find themselves overdue for an ERP upgrade – or replacement. However, ERP upgrades call for a hefty investment; what this means for a C-level executive is the need complete an in-depth assessment of the current solution and build a list of supporting reasons why an upgrade is necessary- essentially a business value assessment. As a CTO, you’ll want a project plan and an ERP upgrade checklist at hand to lead this change seamlessly. Hence, this article enlists questions to ask before upgrading your ERP System.

Questions to Ask Before Upgrading Your ERP System as a CTO

For a leader making decisions about your company’s ERP software, there are several key areas
and questions to ask before upgrading your ERP system to make an informed decision. We’ve compiled a repository of crucial questions our clients and prospects frequently ask before undertaking ERP system upgrades.

1. What are the Business Drivers for the Upgrade?

In the initial stage of questioning, it’s imperative to pinpoint the critical business drivers necessitating ERP system upgrades. These drivers pertain to:

  • The need for increased operational efficiency.
  • Compliance with new regulations or the desire for scalability to manage growth.
  • Embracing digital transformation or supporting new business models.

Understanding these drivers will lay the foundation for a focused and justified ERP system upgrade.

2. How will the New ERP System Integrate with the Existing Technology Stack?

One important pre-upgrade factor for ERP systems is compatibility with the current infrastructure and the ability to seamlessly integrate with existing apps and systems. Note that your new ERP solution update should enhance, not hinder, existing tech stack and workflows. Thus, it’s imperative for any CIO/COO/CTO to assess specifics of system integrations and potential need for custom integrations or modifications before jumping to direct implementation.

3. What is the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) for the New ERP System?

The next foremost important thing to consider before upgrading your ERP system is total cost of ownership (TCO). TCO includes initial software cost along with ongoing costs for maintenance, support, user training, customization, and installation. It is your responsibility as CIO to make sure that the ERP upgrade expense is supported by a distinct value proposition and aligns with the business’s financial projections.

4. What Risks are Involved, and What is Going to be the Mitigation Strategy?

Upgrading ERP is no easy endeavor, it’s often fraught with risks such as operational downtime, data loss, and data breaches. To counter this conduct a detailed risk assessment that covers all bases—data migration risks, system testing challenges, and the nuances of change management.

5. What is the Vendor's Track Record for Reliability, Support, and Updates?

Next, if you are going to rely on an implementation partner for your ERP upgrade, there are many aspects you should consider, such as credibility, customer support, and technical expertise. All these benchmarks will contribute to the success of your ERP system upgrade. Make sure to go with a partner with a track record of such projects. You should review the feedback from their existing clients which will give you a clear idea of the vendor’s performance and what to expect.

6. How will the Upgrade Impact Our Users and Customers?

Thoroughly analyzing how the upgrade will affect user workflows and customer interactions is the next significant pre-upgrade consideration for ERP systems. As a CIO/CTO you must analyze the learning curve and user adoption of the respective platform. Whether there is potential for service disruptions during the transition. The best way to approach this is to involve users through feedback loops, training sessions, training sessions, and pilot testing. This will definitely ease system transition.

7. What is the Expected ROI, and How Will You Measure it?

Set up a baseline ROI prior to the upgrade then track progress against these measures after the upgrade. This will allow you to objectively assess the impact of ERP system upgrade. You can ensure continuity by reviewing these metrics and adjust strategies as needed.

8. What new Functionalities Will We Gain, and How Do They Align with User Needs?

Hold workshops and surveys with user to learn about end users’ expectations from the ERP system and the issues they face on a daily basis, them. This direct input may ensure that new features are customized in a way that maximizes user productivity by addressing pain points immediately in the upgrade.

9. What are the Compliance Considerations of the New ERP System?

Maintaining compliance requires anticipating regulatory changes and making sure the ERP system can quickly adjust to regulatory protocols. This calls for proactive involvement with legal and regulatory agencies and a thorough understanding of current legislation. Incorporating compliance checks and balances within the ERP system’s workflow can automate and simplify compliance processes, reducing the risk of human error.

NetSuite 2024’s Leading ERP Solution

NetSuite offers compelling benefits for CTOs and CIOs in search of robust ERP software. The reason it’s a top pick for almost every organization is its cloud-first approach addressing multiple IT concerns like data security, scalability, and remote access. Secondly, NetSuite integrates smoothly with existing systems which is a key pre-upgrade consideration for ERP systems.

Not to miss the data analytics and reporting features that empower executive teams with actionable insights required for informed decision making.  The combination of NetSuite advance operational capabilities and AlphaBOLD experience in NetSuite support makes it a prime option in the ERP market.

To understand how NetSuite has been instrumental in driving business success, you can visit AlphaBOLD’s NetSuite Case Studies.

Spearhead your NetSuite Implementation Journey with AlphaBOLD

Partner with AlphaBOLD and experience how this ERP solution can cater to your unique business challenges.

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NetSuite Partner or NetSuite Direct?

Whether to go with a direct purchase from NetSuite or partnering with a solution provider like AlphaBOLD isn’t just a matter of procurement. It’s a defining moment in your ERP upgrade journey that will make or break it. Therefore, we at AlphaBOLD understand the assignment and guide prospects through this predicament. We make sure that you make an informed decision that benefits your organization the most. These series of questions to ask before upgrading your ERP system will help you decide.

1. What is Going to be More Cost-effective, Direct NetSuite Engagement or Partner Support?

Partnering with a NetSuite provider can be more cost-effective than direct engagement. AlphaBOLD offer targeted solutions that can be more budget-friendly and efficient, tailored to the specific needs of the business. 

2. Which One Offers Better Customization Options?

If a business needs standard customizations and assistance straight from the source, NetSuite Direct Engagement may be the better option. However, working with a NetSuite Partner could have more substantial advantages for businesses that need creative custom solutions, in-depth industry expertise, or a high level of customization flexibility for their ERP system.

3. Which Medium Offers Better Support and User Training?

Businesses working with NetSuite partners get broad support and training. NetSuite partners like AlphaBOLD offer personalized user acceptance training sessions and post-go-live support, crucial for companies to fully utilize the ERP system’s capabilities fully. Whereas NetSuite’s direct training is often standardized, ensuring consistency and a broad understanding of the platform.

Infographics show thatInfographics show that NetSuite user guide

User Handbook to Lead Successful NetSuite ERP Implementation

Unlock the secrets to a successful NetSuite ERP implementation with our comprehensive user handbook.

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4. Why opt for NetSuite Partners for Complex Integrations?

NetSuite partners excel in managing complex ERP integrations. Their extensive experience and understanding of NetSuite’s capabilities allows partners to effectively integrate the ERP system with various business processes and systems.

If you are still unclear about choosing between NetSuite Partner or NetSuite Direct engagement, AlphaBOLD’s blog, NetSuite vs. Third-Party Support, offers an in-depth look into this aspect, providing valuable insights for making an informed choice.

Experience NetSuite Edge Firsthand!

Request a demo today to see how NetSuite can support your business's growth and technological evolution.

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Key Takeaways on Questions to Ask Before Upgrading Your ERP System!

The key to any ERP system upgrades is asking the right questions—from pinpointing business drivers and assessing integration capabilities to understanding costs and evaluating vendor reliability. It also involves strategic planning and partnering with the right solution partner. As you consider upgrading your ERP system, let clarity, strategy, and partnership guide your decision.

Explore the transformative potential of NetSuite with a partner like AlphaBOLD who understands your unique challenges and ambitions. Take a step towards operational excellence and strategic growth by requesting a demo today!

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