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5 Reasons you Should Consider Decommissioning Your Legacy ERP System

What attracted your attention in the headline? The “5 reasons” or the fact that somebody would even want to decommission an ERP system? Look around – this world runs on ERP systems. Why would somebody want to decommission an ERP system?

Believe it or not there are companies actually doing it. Be it a merger/acquisition, migration to platform stack or simply migration to other ERP system (even if it would be only a new version of the same ERP).

The “do nothing” option

Not long after the go-live of the new ERP system your (previously highly valued) old ERP instance will not be used at all. What now? Here are your options:

  • Do nothing, keep the server running somewhere in your data center and keep paying. The list of what you pay for is actually pretty long. It starts from DC floor space down to the slice of the employee time that takes care of the “skeleton in your closet”.
  • Virtualize the old environment, shut it down and hope and pray that you’ll never ever need to boot it again
  • Decommission the system and move on – for example to make your IT more agile

I won’t go into detail about the first two options, or summarize how much it costs to do nothing, or how expensive the risk of not doing anything might be (or only the virtualization minimum).

55 reasons to start decommissioning

Let’s then look at the 5 reasons I’ve promised in the headline. Why decommission an ERP system:

  1. Save costs and resources: I admit that most probably this will never be the only reason to think of decommissioning your legacy ERP instance. The old running instance will cost resources in your data center, physical and virtual server costs, OS and database license costs, will need regular maintenance by your team admins and we could go on (storage space costs, floor space, etc). It is sometimes surprising to see how long the list of hidden cost elements can be. The sum is at the end nothing compared to what the implementation project cost you but it remains an unnecessary burden in your budget. Get rid of it.
  2. Make sure that you keep access to your legacy ERP data even after you stop using the system in production. Have you thought what happens when you for some reason lose access to the ERP data? If you “decom” the old production instance you’ll have all important data tables available in your enterprise archive and any future requirement (audit, analytics, historical reporting) can be fulfilled.
  3. Run (Hadoop) analytics against your historical ERP data at a fraction of a cost of a BI/BW platform: Did you know that this was actually possible? When your ERP was in production you had to run regular data extracts into BI/BW to deliver business insights. Now that your data is in your enterprise archive you can actually run the Hadoop analytics “in place” without replicating and duplicating your data!
  4. Decommissioning a legacy ERP actually is very simple: First objection that we usually hear is that “my ERP consists of 1000s of tables that nobody except the vendor understands”. Wrong! There are many companies out there that know your ERP system to the last detail and they share their wisdom by producing decommissioning toolkits that can extract this data. Do you want to extract financial data? No problem. Did you want personnel extract also? Check. Custom tables? Check.
  5. Doesn’t any of the above apply to you? Use the importance of your legacy ERP (remember that your company was relying on it for the past few years) to support the purchasing decision of an enterprise wide archiving platform. Or do you think that it makes more sense run dozens of various purpose built archives instead of one open universal archiving platform?

Our conclusion

Most probably, none of the above is in itself a sole reason to start decommissioning a legacy ERP system. It is only the magic equation of 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 which sums to ”Let’s do it”. It is exactly this equation that persuaded a global customer to test legacy ERP decommissioning. In their case some of the reasons multiplied by 10 since they were maintaining a zoo of legacy environments.

Now look at the reasons again and sum all points.

Do you still think that legacy ERP system decommissioning is not for you? Let us know in the comments below.

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OpenText is the leader in Enterprise Information Management (EIM). Our EIM products enable businesses to grow faster, lower operational costs, and reduce information governance and security risks by improving business insight, impact and process speed.

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