Myth Busting: Why ERP Modifications is not a dirty word anymore

Myth busting: Why ERP modifications is not a dirty word anymore

Despite what some IT vendors may tell you, no ERP system will be able to satisfy your organisations needs out-of-the-box.

Every company is different and will find the right balance of customisation of the ERP system to match their business productivity goals.

There will always be configuration and personalisations which every ERP implementation requires, but most CIOs and CFOs are reluctant to undertake when it comes to major changes to the software. When it comes to ERP systems, the word modifications (or customisations) usually sends many system owners and managers into a spin.

However, things occur during process discoveries and implementations where the business identifies one or more things that the software doesn’t do right, so a minor change is required to match the software to the business process. This can be slippery slope if not managed correctly. By wisely selecting and careful management of modifications businesses will mitigate risk while extending the long-term viability of their ERP investment.

The disadvantages of modifications in the past have included:

1. Upgrades become complex, costly, and risky

When it comes to upgrading an on-premises ERP system, many companies have delayed or avoided upgrades altogether because of the customisations they’ve made over time. The overly customised ERP system becomes the major reason why businesses look to replace their existing ERP systems. Upgrades became very difficult as the code needs to be rewritten to support newer versions and functionality of the ERP solution.

2. Customisations can be a symptom of out-of-date processes

When a company has an over-customised ERP, it’s usually a symptom of resistance to change. The phrase “that’s the way we’ve always done it” is often heard when change is being discussed. However, customisations are integral for forward thinking businesses across all industries.

Here’s what businesses need to do

1. Understand that different types of ERP customisations

Many companies use the term “configuration” to describe customisations they make to their ERP software. However, these are not configurations. Configurations are tweaks made to the default settings in the ERP software, like custom fields and preferred units of measurement. While ERP customisations typically involve extensive coding modifications and are labour intensive.

2. Use modern technologies with built-in abstraction layers

As ERP systems have evolved, the way that modifications are made to them has changed as well. Where in the past modifications would be made directly to the source code of an ERP system, today they are often done through programs or scripts that are separate from the system’s code. This can make upgrading an ERP system much easier, as any modifications that have been made will not be overwritten by the upgrade process.

3. Manage modifications to ensure long term business value

You must be able to identify any customisation that address business needs with real demonstrated value. Ongoing management and documentation is necessary to preserve the integrity of your ERP system.

Bear in mind, I’ve known customers to even go through a whole year’s process of reviewing their modifications before they’ve even started to upgrade their solution and test the new functionality.

4. Declutter your ERP by retiring unnecessary customisations

In today’s business world, the one constant thing is change. Organisational goals and processes are always evolving, and what was once a necessary modification may not be required anymore. So, it’s important to stay up-to-date and get rid of any customisations that are no longer needed. This way, you can keep your organisation running smoothly and efficiently.

How modifications are automatically upgraded in a true cloud ERP system

In this video, Robert Jurcec busts the myth about ERP modifications being risky and why in a modern cloud ERP system when an upgrade happens the modification automatically upgrades with it resulting in undamaged functionality in the ERP system.

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