Why A Legacy ERP Is Holding Your Business Back

Posted by anthillsoftwareleeds in Insights - Last updated

Retaining legacy ERP systems can create a host of problems and challenges, stifling your business and compromising your success.

Through a combination of outdated infrastructure and “out of the box” rigidity, frustrations can come to a head.

Yet the motivation for change is too regularly overpowered by the comfortability of what’s familiar.

Question is, is sticking with what you know worth risking your prosperity?

The Problem With Legacy ERP

Maintaining what was once cutting edge infrastructure but has now become outdated technology can quickly become more hindrance than help.

“More than three-quarters of business leaders say their current on-premise ERP system does not meet the needs of their business”.

Vanilla Tech

Countless companies are still using big, clunky legacy ERP systems.

As undoubtedly brilliant as they were for intended initial uses, they were not designed for effective control and crystal clear visibility over the customer process.

Such applications are often “off the shelf”, with customisations both costly and time consuming.

So rather than moulding the software to your offering, you have to put your “square peg” organisation through a legacy ERP “round hole”.

In such a competitive business environment, it’s difficult to see how organisations can perform to their full potential whilst being so held back.

Legacy ERP Issues To Avoid

So what are the issues at hand? And how does your legacy ERP hold your business back?

Here are 7 common problems that arise from a failure to adapt and adopt alternative technologies…

Maintenance Costs

What was once suited to your smaller operation, has since become strained and struggles to keep up with new demands placed on your growing business.

Not only can this drain time, money and resources, it can also restrict your day to day processing abilities.

Mothballed Software

Perhaps your original vendor has since been bought out or a larger ERP suppliers absorbed the competition.

Since then, the technology and systems have degraded over time.

With minimal investment assigned to maintain operations they slow down and fail to innovate having a detrimental impact on your own business processes.

Disparate Systems

If your ERP can’t perform every task you require, the only option is to introduce more technology.

Over time, the number of disparate systems can begin to add up and without the ability to integrate with the remainder of your software stack, data becomes isolated and inconsistent.

Integrating fuels efficiency and facilitates automation.

When a legacy ERP lacks the required functionality to play nicely with other applications, processes break and workflows stall.

Unreliable Data

Unreliable data is an inevitable by product of disparate systems.

“The average worker spends nearly 20% of their time looking for internal information or tracking down colleagues who can help with specific tasks”.


Technology is there to make your life easier so a lack of alignment is problematic.

If you can’t trust your data, how can you make the best business decisions?

Mitigating the impact of your Legacy ERP via a single source of truth (SSOT) can revolutionise internal communications, drive down operational costs and increase engagement.

Sole Reliance

As time goes by, and modifications are made, the insider knowledge of a select few becomes more and more critical.

The business becomes reliant on one long serving “hack” who knows the true ins and outs of the ERP.

So what happens if they leave? Or they’re ill?

Technology should be clear and accessible. A 20 year old system with one key administrator is not conducive to organisational transparency and crystal clear visibility.

Employee Morale & Frustration

It may seem superficial but a clunky ERP is no fun to use.

If the software looks, feels and operates in a dated manner, especially compared to the systems your employees are used to using in personal life, the experience is not going to be a positive one.

To keep morale high and frustration low, operational processes should be seamless rather than protracted.

A Dreaded Spreadsheet Alternative

If all else fails and individuals begin to take matters into their own hands, the inevitable fall out becomes a reliance on personal spreadsheets.

Excel is a fantastic tool but is not designed with customer management in mind.

A lack of collaboration, broken formulae and minimal insight at scale combine to make the spreadsheet alternative a productivity and visibility killer.

A Bright Technological Future

So how can you improve your systems to do your job better?

For some organisations, a total overhaul is out of the question. But rather than despair, look instead to the possibilities.

Legacy systems may be too ingrained to be totally eradicated, but they can be integrated with. This approach provides organisations with the ability to add improvements like cutting edge CRM and automation without any risk or time consuming migrations.

Process management systems provide productivity gains alongside more accurate and cost effective business information.

Operational gains then soon follow as employees enjoy engaging with the infrastructure and integrations facilitate a constant flow of accurate, live data.

Legacy risk is mitigated and growth is provisioned for.

The implementation and development teams at Anthill have decades of experience integrating our platform with ERP systems such as MS Dynamics, Kerridge, SAP and Netsuite.

Business need to stay ahead of the competitive curve, clinging on to a legacy ERP will only hold you back.

Updated 30/6/2022

Ready to explore how Anthill can replace Excel? Schedule a demo today.

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